US dressage legend Robert Dover is coming out of retirement at the age of 48 to have another stab at Olympic glory next year.

Robert, a five-time Olympian and triple bronze medallist, has secured the ride on former top Danish team horse, FBW Kennedy.

“I’ll never say never again,” jokes Dover, who freely admits to having retired more times than he can remember. “I’m really looking forward to riding Kennedy, but we’ll be taking it slowly and seeing what happens.”

The US team will be aiming to dislodge the Germans’ long-standing stranglehold of the top of the sport at the 2004 Olympics.

Although it is early days, making the team and chasing an unprecedented US team gold “is the thought, yes”, admits Dover.

America’s top two partnerships are Lisa Wilcox (Relevant) and Debbie MacDonald (Brentina), numbers two and four in the world respectively.

Kennedy, who partnered Denmark’s Lone Jørgensen to seventh place individually at the European Championships in Hickstead and was on the European bronze medal team in 2001, has been sold to American dressage benefactor Jane Clark, Dover’s long-standing sponsor.

Jane also bought British national champion Richard Davison’s former top ride, Hiscox Askari, as a schoolmaster on his retirement in 2001. She has a stable of top horses and was formerly president of the American Horse Shows Association.

  • Read the full story in yesterday’s issue of Horse & Hound (9 October).

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