September 4, 2008 — The United States Dressage Federation (USDF) will induct Robert Dover and Fiona Baan into the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame (HOF) at the Salute Gala on December 4, 2008, during the Adequan/USDF Annual Convention in Denver, Colo. Induction into the HOF is an honor bestowed on those who have made outstanding contributions to dressage in the United States through their achievements, creativity, originality, vision, and sustained effort.
Robert Dover, 52, has had an enormous impact on the sport of dressage in the U.S. for nearly three decades. As an international competitor, Dover represented the U.S. in six consecutive Olympic Games, a record for U.S. dressage riders. He was instrumental in helping the U.S collect four Olympic team bronze medals, a World Equestrian Games (WEG) team bronze medal, and a team gold medal at the North American Dressage Championships (NADC). Dover’s individual career highlights include a personal best sixth place in the 2004 Athens Olympics Games, and a fifth place at the 1994 (WEG), highlighting a legendary career that also includes seven FEI World Cup Finals and five U.S. National Grand Prix Championship titles.
Dover has consistently been on the cutting edge of the dressage scene nationally and internationally in a variety of roles, including that of trainer, teacher and avid promoter. Often referred to as “Mr. Dressage” in America, Dover’s influence is exemplified by the successes of the horses and students he has trained, and through his visionary establishment of the Equestrian Aid Foundation.
Fiona V. Baan (1939-1994) was dedicated to raising the quality of U.S. dressage to an international standard of competition. For 30 years, she directed the dressage and driving disciplines of the United States Equestrian Team. Known for her diplomacy, attention to detail, and the personal connection she made with every rider, Baan’s determination and focus helped guide the U.S.’s rise to international success. She served with distinction as manager or chef d’equipe for U.S. teams at the Olympic Games, the WEG, the World Dressage Championships, the NADC, and the Pan American Games. Baan was also an AHSA and FEI “I” level judge
She was equally devoted to the development of young riders in the U.S., inaugurating what became the Advanced Young Riders program. The “Pursuit of Excellence” trophy, awarded annually at the North American Young Riders Championships, is dedicated to Fiona Baan and is a testimonial to her legacy.
Each year, the USDF Historical Committee invites members to nominate worthy candidates for the HOF. All nominations are thoroughly reviewed, researched, and discussed by the committee, whose recommendations are considered for approval by the Executive Board. A display of all HOF inductees, including the 2008 inductees, resides in the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame located in the USDF National Education Center at the Kentucky Horse Park.
Information about the Roemer Foundation/USDF Hall of Fame can be obtained by contacting the USDF Historical Committee Liaison at (859) 971-2277 or by email at [email protected].
Founded in 1973, the USDF is a nonprofit membership organization dedicated to education, recognition of achievement, and promotion of dressage. For more information about USDF membership or programs visit the USDF website.