View Full Version : The best dressage commentator ever - Robert

Apr. 17, 2009, 08:35 PM
WOW what a good job he did. He has done such a wonderful job so far. He manages to very polite yet informative.

It was announced that Karin Offeild helped to sponsor him as commentator. Very, very good show for everyone.

Apr. 17, 2009, 11:11 PM
I thought he did a good job as well. He was very tactful and informative.

Apr. 18, 2009, 12:47 AM
I agree!

He has a wonderfully calm voice too :yes:

Apr. 18, 2009, 12:52 AM
Totally, he really added to the experience!

Apr. 19, 2009, 12:12 AM
Sorry to be a fun hater...I'd rather hear more of RD's professional analysis on the rides, than the behind-the-scenes stories he tells.

He yakked almost entriely through Anky's GP ride, telling how he "actually contacted Anky and Sjef" during the "drama" a few weeks ago when it looked like she was not going to compete. He said that he urged her to come as it would be good for the sport. The after a lengthy pause, RD admitted that Anky and Sjef told him that they had already come to that conclusion. And there was the "note" that he received during the ride saying that Anky had been in the hospital just that morning.....and that to "come back on the world stage" on her "second string horse, just proves why this is a world class champion." All this (and more) during the ride !!!

I have no complaint with RD's effusive praise of Anky, but if he could have saved it until after the ride, it would have been appreciated.

And yes, if he starts it again, I know where the "mute" button is.

Apr. 19, 2009, 12:38 AM
He needs to shut up during the freestyle so you can hear the music!!!

Apr. 19, 2009, 01:49 AM
While I liked his commentary of the RIDES, I agree that his stories did get a little annoying. Seemed less behind-the-scenes (i.e. this horse has trouble with XYZ) and more name-dropping. JMO.

Apr. 19, 2009, 01:53 AM
Am I the only one who found his "That is one happy Columbian" comment absolutely hilarious?:winkgrin::lol:

Apr. 19, 2009, 02:29 AM
I agree with slick!! WooHoo!! and don't mind the small stuff..he did wonderful!! I loved his voice- the quick way of picking up on stuff- very, very good eye- spotted everything...and kind in his comments...I like a positive person! ;)

Apr. 19, 2009, 08:09 AM
I found it annoying and distracting. I just personally prefer to listen to the MUSIC and watch the ride. Comments afterward are fine - or in a re-cap of the ride but I found myself saying SHUT UP to the screen.

Apr. 19, 2009, 10:06 AM
"telling how he "actually contacted Anky and Sjef" "

I'm sure people at that level actually do talk to each other, probably fairly frequently, in fact. They have business dealings, organizational dealings, EVEN, surprise surprise, friendships, acquaintances. It's a very small world at that level. I don't know why in the world Robert Dover WOULDN'T contact Anky and Sjeff. He's a part of that world.

I liked it, and I ignore whatever chit chat isn't important to me. Hearing what someone who knows as much as Robert Dover has to say about the movements, and hearing it immediately, right on seeing the movements, I think is educational and good training, even for more experienced people, there are not too many people in the USA who have ridden internationally as much as Robert has, and love or hate his personality, there is a very big difference between his knowledge and experience, and most people's here.

Too, there has to be a compromise between people in audience who are experienced and the majority of people, who have NO IDEA who these people are or what the judges are doing. THe 'human interest' stories most spectators adore, it makes them feel 'in the know' and they love that. Sure there are people who want less commentary, but most people are not knowledgeable and the only way to 'personalize' this sport and put it near and dear to their hearts is some chit chat, and robert and the people putting this thing on are well aware of that.

The chit chat, i'm sure is part of robert who seems outgoing and talkative anyway, but i'll take the "happy columbian" and raise you two "did you see that little mistake in the rhythm in the extended trot, that'll cost (specific amount of points)", any day.

I also REALLY like to hear where our riders see what the judge is scoring, and say, 'I expected that to be lower' or 'i expected that to be higher', I really want to hear where they are surprised. That alone, I think is worth it, hearing where an experienced rider and trainer is discordant with the judge that is sitting up there.

Apr. 19, 2009, 10:24 AM
Robert did a marvelous job and has a Golden Eye. Also kuddos to our fellow COTH'er Karin Offield who made this all possible.

A solution could be, that you can mute channels. Like I saw at Aachen last year, you could choose for English comments, German Comments, or No Comments.

This would solve the above described problems. However please be HAPPY that the USA has made a start to broadcast equestrian sports on this large scale.


Apr. 19, 2009, 10:29 AM
The guy working with Robert also did a great job. He asked smart questions. They were a good team:D

Apr. 19, 2009, 10:48 AM
The guy working with Robert also did a great job. He asked smart questions. They were a good team:D

I thought the comments were a good balance of information and chit-chat, that was also very interesting and informative in it's own.

The music could have been a little louder, so we could really hear what they were riding to.
I could not, but that was not because they were talking here and there, that I appreciated also.
I think they did a fabulous job, to be able to explain complex details so ANYONE, even those that don't know much, could follow what was happening and how it was scored and why.

We forget that, even many that think they know, few really know the finer details of what is correct and what not and why and how that counts.
I think it may have opened some eyes to see riding at that level and maybe also that it is not a walk in the park.

I sadly come across many people that should know better, that dismiss much of dressage as "just riding around".
Comentators like these hopefully put dressage in perspective for many that didn't know there is more to it.:cool:

Apr. 19, 2009, 10:56 AM
We thought Robert did a VERY good job. And yes, thank you Karin Offield :yes: It was SOOOOO nice to have commentary from someone who actually "knows" Dressage!!!

Apr. 19, 2009, 11:16 AM
Can't complain here at all... This allowed ME to see the show, otherwise I would have had to wait for my friends to come home from the event and hear all the chatter from them..

I felt I had a ring side seat.. !!!

Thanks to all that allowed me this privilege..

Apr. 19, 2009, 12:04 PM
Thanks a million times to Karin Offield for making Robert's commentary OVER THE INTERNET possible. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Apr. 19, 2009, 12:51 PM
so could someone please explain to me the comment robert made about how what each rider did in the GP had an impact on how the judges would score them for the freestyle?

also, he said something along the lines of Steffan is now very well placed to win the world equestrian games.....

aren't the judges supposed to just judge what is in front of them?

Apr. 19, 2009, 12:56 PM
I too thought he did a wonderful job. I especially appreciated his positivity. He did a great job of pointing out the flaws in a ride without seeming catty. He had many positive comments about each ride while still showing how good his eye was for the movements. I found myself thinking on a few occasions how good a clinician he must be and wondering if he is coming to town any time soon!

Apr. 19, 2009, 01:04 PM
"the comment robert made about how what each rider did in the GP"

Maybe it gives the judges more confidence in their observations, having seen the horses so recently. The GP class is then almost like a warmup for the FS.

Apr. 19, 2009, 01:11 PM
so you think the judges don't trust their own eyes and experience? and they need to watch a rider many times to be able to judge them correctly?

Tamara in TN
Apr. 19, 2009, 01:34 PM
[QUOTE=slc2;4030491]WOW what a good job he did. He has done such a wonderful job so far. He manages to very polite yet informative.

for someone like me for whom dressage is a mild interest and not a religion :),
I found it very nice to have a commentary not unlike the Wild/Wide World of Sports
that played when I was a child...while I'm sure every dressage guru in the world knows EXACTLY what goes wrong ;) and where,it will further your sport in the eyes of those who will support it thru the future...

it is for me is like watching gymnastics or maybe ice skating...where the judging is all about attaining a perfect form it's nice to see in tiny pieces where the rein back was wrong and how one half pass right scored better than another....

if it were like down hill (which my father will bring a halt to the whole houshold to watch ,to this day :lol:) there's be no need of anything thing said other than describing how the big dummy caught a ski at gate seven and ended up in the crowd...

edited to add: by explaining the bits and bobs of it to "regular" people it makes it less of an elitest sport that is shush shush and majikal...but something that can be attained thru work...


Apr. 19, 2009, 01:37 PM
I found it interesting that the two main tests where RD didn't comment on technical aspects (and stuck to personal stories) were the Anky and Isabelle rides.

Pretty much all his comments on other riders had been pretty much spot on - I wondered if he didn't trust his ability to, ah, predict their scores.

I also thought that the "I've just been given a note" comment sounded like a 'pre-emptive' strike - you know: "Anky didn't win, but she did so well being on her second string horse, and just out of hospital". I don't think I ever hear so much about the medical problems of any other rider...

But don't mind me. I'm sitting at home with tinfoil on my head :cool:.

(Or maybe I'm just extremely cynical! ;))

I would also like to send thanks to Karen O. for her efforts. I thought that Robert Dover and his sidekick were the best dressage commentators that I have heard to date.

Apr. 19, 2009, 01:38 PM
I too was pleased that Robert was chosen as the commentator, and I also thought his partner did a good job as well. They made a good pair. And I enjoyed RD's analysis of movements and his keen observations. I hope he's invited back to do more in the future.

However the personal chit-chat during the test we can do without...just as if we were in the stands watching. He definitely would have been shussed by others sitting around him ! :)

Apr. 19, 2009, 03:26 PM
The guy working with Robert also did a great job. He asked smart questions. They were a good team:D

My husband couldn't get over his mispronunciation of "choreography." But then again, he also was shocked to learn that there were rules about what riders wear, so his opinion doesn't count ;)

Apr. 19, 2009, 04:27 PM
Yes I raised my eyebrows on the "choreography" blunder!

Happy Feet
Apr. 19, 2009, 05:54 PM
I think Robert did a great job. He made each rider human which I think is important for the sport which is often percieved as pretentious and only for the "upper crust". He commented both on personal aspects as well as what was going on in the arena. I didn't hear any comments that were too personal or unfair or overly praising to riders he may have had/has relationships with as a coach or former coach. I think he did a fantastic job!
I also have to add that another aspect Robert was great in - being positive. I have heard commentary before which was too negitive and very hesitant to give out praise. Robert did a great job balancing the faults of each ride with their highlights!

Apr. 20, 2009, 03:33 AM
I thought Robert Dover did a wonderful job too and I think it is good that he was describing things the way he was, it is great for less educated riders to learn to develop their eye. I will be sending the lings to my own student. HOWEVER, one LEETLE TINY thing bothered me... I was a little bothered by him referring to horses as IT instead of he/she or mare/gelding/stallion... whatever. That was it, his "IT" thing bothered me, other than that, GOOD JOB RD!!!!

Apr. 20, 2009, 07:07 AM
I thought Robert Dover did a wonderful job too and I think it is good that he was describing things the way he was, it is great for less educated riders to learn to develop their eye. I will be sending the lings to my own student. HOWEVER, one LEETLE TINY thing bothered me... I was a little bothered by him referring to horses as IT instead of he/she or mare/gelding/stallion... whatever. That was it, his "IT" thing bothered me, other than that, GOOD JOB RD!!!!

You know, I noticed that but it didn't bother me, I decided it must be one of his idiosyncrasies.

Apr. 20, 2009, 09:38 AM
Come on for god's sake the guy pronounced one word wrong. What exactly do you people WANT? Our rider won both classes. most of us saw the whole damn thing absolutely free, and we had the FIRST knowledgeable commentator in the history of american broadcasting!

Bi*** Bi*** Bi*** Bi*** Bi*** Bi*** Bi*** GET* A *LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!

Apr. 20, 2009, 01:50 PM
I thought RD did a great job. He was smooth, calm, positive and informative.

Thank you Robert and Karin! We would love to see more of this sort of coverage.

Apr. 20, 2009, 01:57 PM
FWIW, Robert Dover was not the one who mispronounced "choreography." It was the other guy, whose name I do not know :)

Apr. 20, 2009, 10:49 PM
Here's a link to his blog....I'm sure he would love comments. I thought he was fabulous as well!!


Apr. 21, 2009, 12:09 PM
Hello Ambrey - I didn't say Dover made the error did I?

I feel people who want commentary should have it available and those who don't should have a way to block out the talking but not the music.

So I'll wait for the posts where those of you who loved RD's comments to once again jump on those of us who just don't like TALKING during the performances.

Apr. 22, 2009, 03:25 PM
Robert was *OK* as commentary goes. But why does everyone who watches a ride have to be so *sweet-sweet* to the audience? It's all so sugar coated. I would much rather listen to an honest assessment and someone pointing out real *problems*. I listened to the Anne Gribbons on the headset, which was far more entertaining, she stayed on target and was more honest than Dover. She did stay away from any negative comments to slay a rider, but she did mention errors.

Robert seems comatose. Pass the Kool-Aid. I would have loved to have heard "whoops, there's trouble brewing......" LOL

Apr. 23, 2009, 08:38 AM
Oh sod off. She can say anything she likes. And I can understand her point of view. Gribbon's commentary was rather different from Dover's.

The poster can like whatever she wants to like. And I like having different commentators to listen to. I have heard Lavell do an absolutely blistering commentary at Aachen, she absolutely tore apart rider's warmups and it was great. It was very, very informative and it's good to have different points of view, both on the bb and from commentators.

I'm just glad anyone is finally actually getting someone who rides dressage to be commentator. That's a vast improvement right there. Beyond that, Gribbons, Dover, Blinks, there are quite a few experienced who know that level and could do a top notch job and any one of them is fine with me. Before it looked like that guy that was the commentator in 'Best in Show'.

Apr. 23, 2009, 10:51 AM
Oh sod off

That's not very nice!

Are you playing a Brit now on the Net? Better drop "y'all" then.;)

Carol Ames
Aug. 20, 2010, 11:51 PM
Will we have the same coverage during WEG?:confused:

hope hope hope!;):yes: