Canadian Olympian Rob Stevenson of Lakeside, NB was announced as a member of the 2018 New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame induction class.
A key figure in the Canadian eventing world, Stevenson’s career was nurtured in his native province at the family farm, Foshay Farms, located in Lower Jemseg, NB.
“I was born in New Brunswick a half-century ago,” said Stevenson. “I came about my interest in eventing the old-fashioned way, through the Fredericton Pony Club. Eventing seemed to embody everything that Pony Club represented, from horsemanship to competency in all phases.”
Stevenson displayed his own competency early on aboard Carcroft Tiger. Together, the horse-and-rider combination won the 1988 Canadian Young Rider Championships title, as well as a bronze medal at the 1989 North American Young Rider Championships.
But it was with his next mount, Risky Business II, that Stevenson was recognized on the international stage. At the 1991 Fair Hill International Three Day Event in Elkton, MD, Stevenson and Risky Business II finished on a score of 62.60 penalties, placing second and qualifying for the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games.
“It was really the 1991 Fair Hill CCI that made the difference in my life,” explained Stevenson. “Had I not had a great weekend there, I am uncertain if I might ever have ridden on the Canadian Equestrian Team. And had I not gone to the Olympics, my story would be very different. It’s humbling to look back and respect how so much was dependent on a few decisions over the course of a single competition 27 years ago.”
Back at Foshay Farms, the main field in which Stevenson would ride ponies as a child turned into an Olympic training ground for conditioning gallops. Hard work paid off, and Stevenson and Risky Business II battled oppressive heat in Barcelona to finish as the top-ranked Canadian eventing pair at the Olympics, placing 22nd overall.
Today, Stevenson works as a cardiologist at the New Brunswick Heart Centre in Saint John, NB. Despite a busy schedule, he remains heavily involved with high performance eventing as Chair of the EC Eventing High Performance Advisory Group, Canadian National Safety Officer, and a member of the FEI Eventing Risk Management Steering Group.
“I have never been more involved than I am now in equestrian sport,” said Stevenson. “My wife, Suzanne and I run Foshay South Eventing in Hampton, NB and we have Foshay Farms in Lower Jemseg, which is the site for the Foshay International, a new event that will launch this year. I have been very fortunate, and I hope to provide opportunities for others, just as many people (and horses) have done for me.”
Stevenson continued, “The induction into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame simply reminds me that I have had a very supportive family, great coaching and a very special horse, Risky Business II. I really do enjoy the inclusion along with other mainstream sports to help raise the profile of equestrian sports. There is a part of me, though, that feels that the best is yet to come.”
Equestrian Canada congratulates Stevenson on his induction into the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame. The induction ceremony will be held on June 9, 2018 at the Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, NB. A complete list of the 2018 induction class can be found here.