Discipline: 3-Day Eventing
Date of birth: January 3, 1961
Place of birth: London, England
Height: 5’8
Home: New Forest (near Southampton)
Marital Status: separated
Coach: Lars Sederholmn

Do you have a favorite author?
Thomas Hardy – an 18th century English novelist

Do you watch a lot of television?
Do you have any shows that you can’t go without?

“Not really…I am a sports fanatic though.” He watches all types of sports on TV. including equestrian (of course!), football (well…soccer), golf and many others. He is just passionate about sports in general. Also Robert is a fan of the news and can “suffer withdrawls” if he doesn’t catch it enough.

What mentors do you have, in and outside of the equestrian industry?
“A mentor is a very personal thing.” His coach Lars Sederholmn would be the only one he thinks fits that description. Robert first began his training with Lars at the age of 18 when his father sadly passed away. Lars has been a father figure ever since.

What kind of car do you drive?
Unfortunately, Robert just had to give back a promotional Mercedes CLK Compressor, which had been loaned to him. He is now driving an Audi Quattro.

What is the coolest place you have ever visited? Why? When?
The Olympic Games in Los Angeles in 1984. Since he was part of a foreign team (riding for Great Britain at the time) the whole team was treated wonderfully, invited to all the parties, and shown everything! He even got to meet Muhammed Ali!

If you were an animal, what animal would you be? Why?
“My own dog…he has a great life!” Robert has a West Highland Terrier named “Sparky”.

Where do you want to see yourself in five years, not only with regard to horses?
Due to injuries Robert had to take 3 years off of competing and now feels the need to achieve things “all over again”, to re-experience the thrill. He also feels that, “like a good wine, event riders mature later in life!” He would like to still be eventing at the international level and feel that he has “contributed my input to secure its [eventing] success. I want to be seen as someone who played their part.”

Robert has had a lot of drama in his life, with his separation and his accident and would like to, in 5 years, be happy and content in his life. He has just moved to a new house, which he thinks will help that process.

What was the most memorable/important horse show moment to you? Why?
In 1983 Robert won his first three star event in Bramham. This he said, “set me up and got me going.” It was a slightly unexpected win that, “laid the foundation of my career.”

Who is the most interesting person you have had the opportunity of meeting?
At the 1984 Olympic Games when he met and spoke with Muhammed Ali, “an awe inspiring moment. He was such a legend to people – a god really.”

Growing up, did you want to be a professional equestrian or was there another career you were aiming towards?
Robert had no idea that he was going to go into the riding profession and did not even begin riding until age 17. His father was a judge who had ideas of Robert going into law, which never happened. Once he began riding he knew that was where he wanted to be.

If you could be granted one wish what would it be that you would wish for?
Fluency in many languages.

Did you go to university/college? If so what for? If not, do you regret not going? Why?
Robert left school at the age of 17 after finishing his A levels and traveled to the United States to work on ranches. He thinks he would have liked to continue with school as it would give him more options today but feels his riding career would not have gone as far as it has if that route had been taken. He did say, “I wouldn’t exchange what I have.”

What is one of your worst habits?
“Time keeping – I am always trying to do too much in short amounts of time causing me to be late.”

What has been the scariest experience in your life so far?
In the fall of 1989 Robert fell off and for 30 minutes could not feel anything below his waist. Fortunately, in the ambulance on the way to the hospital the feeling came back and he recovered fully.

Do you have any good luck charms or superstitions that you live by? What?
“I like to think I am not a superstitious person, but you get stuck doing things in a certain way and in a certain order.” If he sees a single magpie jumping around he is known to make gestures to it and tell it to get away

Do you have a favorite type of music and band?
Not just because they are Canadian, Robert is a fan of both Bryan Adams and Celine Dion. He is “an avid fan of a variety of music, especially pop.”

If someone ran into you on the street, what kind of clothes would you be wearing?
Locally, he would probably be seen in jeans and a polo shirt. In London he would certainly NOT be dressed like that – it is much more of a business area.

What has been the most embarrassing moment you have had in riding?
Just before the 1984 Olympics the British Team had a reception with some of the Royal Family. Robert’s sponsor at the time was VERY nervous, “sweating buckets,” Roberts says, about meeting Princess Anne. He didn’t know how to address her, what to say and was getting very worked up over it. Robert, quite cool, reassured her that it wouldn’t be that bad…Princess Anne would be fine.
So when the big moment came – what happened??? ROBERT was the one that goofed and greeted her simply as “Anne” – Oops!