by L. Dianne Braden, February 1973
DRESSAGE The National Magazine, pages 38-43, No. 2
"Come in," said a voice behind the unlocked door of Major Borg's white house on Red Bob Farms. That was how it began; the visit behind the scenes, a tour inside the magician's black hat, a trip into the world of one of America's celebrated dressage riders and trainers.
by Jennifer O. Bryant, 2005
Major Robert J. Borg
USEF Equestrian Publication
THREE-TIME U.S. OLYPIC DRESSAGE competitor Major Robert J. Borg, USA (Ret.), of Oxford, MI,
died April 5, 2005.
"Calm, straight and forward" - Major Robert Borg
Early in Marie's riding career she had the great fortune of securing a position as "rider", working under the daily tutelage of the late Major Robert Borg. Major Borg rode on and coached both the dressage and the three day eventing teams for the U.S. in the 1948 Olympics. Largely through his efforts, the team obtained the highest placing to date in dressage, securing the team Silver medal and the team Gold medal for three day eventing.
Major Borg was commissioned as an officer in the U.S. Army Cavalry as a Horsemanship instructor and trainer at Fort Riley until June 1955. He was assigned to the U.S. Equestrian Team and competed at Army Olympic Trials, winning Both the Oakbrook and the Fort Riley Trials. Major Trained the U.S. Dressage Team to a Silver medal win and placed 4th in the individual competition at the London Olympics. To this date the Silver medal is the highest placing achieved and the only Silver medal won by the U.S. in dressage.
He also trained the Gold medal rider in Grand Prix Dressage at the Mexico City Pan American Games and won the Individual Silver medal himself and was also the only person in Olympic history to have both coached and competed in the same Olympic games.
Major Borg was the very last man to have enlisted in the Cavalry, who also trained all of the horses and all of the men who performed in dressage at the Olympics during his time on the U.S. Equestrian Team, first as a military officer and then as a civilian.
Marie had the great fortune to hold an apprenticeship with Major Borg at Red Bob Farm, which was one of the largest, most respected Thoroughbred breeding farms in Michigan. The farm consisted of over 200 acres; a veterinary clinic with full time licensed veterinarian, large indoor and outdoor riding arenas; a regulation race track; and 110 stalls supporting brood mares, foals, numerous horses in training and stood eight or more world class stallions.
She spent much of her time with Major Borg in the early 1980's backing and training eight to ten youngsters each year under his daily tutelage. She also schooled client horses and horses with training problems, which included dressage horses, three day eventers, race horses and fox hunters. Under Major Borg she primarily studied the French methods of James Fillis, who was Major Borg's preferred source of reference. It was under Major Borgs watchful eye that Marie trained her first Grand Prix dressage horses.
Since Major Borgs passing in 1973, Marie seeks out the expertise of world class trainers to support her in her high performance goals. These experts include; German, Dutch and American coaches. With Major Borg's great influence and the support of these coaches Marie continues to train her students and her horses through all the levels of dressage.
If you are interested in learning more about Major Robert Borg, please see published articles below:
by Sarah Holt
Winner of the Pegasus Medal of Honor
by Mary Shaw Moore, 1998
MDA, News and Views, Official Publication of the Midwest dressage Association, Cover and pages 13-15
As the United States Dressage team prepares for another Olympic effort, the only American rider to bring home a Silver Team medal continues to train horses in the Michigan countryside . . .