I am using an older version (v.2015.2.728.40) to minimize changes in our development environment. You are correct, the behavior I described doesn't happen on the new suite version (UI for WinForms Q2 2016)
After some minor changes, the update to the new version of Telerik allows my application to run. Doing some automated tests now I find that the droplist doesn't support the arrow keys for selection as my previous version did.
How do you enable arrow key or some other keyboard selection on DropDownList?