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April 13, 2010

An Interview With Edwina Alexander, Part 1

Australia's Edwina Alexander is ready for the Rolex FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final.

The 2010 Rolex FEI Show Jumping World Cup Final is set to begin on Wednesday, April 14, in Geneva, Switzerland, and the Chronicle's Mollie Bailey will be there to bring you all the news, photos and more. Australian rider Edwina Alexander will certainly be in the mix at this year's World Cup Final, and she's agreed to a series of interviews and updates. Read about her daily schedule, her top horse and what she thinks her chances are for this year's Final while you wait for the fun to begin.

Q. Could you describe a typical training day?

A. I normally wake up at 7 a.m., and I am in the stables by 8 a.m. ready to ride the horses. Every day is a little bit different, but on average I ride between six to eight horses each day, and I will keep riding until 1 p.m. I’ll start riding again between 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. I then spend some time in the office in the afternoon catching up with emails, organizing travel arrangements for upcoming shows, sending videos to clients. I feel more relaxed if I know exactly what’s going on!

Q. How have you been keeping busy since your Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping series win in Vigo, Spain?

A. I kept Socrates (Cevo Socrates) and Itot (Cevo Itot Du Château) busy in the lead up to Gothenburg (Sweden), where they both jumped well. Since Gothenburg they have both had a break from showing which has included one easy day during the week, some hacking in the woods, dressage and a bit of a longe in the afternoon. I have been to Australia since Gothenburg, but they have both been kept active with some small jumps work.

Q. What kind of character is Itot?

A. I’ve had him for two years, and he’s a funny horse and actually extremely sensitive. He can be hard to catch in the stables and to get out of the box, and more times than not my groom will have some carrots or sugar when I’m trying to get on him!

Q. Whom do you see as your main threats at the Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Geneva, and whom do you admire?

A. I would have to say Jessica (Kürten) is probably my biggest threat because she and her horse are both very competitive. I admire her a lot because she is tough and determined, and she seems to have that edge. [Unfortunately, Kürten had to pull out after this interview when she took a fall at home while schooling.] Pénélope (Leprevost) is another rider that I admire as she is so quick. You never know with Marcus (Ehning), but he’s one of the best riders in the world, and it will depend on how well he has his horse organized.

Q. How do you rate your chances at the Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Geneva?

A. After how well Itot jumped at ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands) last weekend, I feel pretty good and really confident and relaxed. Itot jumped very well in Gothenburg, and he definitely feels better than ever at the moment. After the last World Cup Final in Las Vegas, I wasn’t anywhere near as well prepared as I am now. This time around Itot doesn’t have to travel as far, and he and I both know the arena in Geneva very well.

Q. How are you preparing for the Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games?

A. This year is one of my biggest years ever. I have the Rolex FEI World Cup Final and WEG and also the Global Champions Tour, which I need to qualify for. I’ll use the Global Champions Tour shows to prepare Itot for WEG, but I’m conscious that I don’t want him to do too many shows or too much travelling.

Edwina Alexander, 36, left Australia for Belgium in 1998 with the goal of becoming a top show jumper. She competed at the World Equestrian Games in Jerez, Spain, in 2002 and rose to prominence in 2006 when she finished fourth aboard Isovlas Pialotta against the best horses and riders in the world at the WEG in Aachen, Germany. She placed ninth at the 2008 Olympic Games. She is currently based at Jan Tops' Staltops in Valkenswaard, the Netherlands. She is a friend of Rolex and will continue to send updates on her journey to the WEG.