Australian show jumper Edwina Alexander is preparing for the 2010 Global Champions Tour and the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games, and she's agreed to a series of interviews and updates. Read about how her Rolex FEI World Cup Final went and where her horses are headed next.
Q. What’s happened in the last month?
A. The last month has been a real rollercoaster with quite a few shows and then the Rolex FEI World Cup Final. Overall, I’m feeling pretty good in myself, and I’m trying to get as much rest as possible, but not doing too much isn’t the easiest thing in the world at the moment! I was up at 4 a.m. last Wednesday morning to go to Copenhagen (Denmark) for a photoshoot and got back home at about 1 a.m. the following morning. I was then up very early to jump five horses ahead of the four-day show in Mannheim (Germany), so I haven’t had as much rest as I would have hoped for!
Q. Has Itot (Cevo Itot Du Château) been on form for you?
A. Itot was a completely different horse when he arrived in Geneva (Switzerland) for the Rolex Final compared to how he was in ‘s-Hertogenbosch (the Netherlands) and Paris (France). I’m not quite sure what happened, but his back was causing him a lot of discomfort; maybe he rolled in his box, but I really didn’t know what the problem was at the time. In hindsight I shouldn’t have jumped Itot on the second day of the Final, and I was thinking that before I went into the ring; sometimes you should listen to your own instinct.
After the round my osteopath took a look at Itot and said that one of his joints was a little bit out, so it was just a case of putting that back in. Thankfully, after one week of just walking, being on the longe and some massage, he’s much better. I did some small jumps with him this morning, and he’s feeling like his old self again.
Q. How did the Rolex FEI World Cup Final in Geneva go?
A. The Rolex FEI World Cup Final was a fantastic experience, and in my opinion it’s one of the most beautiful indoor shows in the world. I stayed at a fantastic hotel which was right opposite the showground, which was lovely and also extremely convenient when I needed to practice or get to my classes! I was typically doing some light riding every morning between 7 – 8 a.m. to get the horses loose and relaxed, and I think I rode once at lunch time as the classes weren’t until the evening.
Outside of that I watched a little bit of the other classes, did a bit of reading and went for a few walks to try and stay as relaxed as I possibly could. I was obviously disappointed with my result in the Rolex FEI World Cup, but Socrates’ (Cevo Socrates) performance and second place in the Grand Prix was a great consolation; he always seems to pull something out when it matters.
Q. What’s next…?
A. This weekend I go to Mannheim, and I’ll take four horses, one who I’ve only ridden once and who I don’t know at all! It will give some of my younger, less experienced horses a chance to step up another level, and I aim to do that at least once every three weeks with those kinds of horses. My focus now is very much on the GCT, which starts in Valencia and runs from May 7-9.
Q. What is your summer 2010 schedule?
A. I’m going to be playing this summer a lot by ear, but Itot is very much at the forefront of my plans as, being the No. 1 horse, he is going to have the best and busiest program. I’m conscious not to give him too much work, as I want him to fully recover from his back injury. Itot will go to Valencia (Spain) and then on to Hamburg (Germany), and then I have a pretty heavy program with my other horses. I go to the Turin (Italy) leg of the GCT and after that to the Formula One Grand Prix in Monaco, which I’m really excited about. Following Turin I go to Wiesbaden (Germany) for a couple of days, then back home for a day or so, and then to the Rome CSIO (Italy)—so a busy schedule coming up.
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.