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Australia’s leading jumper selected to Olympic Equestrian Team
Edwina Alexander and Itot du Chateau win in Chantilly
2011 Global Champions Tour of Chantilly
Photograph:Stefano Grasso GCT
Edwina Tops-Alexander has been the first selected to the Australian equestrian team to compete in London with her horse Cevo Itot du Chateau, after a string of superb results that saw both rider and horse secure their second Olympic berths.
The Holland based rider is the leading female on the FEI world rankings, currently placed 10th, after taking out the 5 star Global Champions Tour event in Doha, Qatar to start the 2012 season.
Tops-Alexander won two events on the 5 star circuit in 2011, only missing the top ten twice in ten events to assert herself as one of the world’s best.
“It’s a great feeling to have been selected for the team,” said Tops-Alexander.
“It has been a great start to the year and I’m really looking forward to London.”
Tops-Alexander will be looking to improve on her 10th place individual result and 7th place teams result that she claimed at her debut Olympic Games in Beijing.
“I think going to Beijing with the same horse that I have now means I have a lot more experience up my sleeve.
“The only thing that is strange is that it doesn't seem like so long ago that I was riding in Beijing. The time just gets by so fast and my horse feels better now than he did four years ago.”
She will now compete in events throughout Europe to prepare herself for the strong competition that awaits in London.
“I have competitions every weekend in the lead up to London. Except for two of them, the rest are all 5 star level which is great to keep myself up there with the best riders.
“My horse has six more competitions left until the Games and I will just try to make sure he is fit, healthy and fresh.”
Tops-Alexander and her jumping teammates will kick off their competition on Day 8, Saturday 4 August.
Equestrian Australia believed her results were of a high enough standard that she did not need to compete in nomination events in the lead up to the Olympic competition that will be held in London’s historic Greenwich Park.
“Edwina has been on the Australian equestrian team since 2002 and has a wealth of big competition experience,” said Stephen Lamb, National Performance Director for Jumping.
“Edwina is a highly respected and professional competitor whose experience on the world stage will be invaluable to the Australian jumping team that competes at Greenwich.”
Edwina’s three teammates for jumping will be nominated on 6 June based on performances at upcoming nomination events to be held in Lummen, Belgium and Linz, Austria.