Cevo Itot Du Chateau, the little chestnut gelding ridden to phenomenal success by showjumper Edwina Tops-Alexander, is to be retired at the age of 18.

Itot is a once-in-a-lifetime horse and I feel privileged to have ridden and competed with him all these years,” said Edwina. “We will have a special ceremony at the Global Champions Tour event in Paris on Sunday 6 July, after the Gucci Gold Cup, for the public to say goodbye to Itot.”

The Australian rider first partnered the French-bred son of Le Tot De Semilly in 2007 and the elegant pair have thrilled the crowds ever since.

“Toti” was well known for pinging round the biggest tracks with his trademark big ears permanently pricked forward. It seemed there was no obstacle too big for this pint-sized wonder, who stood barely 15.1hh.

“From day one I always had a very positive feeling with Itot, but I never would have believed we would have so much success together,” said Edwina. “He is a rare animal with amazing qualities of stamina and agility, and a horse who never gives up.

“He has all the ingredients of a special athlete. I have been extremely fortunate to have a horse like that, and the right training and management from Jan [Tops, Edwina’s husband] gave us the opportunities to go so far.”

However, the story could have been very different because, as a 3-year-old, Itot was seriously injured after jumping out of his field in France and being hit by a car. 

Jan Tops said: “There are only a very few times in a career in equestrian sport that you will see a horse like Itot. Two of the most successful years of his life were when he was 15 and 16 years old.”

Cevo Itot Du Chateau’s hall of fame:

  • Helped Edwina win the final of the Global Champions Tour in 2011 and 2012
  • Headed World Cup qualifiers in Geneva, 2012, and Olympia, 2008
  • Accumulated more than €3 million in prize-money
  • Won 5* grands prix all over the world including Doha, 2012, Valkenswaard, 2009, and Brussels, 2008
  • Represented Australia at two Olympic Games (2012 and 2008) and the World Championships in 2010
  • Won the GCTs in Chantilly, France, in 2011, and Cannes in 2010 and 2011