Edwina Alexander’s road to WEG: looking ahead to Kentucky

  • The Australian Equestrian Federation have confirmed that I am on the team for the WEG, and I can take a second horse with me if I have another one qualified. But I’m pretty set up for WEG with Itot (Cevo Itot Du Château) and I don’t really want to take another horse if it’s not 100% ready.

    I recently sold four of my horses, including two that had qualified for WEG. On the back of those sales I have just received a new 8-year-old, Ciske Van Overis, that has already qualified; she was 7th in the Grand Prix in Hamburg with Guy Williams, and 5th with me in La Coruña. I’m not planning to take her to WEG, but she will be a useful back-up while Itot is being prepared.

    Itot will have three more shows after Aachen — Chantilly, Valkenswaard and Rio de Janeiro — and then he will have a month’s break. He feels in really great shape and has been jumping well.

    Overall, I’m looking forward to going to WEG and I fully appreciate how tough a competition it is. I personally think that WEG is the most difficult championship that we have in comparison to The Olympics as I feel that it takes a lot more out of the horse.

    Looking back at WEG 2006

    I have some fond memories of the last World Equestrian Games in Aachen, including finishing in the top four. My goal then was to get into the top 25, so I thought I did pretty wellt. My federation is a very strong supporter of whichever programme and direction I choose, but at the same time I don’t want to put too much pressure on myself. Everyone has their aim and their goal, so I’ll try to do my best this year and my goal is to finish in the top four again.

    It’s very important to prepare a good programme for your horse afterwards as the championships take a lot out of them; they have to be very fit as we found out after the last WEG in Aachen.

    This year’s WEG is being held in the USA for the first time, but my horses are used to travelling and are incredibly fit, so I don’t see this being a problem. They will arrive in Kentucky a week before the competition starts, which is plenty of time for them to acclimatise. Funnily enough goign to Kentucky will actually involve less travelling time than if they were to go to somewhere like Portugal, within Europe.

    Team verses the individual

    I think that the Australia team for WEG is absolutely our strongest ever; we have two other strong riders — Chris Chugg and James Patterson Robinson — with the fourth partnership being selected following competitions in Hachenburg and Paderborn.

    I would like to think that realistically we could finish in the first five, and of course a medal would be fantastic. However, for me it is difficult to think of WEG as a team competition; I have to focus on myself. I know that might sound a little bit selfish but that’s how it is, and how it’s been since I’ve been competing in Europe, especially over the last five or six years.

    Edwina Alexander, Olympic and World Equestrian Games Jumper, is a friend of Rolex. Edwina will be competing at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games

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