Australian rider Edwina Tops-Alexander is a leading showjumper and one of the highest ranked female riders, having won millions of euros in prize-money during a glittering career. Edwina and her top horse Identity Vitseroel have been chosen as one of two individuals to represent Australia in the Olympic showjumping at the Tokyo Olympic Games.
Born in Sydney, Australia, in 1974 as the youngest of four children, Edwina (nee Alexander) began riding at the age of eight and, growing up in the North Shore in Sydney, she began competing through her local Pony Club. She went on to win the Australian young rider championship in 1995. Edwina credits her parents for supporting her throughout her career.
In 1998, Edwina made the decision to move from her native Australia to Europe in order to further her career, crediting Horse & Hound for “making me realise there was a different level to showjumping outside Australia”. She has gone on to become one of Australia’s most decorated equestrian athletes. She was the first Australian rider to qualify for the final of the World Equestrian Games in 2006 and won the overall Global Champions Tour series in 2011 and 2012. In 2018, she won the inaugural Super Grand Prix in Prague, worth over €2 million in prize-money.
Edwina Tops-Alexander and husband Jan Tops
When Edwina first moved to Europe, she worked for Belgian showjumper Ludo Philippaerts before setting up on her own. She later started working with legendary showjumper and horse trader Jan Tops, who won gold for the Netherlands at the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona. The pair married in 2011 in a lavish wedding ceremony and are now parents to daughter Chloe, who was born in 2017. Edwina and Jan, who is also president of the Longines Global Champions Tour, are based in Monaco and run the successful stables and competition centre in Valkenswaard, Netherlands.
“We’re on the same page — I’m so fortunate because he’s a real horseman and understands everything I’m doing,” says Edwina of her husband.
Edwina Tops-Alexander’s horses
Edwina’s current top horse is Identity Vitseroel, a 13-year-old mare by Air Jordan. She also has Fellow Castlefield, California and Latisha De Regor in her top string but is perhaps best known for her outstanding partnership of many years with the great little chestnut horse Cevo Itot Du Chateau, who retired from the sport in 2014.
“I’ll never forget the moment I got on that horse at home — I jumped a course and it felt like I knew him inside out,” says Edwina.
Edwina Tops-Alexander’s Olympic record
Edwina has represented Australia at the Olympics on three occasions, with two top 10 placings:
2008 Olympic Games in Hong Kong, finished 9th individually on Cevo Itot Du Chateau