Edwina Alexander Diary

Edwina Alexander is writing her final diary for horsesinthesouth.com following her performance at the 2010 Alltech FEI World Equestrian Games (WEG). Here is Edwina’s final entry…

Since the WEG…

I’ve been to Helsinki, Oslo Lyon and Verona since returning from Kentucky, and the horses have all been fine, but it involved a lot of travelling. Itot will have only a few more shows left this year, and then he might do one or two in January, and then I’ll give him a break before the outdoor season starts. I have a pretty hectic schedule between now and Christmas and have only had one free weekend lately, which I spent in Abu Dhabi for the Formula One Grand Prix. I have a good bunch of horses at the moment to cope with this busy schedule; Socrates is back and was in Lyon, and Kisby has been fantastic, and I think she might be a horse that could surprise a few people. Ciske hasn’t been the easiest of horses but she is getting better show by show and I’m very happy with the progress that she’s making.

Thoughts on the WEG…

The arena was fantastic and the ground was very good, but I was disappointed with a few aspects, and I know that a lot of the other riders feel the same. The huge scale of the event meant that everything was quite far away and generally inconvenient (stabling from the arena), which wasn’t ideal. The way that the warm-up was organised was not very well thought out at all. We (the riders) had high expectations of the Games as American competitions are usually so well organised, but compared to Aachen we felt frustrated.

I was happy but also disappointed with Itot. He felt in really good form and was sharp, almost too sharp, as though he was bursting out of his skin. When he came out of the ring he wasn’t sweating or blowing at all, and he felt top fit. I had a few unlucky faults, for example, on the first day in the speed class when I put the last fence down. In the second round I felt that Itot got a bit strong with me and he was quite aggressive, but maybe that was my fault for not getting him back quickly enough.

I felt that the courses weren’t as big or as difficult as Aachen, that’s for sure. The first day and the Nation’s Cup weren’t very big; however, a lot of riders were saying that the semi-final was quite big and was a huge difference in comparison to the other rounds. I was disappointed at how many double-clear rounds there were, which meant that those with just one fault finished so low down the leader board.

Team-wise it was a great result by Australia in the Nation’s Cup to finish in seventh place and to also qualify for the Olympics. Considering the countries (USA, Holland and Spain) that we finished ahead of, we had reason to be extremely satisfied with our performances.

The 2010/2011 season…

I’m hoping to make the Top 10 in Geneva in December, and of course to qualify for the Rolex FEI World Cup Jumping Final in Leipzig in April. I don’t necessarily think I will take Itot as I’d like to give him that time off, but you never know how things might change. Fortunately for me I don’t have a championship next year so that will make my schedule a bit less demanding, and I can also make an easier programme for the horses. Other than that, I will be focusing on the Global Champions Tour.

It’s going to be interesting to see which riders perform well this season, and which make it to the Final. Christian (Ahlmann) had a great start and I expect him to be joined by a pretty big German contingent in Leipzig. Christian’s a great rider with a fabulous horse. I’m very happy for him as he’s had a lot of tough times with the FEI, so it’s great to see someone like that coming back on to the scene.

Overall, this season is going to be quite different compared to 2009/2010 in the way that I approach it and the number of competitions that I take part in. I have these two new eight-year-olds (Ciske and Kisby) and some horses that have had a good season who are turning nine soon, so I hope to have a really strong team next year. This season will give me valuable time to prepare all of my younger horses for next season rather than purely focusing on competitions with Itot and Socrates.

Edwina Alexander, Olympic and World Equestrian Games Jumper, is a friend of Rolex.

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