Edwina Tops-Alexander (born March 29, 1974, in Sydney, Australia), is Australia's leading show jumper and one of the highest ranked female riders in the world.
Born on March 29th, 1974, Edwina Top-Alexander’s interest in equestrianism began in her hometown of Sydney, Australia, at the age of eight. Thanks mainly due to her neighbours owning a barn, seeing them ride at the weekend stimulated a young Edwina’s interest in the sport.
From a grounded background, Edwina has gone on to become not only the most decorated Australian female equestrian athlete of all time but one of the highest-ranking female riders in the world - with millions of Euros in prizes earned throughout her lengthy and impressive career.
Starting her competition career in her native Australia, it was clear that Edwina was destined for great things from her first foray into the sport.
As a youngster, Edwina went through a familiar rite of passage that many young riders have experiencer - joining her local Pony Club; she ultimately went on to win the coveted Australian Young Rider Championship in 1995.
Edwina credits her parents for always supporting and believing in her riding and for giving her every opportunity to further her career. They instilled strong work ethics and values in life which Edwina believes is one of the reasons that have given her the strength to go further. Growing up in the North Shore in Sydney, Edwina’s parents sent her to a strict private school called Pymble Ladies College which instilled a solid education for Edwina’s future.
Moving Halfway Around The World
In 1998, only three years after winning the highest honours available to a young Australian rider, Edwina decided to move halfway around the world in order to further her career and open up the opportunity to compete against more world-class riders.
Upon landing in Europe, she hit the ground running, working and competing for the Belgian rider Ludo Phillippaerts for several years before branching out on her own.
Olympic and WEG Success
Moving to Europe was clearly a good move for Edwina, as she has since gone on to have incredible success, representing Australia in the Olympics on three occasions, in Hong Kong in 2008, London in 2012, and Rio de Janeiro in 2016 - with two top ten placings.
She was the first Australian not only to qualify for the Final of the World Equestrian Games in 2006, she also won the semifinal, and while that would be impressive enough in itself - she then went on to finish in 4th place, proving that her belief that everything is possible as long as you keep believing in yourself will ring true - as long as you put the work in it.
Global Champions Tour
Competing in the Global Champions Tour (LGCT) since its inception back in 2006, Edwina has won the overall ranking in both 2011 and 2012.
She was the first rider to win over €1 million in prize money on the LGCT circuit, and in 2018 won the first-ever Super Grand Prix worth over €2 million in prize money.
Edwina has consistently competed at some of the most significant events in the world, with just some of her career highlights including:
- 2002 WEG Jerez.
- 2006 WEG Aachen 4th place
- 2008 Hong Kong Olympics Individual Top 10
- 2010 WEG Kentucky
- 2011 Global Champions Tour Overall Winner
- 2012 London Olympics, Global Champions Tour Overall Winner
- 2014 WEG, Global Champions Tour first rider to earn over €1 million in prizes
- 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics Individual Top 10
- 2018 Global Champions Tour Super Grand Prix Champion of Champions
Balancing Motherhood and Career Success
In 2017 Edwina announced her pregnancy in style... immediately after winning one of the most challenging Grand Prix events in the world - the Saut Hermès. A mere five months afterward, she was back in the saddle; competing and winning at the top level once again!
Mindset and Work Ethic
Edwina has won over 25 five star Grand Prix and World Cups throughout her career which has led to her becoming one of the best known equestrian athletes in the world, but she never rests on her laurels - she works hard to stay at the top of her game.
What differentiates your average sportsperson from a champion? Edwina believes that her success comes down to having the right mindset, having a good upbringing, and having a strong support system.
In fact, Edwina has openly said that her husband, the renowned Jan Tops is not only her biggest supporter but influence for her career too. (Partners since 2002, and married in 2011.)
Taking Social Media By Storm
However, it’s not just the show circuit that Edwina is dominating! As such an active face in the world of equestrianism, she has built an incredibly strong following on social media with nearly 300,000 followers. ( 127k Instagram, 171k Facebook)
Perhaps it’s her sense of style, down to earth posts, or obvious passion for the sport that has led her to become one of the best known equestrian influencers. Either way, she clearly hasn’t let it go to her head, and she’s the same hard-working equestrian athlete that existed before Instagram!
Collaborations and Sponsorships
As a world-class competitor and influencer, Edwina understands that working with select brands that align with her style, mindset, and values not only help her but help the sport as a whole by bringing a brighter spotlight to equestrianism.
She’s the current face Equestrian face of the fashion brand Loro Piana, and her other sponsors include Red Mills, Lamicell, Amerigo, and Parlanti! She has also previously worked with Gucci, Equifit Inc, Jaeger LeCoultre, and Adidas.
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