AUS leading Global Champions Tour
Australia's first lady of Jumping, Edwina Alexander, won the Global Champions Tour (GCT) Grand Prix of the Netherlands on Sunday.
It was the last GCT competition before the final in Doha and the win has elevated Edwina to the top of the leaderboard. In 2nd place is Germany's Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and Patrick McEntee (BEL) is the best of the gents in 3rd place.
Riding the tiny gelding Isovlas Itot du Chateau Edwina was faultless in both rounds of the class and rode a blistering time in the jump-off, earning herself the winner's purse of €95,000. Meredith Michaels-Beerbaum and the amazing mare Shutterfly were also clear of jumping faults but just slower than Edwina to finish as runners-up.
At first it seemed that Course Designer Uliano Vezzani may have been too ambitious as the first 5 riders retired on course. Despite the challenging track there were still 14 clear rounds that made it through to the second round. Seven combinations jumped a second clear round and got into the jump-off.
Edwina's horse, which can barely see over the jumps, made almost impossible turns to be four-tenths of a second faster than Meredith, but Olympic Champion Eric Lamaze (CAN) was still to jump. However. he could not match her time and the victory went to the petite Australian.
"Last time in Rio, I knew I made a mistake but I was faster than Eric, I was just hoping the same would happen today. It might have looked easy but the courses were tough and Uliano is a genius, for building such an amazing course," said Edwina.
Almost a local win for the crowd as Edwina is resident with her partner and trainer Jan Tops at the show's venue Valkensward.
The final in Doha will be held from 11-15 November.
For full results please see www.globalchampionstour.com