Edwina Tops Alexander
Has anyone else noticed a dearth of female presence among the top rankings of international show jumping this year? We got through most (if not all) of 2017 without seeing a female rider in the top ten of the Longines FEI World Rankings . Because of that, this year’s Rolex IJRC Top Ten Final held just over a week ago in Geneva, Switzerland featured an all male lineup.
Equestrian is generally a sport that levels the playing field among genders, and so it’s difficult to pinpoint exactly why the ladies haven’t ranked high this year; they have talented horses, show frequently and place well. The supposed or real gender gap of male to female riders is a topic I delved deeply into earlier this year, when I wrote the cover story of the Spring 2017 issue for Noelle Floyd Magazine.
Whether we can identify why male riders have excelled in the 2017 rankings or not, we’re talking about it.
Which means that there’s double the reason to spotlight the achievement of Edwina Tops Alexander, who just topped the list of the Western European League World Cup Rankings after the most recent leg at London Olympia. After a spectacular World Cup Jumping Win in La Coruna, Spain last week, and a top placing on Saturday at Olympia, Tops Alexander is in first place on a list that is flush with male riders, all the way down to 27th place, where Emily Moffitt is the next highest female name.
In true girl power fashion, Tops Alexander has returned to the sport after going on hiatus last year to give birth to her first child, a five month old daughter named Chloe.
The Western European League’s qualifying season is already more than halfway over and Tops Alexander’s lead is slim (she’s on equal points with France’s Kevin Staut). But the Australian rider is well-known for her determination, and as she juggles new motherhood with new classes to win at the top of the sport, she is to be saluted for so swiftly regaining her status as one of the world’s very best female riders.