Tops-Alexander takes 3rd place in the electrifying opening leg in Oslo
|Tops-Alexander takes 3rd place in the electrifying opening leg in Oslo - 17th Oct 2017|
Tops-Alexander takes 3rd place in the electrifying opening leg in Oslo|
Germany's Daniel Deusser and the unusually-coloured gelding Cornet produced a spectacular winning round at the first leg of the Longines FEI World Cup Jumping 2017/2018 Western European League in Oslo, Norway this weekend. Second-last to go in the seven-horse jump-off, the pair pinned Rio Olympic team gold medallist Kevin Staut from France into runner-up spot with For Joy van't Zorgvliet HDC while Australian wonder-woman, Edwina Tops-Alexander, clinched third with the mare California, just 11 weeks after giving birth to her baby daughter, Chloe.
Edwina is thrilled with her comeback in the saddle and explains how she has managed to climb back to competing at the top level so quickly ;
"Time has gone by so fast that it doesn't even feel like I had 5 months off riding."
"I think I'm very lucky that I kept up my fitness during the pregnancy. I think knowing your body is very important and although I was riding after 4 weeks it didn't feel too soon."
"I was walking a lot directly after the birth and I think that this combination really got me back in the saddle quickly."
"I'm very happy to be riding again especially at this level. I'm still a bit rusty at times but I'm staying positive and focused. I'm loving motherhood and I don't feel any difference with my riding from before or after having Chloe," she said.
Edwina's next stop is the Verona World Cup.
The move from outdoor shows to the confinement of an indoor arena for the first time this season tested reflexes, control and accuracy, and even some of the biggest star partnerships of the past summer found it difficult to leave all the timber intact over the 13-fence first-round track designed by Britain's Bob Ellis.
It was Tops-Alexander who set the early target in the jump-off with her fiery 10-year-old mare that was formerly competed by Egypt's Abdel Said when galloping through the timers in 38.22 seconds, and recently-crowned individual European champion, Sweden's Peder Fredricson, was just 0.2 seconds shy of that with H&M Christian K when fourth to go.
Kevin Staut blew the competition wide open however with a breath-taking run from his 12-year-old gelding, putting his foot on the accelerator from the very start and racing through the finish in 36.96 seconds to really raise the bar. He thought he'd done a pretty good job. "I had a plan, and I wasn't expecting anyone to be faster!", said Staut.
But Deusser also had a strategy, and his worked out even better. "I didn't see Kevin go, but I did see the first two (Douglas Lindelow SWE and Mark McAuley IRL) and I realised it would be easy to get too deep to the second-last. I thought maybe if I just stayed in the same canter stride I might get a better jump there and then really go for it to the last". And that was exactly how he clinched it, with a flowing run and a super-fast finish in 36.83 seconds that couldn't be bettered by last man in, Ireland's Bertram Allen, who faulted at the penultimate oxer.
Article courtesy of Equestrian Australia