Edwina Tops-Alexander’s multi-tasking

 

edwina -gucci-201011

 

Busy 

 

rider

 

Always on the go somewhere, Edwina Alexander-Tops is one of the busiest riders on the show jumping circuit – whether it is travelling to shows every weekend or representing luxury brands as an ambassador and designer. We had a chat with Edwina in between classes at the Helsinki Horse Show.

 

By Camilla Alfthan, images courtesy of Gucci, Pascal Renauldon and Edwina Tops-Alexander

 

 

We see you every weekend at different shows around the globe. How do you keep up ?

 

It’s hard. You have to be pretty organized with everything at home. It’s a little bit of a pattern that you get into; a routine, and you just get used to it. What keeps you going is having good results. I have some interesting horses coming up and I love a challenge and that’s probably what keeps most people motivated.

Since I’ve been doing the sport at a high level – which has been more than eight – ten years now – and travelling a lot – it’s got more and more. Last year I counted that I did 46 shows in the year. They used to have a period when January was not so much and you’d start the second week of February but now it starts straight away. I have from now and until March every weekend a competition.

 

How did it get to be like that?

 

The problem is the way the ranking system works; it kind of pushes you to have as much as possible eventhough they say they’ll have the best 30 results.

There’s so many riders now, and so many who want to be in the top, which is great, but there’s a lot of shows and it’s not just hard on the riders but also you need enough horses to rotate, you need enough people to be there and not get too tired because they travel all the time.You need good grooms and you need good support behind you, good people at home. I have ten horses and two riders, two grooms and one on the road and one helping in the office, so six people, not including Jan, to manage and be on top of things when I’m not there.

 

You’re also involved in fashion.

 

I like it, I’m someone who gets bored very easily so I like to keep going, and I have Gucci and also Jaeger-LeCoultre and interviews and photo shoots, functions and dinners, I have to do for them, which is quite nice because I meet a completely different world of people.

 

I love fashion and being involved with Gucci, I’ve been busy putting together a new equestrian collection. We did the last collection three years ago and I’ve just done an update for a whole new collection that I should have in the next month or so, just for me.

I went a few times to Rome and just looking at all the technical materials and understanding it.

They haven’t had much experience in the sports side of it so it was nice to have a good mix of my knowledge of what kind of clothing we need relative to the fashion world. I went to the opening of Gucci museum a few years ago in Florence where they showed their history with horses etc.  It’s changed a lot and its gonna keep changing. Frida rides and understands it very well.

 

“I love fashion and being involved with Gucci and I’ve been busy putting together a new equestrian collection.”

 

There’s more fashion now in the sport.The materials that we use now are a lot different. I think its good to still keep the classic look that we have with the riding jacket but it’s also time to have a little bit change. Some brands have gone one way, with a little bit too many sparkly things but I guess that’s just a matter of personal taste

 

So basically, you’re designing things you can wear in and off the saddle.

 

Yes, there’s a casual look to it. I think it’s opened up a lot of doors from outside which is really what our sport needs; we need people to want to understand more about our sport. There’s a lot of celebrities riding, Jeniffer Gates, Charlotte Casiraghi, Jessica Springsteen, which brings a lot of different media attention. I know from my side I do more fashion magazines. People are not going out to buy a horse magazine, to read about fashion, so it’s a limited world within the horse world and it’s great to bring that attention.

 

It’s amazing that there’s so many people outside somehow related to horses, they’ve ridden before or they’ve got a friend that rides or a friend that breeds, or someone who owns race horses. There’s always a connection, and I’ve come across that so often which I think is why our sport is huge and it reaches out to so many different people. People in general love horses and if you see a lot of the big brands there’s in some way a connection with horses.

 

With Guccio

 

 

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