• Catie Staszak

For Edwina Tops-Alexander, Life’s a Beach in Miami


Edwina Tops-Alexander at LGCT Miami. Photo by LGCT/Stefano Grasso


After a long winter season, a trip to the beach makes for a nice holiday. At least, that’s got to be part of the reason why—by popular demand—the Longines Global Champions Tour of Miami Beach is back on the show jumping calendar after two years of cancellations.


There is nothing quite like the atmosphere at this most unique competition, where athletes compete on Miami Beach, just steps from the 1 Hotel South Beach. An arena with sand-colored footing is constructed a few feet from the ocean and its beachgoers, who—dressed in swim trunks and bikinis—clamor over the edge of the arena railing. The show announcer is often drowned out by crashing waves and blasting stereos, with sailboats, aerial advertising banners and parasails in view.


The LGCT Miami venue. Photo by LGCT/Stefano Grasso


Let's just say, this is not the ideal venue for an inexperienced or particularly sensitive horse or rider. But it sure is special, especially for Edwina Tops-Alexander (AUS).


Tops-Alexander has won the Longines Global Champions Tour Grand Prix of Miami Beach in two of the event’s five years of existence. In between her wins in 2016 and 2018, she managed to give birth to her first child, Chloe, in 2017.


When looking at the numbers more closely, a trend is immediately evident: Tops-Alexander is clutch when it counts in South Beach. Her average placing across all horses and classes in Miami has never been in single digits. However, she averages just 5 faults, and her win percentage in the main event is 40%—unheard of in the sport. Her average placing in the LGCT Grand Prix of Miami Beach is 9 (averaging 3 faults). In fact, she’s only once placed outside the top five in this particular class. That suggests nerves of steel.


LGCT Miami is the second event of the 2022 Longines Global Champions Tour season. No one should be happier for this series of five-star shows to be back than Ben Maher (GBR), who claimed the overall title in both 2018 and 2019. Maher’s record at LGCT events is nothing short of astounding. Since 2018, Maher has averaged just 3 faults in CSI5* LGCT competition—2 in 2018 and 2021. In 2018, 2019 and 2021 (The LGCT season was cancelled in 2020 due to COVID-19), he never averaged a finish position below 10 in 1.60m competition. It’s no surprise that his Olympic Champion Explosion W gave him his career-best averages. In 2019, Maher and Explosion averaged a finish position of 7 and just 1 fault in LGCT competition.


Of course, a slew of Americans will return to the beach in 2022. The numbers suggest Kent Farrington is coming with the right horsepower. Among his group is the accomplished Creedance, who knows this venue well. The fiery chestnut gelding has averaged just 3 faults in his career on the beach.


Make your fantasy selections for all the events at LGCT Miami 2022 before the star of each class at Prixview.com/fantasy.