Spotlight On: Famous Show Jumping Riders

Show Jumping

When you’re struggling to perfect a particular skill and suffer from flagging spirits, it helps to look to those who have inspired generations with their awe-inspiring triumphs. Famous equestrians didn’t get to be where they are now based solely off of pure luck; it takes a lot of hard work, training, passion and dedication to make it to the top. would like to present the second in a series of profiles of well-respected and famous riders; today’s spotlight on some of the top show jumping equestrians of the last couple years.



Background & Personal Life

Elizabeth “Beezie” Madden is an American show jumper who was born on November 30, 1963 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She began riding horses at the age of three with her horse named Flicka. She now resides in Cazenovia, New York with her husband and coach John Madden.

Why She’s Awesome

Elizabeth is perhaps best known for her longstanding and successful career as a show jumper. She made her debut in 1985 at the Grand Prix (show jumping’s highest competition level) at age 22, which is quite a start. She rode in the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, where she helped win the gold in team jumping. What’s more, in the same year, Elizabeth became the first woman to pass the $1 million mark in earnings from show jumping competition.

In the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, she once again helped the team earn the gold while securing a bronze medal in the individual jumping competition. She also returned in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where she rode well but did not place. However, 2013 was a respectable year for the equestrian, as she won countless championships and was ranked the 4th best rider in the world on the Longines Rider Rankings list. It should be no surprise that Elizabeth continues to ride and place well in competitions to this day.



Background & Personal Life

Scott Brash is a Scottish show jumper who was born on December 5, 1985 in Peebleshire, Scotland. At seven years old, he started riding his own pony and began show jumping in the Pony Club at age 10. He improved steadily as he aged, but Scott’s big break came when his sporting benefactors presented him with the horse Hello Sanctos; no one could predict how magnificent a pair the two of them would make.

Why He’s Awesome

For being so young, Scott has accomplished a lot. Shortly after he started riding with Hello Sanctos, he was invited to be on the British Show Jumping team in the 2012 Summer Olympics at London; he helped lead the team to gold, and came in 5th for the individual competition. A few months prior to the 2012 Olympics, Brash won the World Cup Grand Prix in Florida.

In 2013, Scott became the youngest person to ever win the Global Champions Tour, and was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire for services to equestrianism. In 2014 he was ranked as the number one best show jumper in the Longines World Ranking list. Clearly, there’s no telling just how bright the future is for this fresh equestrian.



Background & Personal Life

Edwina Tops-Alexander is an Australian show jumper who was born on March 29, 1974 in Sydney, Australia. She currently uses the Netherlands as her home for most of year, where she lives with her husband and former coach Jan Tops. She first came to the equestrian community’s attention when she triumphed at the Australian Young Rider Championships in 1995. Since then, Edwina has also captured the attention of many luxury brands that have chosen to endorse her, including Gucci, Connolly’s RED MILLS and Jaeger-LeCoultre.

Why She’s Awesome

In 2006, Edwina became the first Australian rider to qualify for the final in the World Championships in Aachen, where she finished in fourth place despite entering ranked as only the 35th best jumper. She was chosen to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing, where she finished 9th in the individual and 7th in the team for Australia. She was also chosen to compete in the 2012 Summer Olympics for Australia, where she rode ‘Itot Du Chateau’. Furthermore, Edwina was the first rider to win a total of one million euros prize money when she placed first in the Global Champions Tour in 2011 and 2012.


Show jumping is considered by many to be amongst the exciting of the English disciplines and tends to draw crowds of spectators who watch with bated breath. Perhaps after reading about some of these famous equestrians, you’ll be inspired to purchase your own close contact saddle from brands like Collegiate and Henri de Rivel, and starting leaping over jumps yourself.

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