Cevo Itot du Chateau, one of the true legends of modern showjumping, is to retire after a stunning career at the top of the sport. Edwina Tops-Alexander today announced that her world-famous chestnut gelding, a "once-in-a-lifetime horse", will go into official retirement in July with an impressive haul of championship victories to his name.
Itot, affectionately known as "Toti", was bought by Edwina's husband Jan Tops, President of the Longines Global Champions Tour, in 2007, and the formidable combination has been a fixture at the top of the world ranking for several years.
Edwina said: "Itot is a once-in-a-lifetime horse, and I feel privileged to have ridden and competed with him all these years. We will have a special ceremony at the Global Champions Tour event in Paris on Sunday 6th July, after the Gucci Gold Cup, for the public to say goodbye to Itot."
Edwina continued: "From day one I always had a very positive feeling with Itot, but I never would have believed we would have so much success together. He is a rare animal with amazing qualities of stamina and agility, and a horse who never gives up. He has all the ingredients of a special athlete. I have been extremely fortunate to have a horse like that, and the right training and management from Jan gave us the opportunities to go so far."
Itot has performed at the top level of show jumping with Edwina for six years, making history by winning the final of the Global Champions Tour in 2011 and 2012, together with many other Grand Prix and World Cup wins. The pair have together accumulated earnings of over €3 million in prize money. Itot also competed in two Olympic Games and the World Championships in 2010.
French-bred Itot, now aged 18, captured the hearts of equestrian fans worldwide and is hugely respected for his unique athletic ability in the competition arena despite his diminutive 1.57m height.
Jan Tops said: "There are only a very few times in a career in equestrian sport that you will see a horse like Itot. Two of the most successful years of his life were when he was 15 and 16 years old."
Itot's extraordinary life has taken many twists and turns - aged only three, he was injured in a terrible car accident when he jumped out of his field in France and he still bears the scars today. But Itot's indomitable spirit and courage in the competition arena has won him fans all over the world.
"(Itot) is a rare animal with amazing qualities of stamina and agility, and a horse who never gives up," Edwina Tops-Alexander.
Source: Press release from Longines Global Champions Tour.
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