Olympic show jumper Edwina Tops-Alexander has launched the ITOT Foundation today. Inspired by her beloved horse Itot du Chateau’s bravery and warrior spirit after he overcame a life-changing accident to go on and become one of the world’s greatest show jumping horses, the Foundation supports projects offering equine therapy for children and adults with mental and physical disabilities. Through this support the ITOT Foundation aims to make horse therapy available to the greatest number of people and to raise awareness of its beneficial impact throughout the world.
Press release ITOT Foundation. Photos Sofie Van Overloop
With the ITOT Foundation coming to life after years of planning, Edwina Tops-Alexander explained: “My dream is that through the ITOT Foundation we can all support the incredible work that can be achieved through the power of horse therapy to help adults and children overcome their disabilities and live more fulfilling lives. The therapeutic benefits of simply being around horses are amazing and when experienced by people of all ages with physical or mental impairments the outcomes are life changing.”
TOTI Equestrian, the fine jewellery range also developed by Edwina, will donate 2% of all sales revenue to the newly formed ITOT Foundation. The brain child of Edwina Tops-Alexander, she explained: “It is important to me to give back, so I also decided to create the ITOT Foundation, honoring Itot’s resilience and helping people with disabilities through equine therapy. Horses are powerful healers and the foundation will fund projects that use the power of equine therapy.”
One of the projects already well underway for the ITOT Foundation is supporting the Sint Oda equine therapy centre. The simple act of stroking a horse and just being around a horse can have transformative effects on vulnerable people facing overwhelming challenges in their lives. These connections with a horse in a controlled environment under the supervision of experts help develop self-esteem, improve concentration and attention and empathy and can simply make a disabled child smile and feel a sense of fun.