June 18, 2024


Day With badminton

Tamie Smith on Badminton ride Mai Baum, a ‘weird wiggly worm’ of a horse

5 min read
  • If you are an eventing lover in Britain, you can be forgiven if you have never read of Tamie Smith and Mai Baum. But in 7 weeks’ time, you will have – for the reason that I reckon they could be our Badminton Horse Trials dressage leaders.

    US pair Tamie and “Lexus”, as he’s regarded at home, have an incredible report in the 1st period – they’ve scored in the 20s for each intercontinental exam they’ve finished given that 2018 and on eight of all those 11 starts off, have scored down below 25. Their personal best is a 20.4 at Tryon CCI4*-S last spring and they went on to land a 21.8 to sit next just after the initial stage at the 2021 Kentucky A few-Working day Celebration.


    It was a person of my couple disappointments of the Tokyo Olympics that I didn’t get to see Tamie and Lexus in fact do their dressage exam, because they were being the alternate pair for the US squad. But just seeing the gorgeous black horse in the arena familiarisation session designed my heart defeat a minimal more rapidly. I just cannot hold out to share that encounter with a lot more eventing fans at Badminton this spring.

    Tamie Smith and Mai Baum in the arena familiarisation session at the Tokyo Olympics

    Tamie Smith and Mai Baum in the arena familiarisation session at the Tokyo Olympics. Credit score: Peter Nixon

    Tamie claims Lexus – who belongs to Tamie’s previous doing work scholar Alexandra Ahearn and her mothers and fathers Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell – is actually a lot more complicated than he appears on the flat.

    “He’s like a worm – he’s so wiggly and all above the area,” she tells H&H. “It requires pretty a bit to get him all the way through. He does not have the greatest do the job ethic on the flat and I’m blessed he is so flash – it helps me in that when he tends to make a error, he however will get a relatively significant rating.

    “And he’s such a showman. He has this kind of an ability to acquire his stress and anxiety and exhibit nerves and set it to the correct put when he goes into the ring.

    “Right right before his Kentucky exam is most likely the most nervous and tense I have at any time felt him. I considered, ‘He is familiar with this is a big deal’. He wouldn’t halt or rein-again, he was working sideways out of the arena or I’d go to halt and he’d piaffe. For the initially time in 6 a long time of driving him, he created me nervous due to the fact I thought he was heading to lose it.

    “Then he went in the ring and nailed it. He understands when it counts, when it is his time to glow. Certainly it will help that he’s attractive and his motion in all three gaits is unbelievable.

    “He’s a bizarre horse to trip on the flat, really he’s a bizarre horse to journey all about! He can be potent, he can spook at a leap a person time and not the subsequent. A great deal of men and women imagine due to the fact he’s been so reliable throughout his profession, he’s an straightforward variety, but he’s quirky. All the very best types are.”

    Tamie Smith: learning classes from Kentucky

    At Kentucky, Lexus broke a frangible pin late on the cross-country training course, heading into the rail-ditch-arrowhead elaborate, and concluded ninth.

    “That will consume me alive my complete lifestyle until finally I’m in my grave. It was a incredibly expensive error on all fronts,” says Tamie, acknowledging the error almost certainly led to her becoming the alternate in Tokyo as a substitute of becoming on the group, as effectively as costing her a five-star acquire.

    “I relied on his carefulness. I realized I was down on the clock, probably 10 seconds down, and two minutes from home it’s not straightforward to make up that time. I took a bit of a chance recognizing he’s thorough and didn’t get him back again sufficient.

    “I learnt a tonne from it. At 1st I was like, ‘This frangible pin stuff is absurd, it’s not fair, we have to have to improve the principles.’ Then I reassessed and looked again and explained, ‘I just require to experience better. It’s our sport, it’s for safety and we have to accept that. Just really do not journey like that and you will not have a frangible pin next time.’ Now, I trip that sort of fence extremely in a different way.”

    Lexus will stick to a similar route to Badminton as the just one he trod to Kentucky previous calendar year – he has now competed at an state-of-the-art intermediate and now he will do the dressage and showjumping at Carolina Intercontinental and then the whole levels of competition at Tryon CCI4*-S.

    He will travel around to Britain the week right before Badminton, in the course of Kentucky, accompanied by Tamie’s pal Avery Klunick, who is primarily based in Britain with Australian Olympic medallist Kevin McNab. Tamie and her groom Stefanie Hatten will join him just after Kentucky is over as she has other rides there.

    Can Tamie Smith and Lexus best the field in the Badminton Horse Trials dressage period? Or can one of our British pairs pip them to the top location at the close of dressage on Friday 6 May? And what comes about soon after that? I can not wait to locate out.

    You may possibly also be intrigued in:

    Piggy March talks about her journey with the talented but superior routine maintenance mare Vanir Kamira with whom she gained Badminton

    Georgie Spence remembers her encounters in the develop-up to her to start with Badminton and how ‘that naive streak of lean again

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