Tamra Smith, of Temecula, California, is prepping to make the big trek East for her first trip around the prestigious Rolex Kentucky CCI4* course with her seasoned partner Chaos Theory. Smith and the talented gelding are looking forward to the challenging course in Kentucky, and after a third place finish in the Advanced division at Twin Rivers (CA) last month, the pair seems more than ready for a successful event. Read more Smith, her horses, and some of her best competition experiences.
(Left: Tamra & Chaos Theory competing at last year’s Jersey Fresh CCI3*. Emily Daily photo.)
1. How did you first get involved in eventing?
I started with a local event trainer named Kim Schied.
2. How long have you been riding for?
I’ve been taking riding lessons since I was 8 years old.
3. Tell me a little more about your competition horses (age, breed, experience, etc.). Do they have any funny personality traits?
Chaos Theory "Buzz" is an 18-year-old Thoroughbred gelding. I have been competing him at the advanced level for 2 years now. He and I were Reserve Horse and Rider of the year in Area VI. He is the sweetest horse I have ever known. He tries very hard to please and takes sometime to trust new people. Michelle Hughes (who grooms and rides for me) has a very strategic plan in handling Buzz. Its almost like he’s the "boss" that everyone tip toes around but once you get to know him he’s the kindest soul you would ever meet.
Miss Congeniality "Genie" or "The Red Head" is a 6-year-old Irish Sport, chestnut mare. That explains EVERYTHING! She is very talented and sometimes suckers us into thinking she’s a princess without us even knowing it. Of course we realize it and get her to come back to reality as fast as possible. She just moved up to Training level, but preliminary is just around the corner.
(Right: Smith & "Buzz" jumped cleanly around the challenging Jersey Fresh CCI3* course last spring. Emily Daily photo.)
4. What has been you favorite competition memory this far?
Running the 3* track that Ian Stark designed at Galway Downs. I had the ride of my life.
5. What has been your most embarrassing equestrian moment?
Having a memory fade in show jump at Fair Hill CCI3*
6. If you could liken Chaos Theory to any celebrity, who would it be and why?
Mickey Rourke. Buzz ran advanced before I started riding him and then took some time off. I bought him from some good friends of mine Cary & Jessica Burch and now Buzz is getting his second chance to be great.
7. You are aiming at competing at Rolex in April. Will this be your first trip there? What are you most excited and nervous about?
Yes! It will be my first trip to Rolex. The most exciting thing about riding at Rolex is to be able to run and jump the cross country course. So far I’m not nervous but we will see what happens once I get there.
8. What would be your dream vacation and why?
To buy a yacht for my husband as he loves the ocean and he has sacrificed a lot for my riding career. But that will have to wait another 30 years. Hahaha!
9. If you weren’t an equestrian, what kind of job would you like to have?
I can’t imagine doing anything else, but I think I would be a Child Psychiatrist. Before I started riding full time I worked in the behavioral health field and saw a lot of children from broken homes that could use someone who cared.
10. What is the best advice you’ve ever been given?
The best advise I’ve been given is, “Always make time for your family and friends!” It’s very hard in this industry not to get caught up in the everyday long tireless hours and quite often I think we forget what’s really important. Our family and friends!