Jul 20, 2021

Tokyo Team Member: Traveling Reserve, Tamie Smith and Mai Baum

By Claire Kelley - USEA Staff
Erin Gilmore Photo

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum are on the road to Tokyo! Smith and Mai Baum were first named as the first team alternate but, due to Elisabeth Halliday-Sharp and Deniro Z sadly withdrawing from the team, the pair are now going into Tokyo as the traveling reserve for the U.S. Eventing Olympic team.

The USEA Rebecca Broussard International Developing Rider Grant 2015 recipient, Tamie Smith, will be riding Mai Baum (Loredano x Ramira), a 15-year-old German Sport Horse gelding bred by Sachsische Gestutsuer Waltung and owned by Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell. Mai Baum is also a graduate of the USEA Young Event Horse (YEH) Program and graduated as a 5-year-old from the class of 2011.

USEA Photo

Smith was at home in bed when she got the early morning wake-up call that she was going to Tokyo. Get to know more about her and the horse she’ll be riding from Smith herself.

  • Who was the first to tell you that you made the team as the traveling reserve?

“Erik Duvander.”

  • Where were you when you heard the news that you made the team?

“Asleep at home in California - it was 4:15 a.m. - [I’ve] never loved a morning wakeup call that much in my life.”

  • Who will be coming with you to Tokyo?

“Ellen and Alex Ahearn, owners of Mai Baum, and my long-time groom, Bridget London.”

  • Do you have any lucky items (lucky socks, lucky hat, etc.) that you are bringing with you to Tokyo?

“I have a ladybug [that] Dylan gave a group of us before he passed that I keep with me all the time. I've had it since right before 2015, Fair Hill. And Cathy (my BFF's mom and my pretend mom) gave me some angel earrings. I'm not very superstitious, but I do use my lucky whip where ever I go. I wear my watch always on my left wrist and my bracelets on my right. Not sure why, but it has to be that way before I get on.”

  • If you were to compete in any other Olympic sport, what would it be?

“Downhill ski racing - Lindsey Vaughn is an incredible athlete who has gone through so much adversity to achieve what she has achieved.”

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum at the 2019 PanAm Games. Erin Gilmore Photo
  • Can you share a little about what Mai Baum is like around the barn?

“Lexus is a diva 100 percent. Someone asked if he could be described as any person, and we decided, the Queen of England. He is very polite, has many staff who look after him, and always looks proper and is tougher than everyone thinks.”

    • Personality type (introvert vs. extrovert)?

“Me or Lexus lol - extrovert.”

    • Likes and dislikes?

“He hates sprays and hates clippers. He gets worse every time we have to do his tail or bridle path. He lets me usually but, sometimes there is no way unless we drug him.”

    • Favorite treat?

“Kelsee's cookies - they are sugar-free, and we've been watching our figure the last few months.”

    • Favorite phase in eventing?

“Cross-country through and through!!”

  • Is there anything else you’d like to add?

“I'm sitting on the plane to go meet up with the rest of the crew in Newark, New Jersey, to fly to Germany, and all I can think is what an incredible honor it is to be part of this group headed to Tokyo. It will be a unique Olympics with the new format. To be ready to compete at any second during the competition adds an entirely different element to competing and one that will require extreme focus. But, I'm pretty chill when I compete, and Lexus is very trained, and I know we are ready to make everyone proud.”

Tamie Smith and Mai Baum, winners of the 2018 Advanced Final. USEA Photo

This will be both Smith and Mai Baum’s first Olympic appearance, but their path to Tokyo has been filled with victories. Since 2015, they have won 16 events, including the Adequan USEA Advanced Final in 2018, the CCI4*-L at Twin Rivers in 2019, and the Advanced division at Rebecca Farm in 2020. They were also members of the gold medal U.S. Eventing team at the 2019 Pan American Games. They recently finished ninth at the 2021 Land Rover Kentucky Three-Day Event CCI5*-L.

The USEA wishes this pair and the rest of the team the best of luck in Tokyo! Stay tuned for the three remaining team member features.

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