Favourite withdrawn from Kentucky after incident at home: ‘Timing is everything’

  • Mai Baum has been withdrawn from this week’s Defender Kentucky Three-Day Event, having been the favourite to win the Cosequin Lexington CCI4*-S.

    Tamie Smith and Mai Baum (known at home as Lexus) won the five-star at Kentucky last year and, like many US Olympic hopefuls, were set to contest the CCI4*-S this time.

    “Sadly, Mai Baum will be sitting out this Kentucky and resting up for an exciting summer,” said Tamie, alluding to her hopes of taking the 18-year-old star to Paris 2024.

    “They say timing is everything and while I was away competing some of my other horses last weekend, Lexus was a bit wild and feeling exuberant and pulled away from his handler and tweaked himself. He wasn’t a 100 percent in time to make the trip across the country to Kentucky and we have elected to withdraw him.

    “It can be difficult to withdraw your horse from a key competition, especially leading up to this summer, however, this decision is in his long-term best interest and the one thing we’ve never wavered from is our commitment not to compromise the wellbeing of any horse.

    “I look forward to seeing everyone in the Blue Grass state; and, although I know Lexus will certainly miss seeing all of his fans, he has been given strict orders to behave himself until I return home.”

    World team silver medallist Mai Baum belongs to his former rider Alexandra Ahearn, who was a working pupil with Tamie, and her parents Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell. If he is selected for the US team for the Olympics he will start as one of the favourites there and is likely to be up among the leaders from the first phase as he is particularly strong in the dressage.

    Despite withdrawing Mai Baum from Kentucky Three-Day Event, Tamie is “excited for a great week ahead with the young guns” – she still has Ruth Bley’s Maryland 5 Star 2022 runner-up Danito and the syndicate-owned Kynan in the CCI4*-S.

    Tamie does not have a ride in the CCI5*, in which the leading Brits – Tom McEwen on JL Dublin, Yasmin Ingham and Banzai Du Loir and Oliver Townend with Cooley Rosalent – are considered the favourites.

    Enjoy the best of Kentucky with Horse & Hound

    To ensure you keep up to date with all the breaking news, behind the scenes insight, and the best of the action throughout Kentucky Three-Day Event with no limits on how much you can read, subscribe to the Horse & Hound website from £1 a week in the UK or less than $2 a week in the US. Sign up now. And don’t miss our Kentucky Three-Day Event magazine report in the issue of Horse & Hound dated 3 May.

    You may also be interested in:

    You may like...