Tamie Smith

Tamie Smith (full name Tamra) is a US event rider who has been placed at five-star level and won medals at the Pan American Games.

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.

What age is Tamie Smith?

Tamie’s date of birth is 23 July 1974.

What championships has Tamie ridden at?

Tamie was a late-starter in the world of eventing and didn’t compete internationally or at advanced level until she was 30.

She was a member of the gold medal-winning US team at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima, Peru, where she finished 17th individually with Mai Baum.

The horse belongs to Tamie’s former working student Alexandra Ahearn and her parents Ellen Ahearn and Eric Markell. Alexandra asked Tamie to take on the ride when she decided to concentrate on her studies after producing him to three-star level.

“She took me to dinner one night and said, ‘I have something I want to tell you – I think you’re going to like it’ and the rest is history,“ says Tamie. “It was an amazing honour for her to do that.”

Tamie was the alternate for the US team at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021 with the same horse.

“That was probably the hardest thing I’ve ever done in horse sport,” she says of the experience of having to sit on the sidelines, not knowing if she’d be called up to compete.

“I made myself try to understand and learn as much as possible from the experience of being there, watching competition at that level, but the biggest take away was never to be in a place where I am put as the reserve again. That was my number one lesson.”

What is Tamie’s best five-star result?

Tamie has finished ninth at five-star twice.

In 2021, she was ninth at Kentucky Three-Day Event, when she was second after dressage but lost the chance of a podium finish when Mai Baum broke a frangible device on the cross-country.

“That will eat me alive my whole life until I’m in my grave. It was a very expensive mistake on all fronts,” says Tamie, acknowledging the error probably led to her being the alternate in Tokyo instead of being on the team, as well as costing her a five-star win.

“I relied on his carefulness. I knew I was down on the clock, probably 10 seconds down, and two minutes from home it’s not easy to make up that time. I took a bit of a risk knowing he’s careful and didn’t get him back enough.

“I learnt a tonne from it and now, I ride that sort of fence very differently.”

The following year, she took Mai Baum to Badminton Horse Trials and piloted him to ninth there.

“It was more magical than I could expect,” she said after showjumping clear. “My best friend and I grew up watching VHS tapes of Badminton, so to get here finally and have that kind of performance is a dream come true.”

US riders Badminton Horse Trials: Tamie Smith and Mai Baum

Tamie Smith with Mai Baum over the Vicarage Vee at Badminton 2022.

Where is Tamie Smith based?

Unusually for a US eventer, Tamie lives on the West Coast (most US eventers are based on the East Coast). Tamie runs her business, Next Level Eventing, from KingsWay Farm in Temecula, California.

Does Tamie have any children? Is she married?

Tamie is married to Dave Smith and has a son with him, Tyler, as well as a daughter, Kaylawna Smith-Cook, from a previous relationship. Kaylawna also competes in eventing at international level.