Tamie Smith has elected to withdraw veteran partner Mai Baum from the Land Rover Kentucky Three Day Event CCI4*-S this week.

Smith made history last year when she won the 5* division in Kentucky on the black gelding (aka, Lexus). It was her career first 5* title and the first win for an American woman since 2005.  

The pair were the favorites to win the CCI4*-S in the bluegrass state this year, but have been sidelined due to a minor injury.

Wrote the American eventer on Instagram:

“Sadly, Mai Baum will be sitting out this Kentucky 4S and resting up for an exciting summer. They say timing is everything and while I was away competing some of my other horses last weekend, Lexus was a bit wild & 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 from the Defender 3-Day Event.

“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 well-being of any horse.”

Competing together internationally since 2015, Smith and the now 18-year-old Dutch Sporthorse gelding were traveling reserve for Team USA at the Tokyo Games in 2021. They helped the Americans to team gold at the 2019 Pan American Games in Lima and team silver at the 2022 World Championships in Pratoni del Vivaro, Italy. This year, she has the Paris Games in her sights.

“Lexus is turning 18 this year and I think about it and it’s a bit on an end of an era. When I think about that I get a little chocked up. He’s been my best friend and, I mean, he will continue to be but it’ll just look different,” Smith told ClipMyHorse TV.

“The horse, he’s just phenomenal. I feel very lucky and fortunate to have had everything that I’ve already had on him and to be able to do the Olympic Games is—especially with having been the travelling reserve in Tokyo. That was so difficult for both of us to have our dreams right at our fingertips and then not be able to compete.

“I honestly didn’t think he’d still be going at this Olympic Games so the fact that we’re here vying for that is really cool. It’s really special. So fingers crossed.”

Smith will compete in the CCI4* division in Kentucky on 15-year-old Hannoverian gelding Danito and 9-year-old KWPN gelding Kynan.

“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.”