Thursday, January 17, 2013

An Interview with Tamie Smith

Tamie Smith was kind enough to take a few minutes out of her day at the December USEA convention and share some of her plans with me.

Tell me about the end of your 2012.

It was an interesting year!  It was fairly successful to begin with but I ended up having a fall at Rebecca Farm and breaking my leg badly.  So that side-lined me and I haven't evented since.  Well I did do the YEH Championships, but only by the grace of my wonderful horse did that go well.

Where are you physically now?

I haven't gotten the release from my doctor to event.  I go every 6 weeks to get checked as I had no bone where the break happened and my leg has to bind itself back together.  But, I have been going to dressage and jumper shows to keep myself improving in those areas.  (Tamie has since been cleared and is fully back in action.)

How have you kept your horses going during all that down time?

McKenna Shea and Kelly Loria came down to help me out and they have been unbelievable.  I also had Amy Fox there to run the program, and really just an incredible amount of support from all my owners and all my clients.  We just did it all together.  I'd be out teaching as they rode all the horses.  There were a couple that I sent out because they needed a more technical ride, and I got such great support from other trainers - Robyn Fisher, Gina Economou, Debbie Rosen ... they were all so great! We have such a great sport, such a supportive sport.

I understand you have couple new horses.

Yes, Jennie Brannigan called me just after I broke my leg to say "I found you a horse."  I told her I wasn't looking just now, but she said I had to fly out and look because the horse was really special and going to go fast.  So, I flew out.  The horse is Fleur-de-Lis (Milton), Matt Flynn imported him.  The Bubbles Syndicate purchased him & I am really excited about it!  I do have a couple shares still available.

He's 6, we'll start out training level as he's had a slower start.  He's done some show jumping.

I also have Normandy Soldier (Vinny) from Elsie Patterson, who I'm hoping will step up to the plate and be an advanced horse.  He's really cool, a really talented little horse.  You couldn't get Vinny and Milton to be any more different horses, Vinnie is 15.2 and Milton is 17.2!  But, Vinny is scopey enough and I think he's going to be something special, I'm really excited to see what he's got.  I so thankful that Elsie sent him to me.

What does your early 2013 look like?

We'll be at a dressage show in January out in Thermal, and will be at Galway Downs in February.  Actually,  I am booked to go to some type of show every week-end in February! 

We also have a tentative trip planned to Jersey Fresh, I have a couple students who need to go do the 3* and I have Fleeceworks Fernhill that I hope will be ready to do the 2* and Vinnie as well.  It is definitely exciting.

Congratulations on being awarded the $15,000 Rebecca Broussard National Grant.  What kind of difference will that make in what you do this next year?

It is so unbelievable.  The greatest thing is that the grant is a rider grant, not specific to a horse.  I didn't apply at first thinking it had to be towards a horse, but after reading everything more thoroughly, I realized it was for a rider.  I am so glad I applied!  I didn't think after my season was cut short that I'd be in consideration, especially with all the other terrific riders that were in consideration. But, I'm really grateful and it is going to change a lot for me.  

To start, I don't take as many lessons as I should due to financial reasons, so that's going to be huge to get more training for myself.  And, certainly it let's us look at more travel options for competition.

It is so generous of the Broussard family to do what they do for the sport of eventing.  Its not just running Rebecca Farm, and its not just owning horses, its their commitment to developing riders as well.  It gives us a leg up that we wouldn't have otherwise.  I couldn't be more thankful for it.

If you'd like to help Tamie with her 2013 goals, or any of the other SCES riders, you can make a tax deductible donation at

Thanks for reading.  Jodie

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