Tamra Smith Clinches Adequan® USEA Gold Cup Final Championship Title, Concluding 2018 Annual USEA Eventing Championships Presented by Nutrena® Feeds
Parker, CO -The fourth day of competition at the 2018 USEA American Eventing Championships presented by Nutrena® Feeds (AEC), concluded today at The Colorado Horse Park (CHP), as the final competitors in the Advanced, Intermediate, Novice and Beginner Novice divisions took center stage to be recognized for their hard work this week.
Divisional champions across eighteen divisions were crowned, as athletes from across the United States flocked to Colorado to compete at the world renowned equestrian venue.
Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup Final
You could hear a pin drop in the International Ring at CHP as California's Tamra Smith maneuvered around the track in the final Show Jumping phase of competition aboard Alexandra Ahearn, Ellen Ahearn, and Eric Markell's, Mai Baum (Loredano x Ramira). Smith and the 2006 German Sport Horse gelding rounded out their weekend on a score of 28.0, and their comeback was celebrated with a big blue ribbon and a round of applause, along with the title of Adequan® USEA Advanced Gold Cup Final Champions.
"It just feels so good to be back on him," exclaimed Smith, "it's emotional because it's been a long road to get him back."
The pair ceased competition after Mai Baum suffered a series of injuries that made for a long, three-year rehabilitation process. "He originally strained his tendon after Fair Hill," explained Smith, "and we rehabbed him like a normal horse, and then he fell in the trailer, and he got a guttural pouch infection, and he had to be in a cast, and it was just one thing after another. And then he was huge, so it took me forever to get him fit again. He was couch potato so it took a while, but we took the time because he was worth it."
Smith continued, "It seems like yesterday, but it's taken three years. Now he's back and feeling 100%, and strong, and so happy to be here. I'm happier, but he's happy."
Smith also credited the staff at the Park and the event coordinators for their dedication to running a memorable AEC. "This whole experience has been wonderful," she said. "My hat goes off to the course designers. I actually told the crew that I would give them a cut of my prize money if I won because they worked really hard. The footing felt phenomenal."
Cruising into second place after Dressage, Jordan Linstedt of WA, and Revitavet Capato (Contendro x Annabelle), Barbara and Gary Linstedt's 2003 Hanoverian gelding, maintained their spot throughout the weekend, to land on a final score of 39.5. "I didn't go out of the start box with the plan to be super competitive," said Linstedt, "I just went out there to let him run and I never kicked him once around the course, he flowed with it. I wanted to go out there and be efficient with inside turns. He came in pretty quick so I was happy with him."
Smith also claimed podium spot number three after earning 45.4 penalties with Judith McSwain's 2009 Holsteiner mare Fleeceworks Royal (Riverman x Marisol).
"She got selected to go to Boekelo [Netherlands]," Smith summarized, "so I knew I was going to have a conservative weekend with her. She went fast at Rebecca Farm and I can't go fast with her all of the time, so as much as I wanted to go for it yesterday, I had to think about the bigger picture. In the Dressage she was also pretty spicy, the atmosphere was quite electric and she really came up in there. Right before I went in to the ring for Dressage it started to rain a bit and the wind picked up, and I thought it may monsoon, but it didn't and she held it together as she is very obedient. We just schooled in there and kept it conservative."
"For Cross-Country we just took it easy and at a good pace and she was super over everything. I think today was her best Show Jump. When I ride her well, she jumps beautifully and it finally clicked," Smith concluded.