Vice President Mike Pence claims that famed racehorse American Pharaoh, now retired and living out his days on a stud farm, once bit him so hard that he “almost passed out.” The farm manager says that’s not true.
As The McClatchy News Group reports, back in 2018 Pence visited Kentucky to stump for Kentucky Rep. Andy Barr. While in The Bluegrass State, Pence stopped by Coolmore’s Ashford Stud farm — at Barr’s invitation — to visit with the 2015 Triple Crown winner American Pharaoh.
Pence, who has described himself as “a horse guy” and who has claimed that he and his wife, Karen, enjoy horseback riding, claimed that the meeting with the prized racehorse didn’t go as planned.
Speaking to a group of Republicans in Baltimore last week, Pence explained what happened.
“[American Pharoah] bit me so hard on the arm, I almost collapsed.”
Pence then went on to say that such things are just one of the hazards of the job of politicians.
“I just gritted my teeth and smiled, because you know what? In our line of work, you’re going to get bit sometimes, but you keep fighting forward. And we did,” he said.
Farm manager Dermot Ryan, who was there that day, said no such thing happened. Describing American Pharaoh as “sweet,” Ryan said that biting someone would be completely out of character for the horse.
“If he gave someone a nasty bite, I’d know it,” Ryan said.
Ryan did note, however, that he was “very honored” to have met Pence and that the vice president’s visit to the farm was “very pleasant.”
Similarly, Horse Racing Nation wrote about Pence’s visit to American Pharaoh’s new home. The magazine did not mention the alleged bite.
Barr, for his part, backed up Pence’s claims that he was bitten at the farm. A spokesperson said that Barr saw the purported bruise on Pence’s arm while aboard Air Force Two, the vice-presidential aircraft.
The story of the bite comes and goes from Pence’s re-tellings of what happened that day. At a stop at a Versailles, Kentucky baker later that day, the vice president mentioned the visit to the farm but didn’t mention the purported bite. However, speaking at the Governor’s Derby Eve Gala in May, he did mention the alleged bite.
Whether or not American Pharaoh bit the vice president remains unclear. However, Pence may have more things to worry about. Just last week, as reported by The Inquisitr, Donald Trump — Pence’s boss — mistakenly referred to him as “Mike Pounce.”