Vice President Mike Pence may try and keep his distance the next time he's around a Triple Crown winner, after telling House Republicans a story about how the first horse to win the Triple Crown in 37 years, American Pharoah, bit him so hard in the arm, he nearly collapsed while he was visiting a Kentucky farm last year.
Pence told the anecdote about his visit to the famous horse to a group of House Republicans at a policy retreat in Baltimore on Friday. Pence turned the visit into a metaphor for the attendees who are trying to take the House back next year, saying, "In our line of work, you're going to get bit sometimes, but you keep fighting."
The vice president was invited to grab the winning horse's reins, which is when the bit happened. The incident occurred in March of last year, while Pence was campaigning for Garland "Andy" Barr for the state's 6th congressional district.
“I’m a horse guy. I said, ‘Yeah, let me hold him,’ ” Pence said. That's when American Pharoah “bit me so hard on the arm, I almost collapsed.”
However, the manager of the Versailles, Kentucky farm, Dermot Ryan, questioned Pence's version of events, telling McClatchy DC that type of behavior by Pharoah was out of character, and that he hadn't heard about the vice president being bitten when it supposedly occurred.
"If [Pharoah] gave someone a nasty bite, I'd know it," Ryan told McClatchy DC. Ryan said the visit by the vice president was "very pleasant" and that he was "honored."
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