Rich Strike’s trainer, Eric Reed, on the “controversy” at the end of the Derby Saturday (from an interview with Today):
“I want to clear that up. The outrider’s job at the end of the race is to help get the leading horse slowed down, and take him around and let him do the interviews. Well, Richie, he was in ‘killer mode,’ he was gonna outrun every horse on the track. So when he saw that pony coming his way, he thought he had another horse to beat and he was trying to run by it.
“The man did his job: he reached out and grabbed ahold of the horse and it made the horse mad. He didn’t know that he was trying to help him, he thought he was supposed to outrun that horse, and he bit the guy’s leg terribly. He bit his arm, a couple really bad bites. The horse is not a mean horse, he just was in race mode and he didn’t understand why they were grabbing him to slow him down. That man saved my horse from injury….”
You be the judge. Is this merely an innocuous and correct “disciplining” of a horse in “killer mode”?