There’s one thing having a little too much to drink at a sports event and deciding that yes, I’m going to take all my clothes off and streak across the pitch/track/stage, thank you very much.
But it’s very much next-level when you decide to try and ride a horse onto the track at one of the biggest horse racing meetings on the planet.
But that’s exactly what happened, allegedly, when Michael Wells-Rody, who had imbibed more than his fair share of the good stuff, had a day to forget at the Breeders’ Cup meeting in Kentucky.
Saddled with Regret
Police said that Wells-Rody was ‘manifestly under the influence of alcoholic beverages’ when he managed to sneak into a restricted area during Saturday’s flagship raceday.
Worst still, he then somehow managed to find a stray horse, mount it, exit out of the tunnel and almost make it out on to the Churchill Downs track itself.
The 24-year-old made matters even worse for himself by becoming abusive when accosted. “When asked to leave the horse and the area, the subject became loud and disorderly by causing an alarm to Churchill staff members,” a statement read.
The joyriding amateur jockey was later taken to the Jefferson County Detention Centre, where he was charged with public intoxication and disorderly conduct, and he will appear in court on Monday to hear his punishment.
Wells-Rody has come out and said that he wasn’t drunk at the time of his misdemeanour, while admitting that it probably wasn’t the smartest thing he’d ever done. “I could mount a horse and dismount a horse. You’d think a drunk guy couldn’t get on a horse,” he told reporters.
“There were no intentions of hurting anybody or causing a big scene. I’d just seen the horse and thought, well shoot, it’d be cool to ride him at the Breeders’ Cup, but evidently that was a very bad idea.”
The Show Must Go On
The Breeders’ Cup meeting is one of the most prestigious on the planet, with some of the best horses in the world competing on the famous Churchill Downs in Kentucky. The total prize fund across the meeting totals a whopping $30 million, with fourteen Grade 1 races on the card across the two days.
Wells-Rody’s moment in the sun was eclipsed by the exploits of Frankie Dettori, who guided Enable to victory in the Breeders’ Cup Turf race. The four-year-old became the first horse in history to win a Breeders’ Cup race and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe in the same season.
Meanwhile, the festival’s headline race – the Breeders’ Cup Classic – was won by the bookies favourite Accelerate, who bagged his connections a slice of the rather handsome $6m prize kitty up for grabs.