And they’re off!
A man has been charged with alcohol intoxication in a public place and disorderly conduct after riding a horse toward the famed Louisville, Kentucky, Churchill Downs racetrack during Saturday’s Breeders’ Cup.
In the arrest citation provided to the Lexington Herald-Reader, Kentucky State Police said that Michael Wells-Rody, 24, was “manifestly under the influence of alcoholic beverages” when he “snuck into a restricted area,” mounted the horse and rode it near the track.
The man was caught by police and arrested when he made it out of the tunnel area and “into the track entrance,” according to the outlet.
The Kentucky State Police did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment, nor did Churchill Downs.
Wells-Rody has since spoken out, calling the incident “an innocent mistake.”
Speaking with local outlet WHAS11, Wells-Rody claimed that the horse involved was once on his family farm in Georgetown, Kentucky, and denied that he was under the influence.
“I could mount a horse and dismount a horse,” Wells-Rody said. “You’d think a drunk guy couldn’t get on a horse.”
Wells-Rody further told a WHAS11 reporter, “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 Breeder’s Cup, but evidently that was a very bad idea.’ “
According to WHAS11, Wells-Rody is expected to appear in court Wednesday. It is unclear if he’s obtained an attorney.