One is a powerful beast known for his handsomeness and sexual potency. The other is Vice President Mike Pence.
The first, Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, is said to have bitten Pence when the veep was visiting his luxury equine bachelor pad in Kentucky sometime last year. Horses can bite very hard, and Pence said he almost "collapsed" when the bay stallion expressed his annoyance with the vice president, and showed others the bruise it left.
Flash forward to 2019, and Pence is the featured speaker this weekend at the Mackinac Republican Leadership Conference, held every other year on the island, at the Grand Hotel.
Of course everyone knows that Mackinac is American Pharoah's turf -- at least, those of his brethren, whose hoofbeats and manure smell give the island its special something. No cars or trucks are permitted on Mackinac, other than emergency vehicles. But for Pence's visit, "buzz" on Mackinac says he will pull up to the Grand's portico in a Chevy Suburban.
Paul Egan at the Free Press reports the Secret Service is rumored to be insisting on motorized transport for Pence for security reasons. Although we suspect perhaps it's to protect him from the island's other horses, who learned about American Pharoah's pre-emptive strike via the underground horse network communication system of pawing the ground, snorting and whinnying.
Nobody would confirm Wednesday that the Secret Service had insisted on a motorized vehicle for Pence as a security measure. But nobody was denying it, either.
One local bar-restaurant manager, who spoke on condition he not be identified by name, said it's his understanding Pence will be using a Suburban already owned by the city and used as an emergency vehicle. Emergency vehicles, along with snowmobiles and snow plows, are about the only exceptions to the motorized vehicle ban.
Only Grand Rapids native Gerald Ford has ever visited the island as a sitting president, and horse-drawn conveyances were good enough for him. But that was long ago in a different America. Seattle Slew won the Triple Crown in 1977, the year Ford left office. No word on whether they ever met.