Hero of the Week: May 16, 2022: Trainer Eric Reed and Winning Horse Rich Strike

Rich Strike is America’s horse.” ~ Eric Reed

The story of our hero this week is extremely inspiring, and one of those examples of a completely unexpected turn of events that can only come about as the result of our trust in the value and power of what we do.

Among the top 20 horses at the 148th Kentucky Derby, Rich Strike literally was number 21—he only got in because another horse dropped out, and it happened on the evening before the race.

But Rich Strike, the horse that got into the race last, was first to cross the finish line, nailing the second biggest long-shot upset win ever in the Derby as he moved from 17th position to first in the final round! At one point in the race, it did not look like Rich Strike would make it through the pack of horses before him, but then his skilled jockey Sunny Leon maneuvered him past everybody else on the inside at lightning speed and let him fly.

For many viewers, it was one of the best races ever.

But there is a bigger story behind this win, involving the work and faith of second-generation horse trainer Eric Reed, who is our hero for this week. Not only did he lose two of his assistants to cancer within the last two years, it was six years ago that a devastating barn fire caused by a lightning strike destroyed much of Eric’s stables, killing 23 of his horses. It took tremendous effort not only to rebuild it all—they are now back to training 120 horses—but more than that to not give up following the loss and destruction of many years of work and hopes. Encouraged and supported by friends and strangers alike—and even competitors in the field—Eric went back to doing what he does best, working as a horse trainer carrying on what he learned from his father. If we keep on doing what we love, with integrity, then “God will put a comma” where we might put a period instead.

“Rich Strike is America’s horse,” Eric Reed says, and what this means is that the great things in life happen if we keep going and trust in God’s timing.

Watch this best clip of the overhead view of an incredible comeback:


Fire in Kentucky horse barn kills dozens of animals

Interview with Eric Reed on the morning after the Derby:

Derby the day after: Eric Reed on Rich Strike's upset at 80-1 (Part 2)

Derby the day after: Eric Reed on Rich Strike's upset at 80-1 (Part 2)

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