Guinness-drinking pony dubbed village's 'unofficial mayor' banned from pub sparking outrage
Patrick, the four-year-old Shetland pony, has frequented the Drum Inn pub in Cockington over the past two years
A Guinness-drinking pony who has been dubbed a UK village’s “unofficial mayor”, has been banned from a local pub.
The four-year-old Shetland pony was given the unofficial title of mayor of Cockington after a campaign launched by the village’s residents.
Patrick has been a regular visitor of the Drum Inn pub in the village in south east England for the past two years alongside his owners Kirk and Hannah Petrakis.
Earlier this year, the pub posted a picture of Patrick on their Facebook page, while also writing: "He's becoming a little celebrity in our village recently.
"Patrick and his family are more than welcome to join us now we have a pen in our garden."
But local council officials have since ruled that Patrick is unable to visit the Grade II listed pub any longer, sparking outrage among villagers.
Patrick, whose name comes because he was born on St Patrick’s Day, is said to have enjoyed a sip of Guinness from time to time.
After the unofficial mayor of Cockington died, a petition was launched for Patrick to take on the position.
After hundreds signed it, Patrick assumed the title at a ceremony on July 23.
But just days later, owners at the pub Patrick frequents were told that they would require planning permission for him to visit its garden.
Torbay Council officials say that the pub would need to reclassify the area from a “pub garden” to “official grazing land”.
Patrick’s owners are less than pleased with the situation, with Mr Petrakis saying: “(It was) a very emotional afternoon having to take down Patrick’s interaction pen in The Drum Inn garden.
“Someone made a complaint to the council. It just feels very unfair.
“It was a very sad day, but myself, Patrick and Hannah will continue to support our lovely friends and will not be defeated by the powers that be,” as quoted by the Telegraph.
A spokeswoman for the Drum Inn said: “All we know is someone made a complaint to the council and the council told us we have to get rid of him.
“Unfortunately, this looks like it could be the end of Patrick’s time at the Drum.”
While Torbay Tory MP Kevin Foster added: “Like most people living in the area I am surprised by the hardline attitudes councillors have decided to take about a pony.
“Obviously all the serious issues in Torbay have been resolved so they can focus their time on a pony pen at a pub. It’s just unbelievable.
“Perhaps the council are a little bit concerned given their own performance that Patrick is going to give them a run for their money and were worried about competition.
“We want this decision changed."