Patrick the Shetland pony has brought a lot of joy to the residents of the village of Cockington in southwest England. The village loves him so much, in fact, that they recently named him mayor. Then the tide turned against him, when he was subsequently banned from the local pub.
Cockington, located in Devon, is home to the The Drum Inn, a pub with a garden and an interaction pen. That’s where you’d often find Patrick the Pony, grazing between visits to local recovery groups and hospitals, where he provides therapy services. He originally began coming to the pub with his owner so he could be socialized ahead of his therapy duties. This gave him a bit of a taste for Guinness, too.
His endearing nature led to him being named unofficial mayor of Cockington. There was even a ceremony to mark the occasion on July 23. Other local elected officials were on hand to welcome their new colleague. No word on if they cheered until their throats were a little horse.
Patrick’s owner Kirk Petrakis told ITV News, “Patrick’s fans thought that he deserved a title for all his hard work and jokingly suggested that he could be mayor, or even the MP, and then we just did it.”
Within just a few days, however, politics reared its ugly head against our mane character.
Someone complained to the Torbay Council about Patrick’s pub hangout, and the pub’s owners were told they had to get a permit for the pen and animal grazing. When the owners decided not to go through the process, the council decreed that the pen needed to be taken down. If Patrick were ever to return, his pen would need to be classified as official grazing land.
Leon Butler, former chair of the Torquay Neighbourhood Plan Forum, said this may have been because of a neighsayer.
He explained, “I’m pretty certain it’s all about Patrick becoming mayor, it’s someone who doesn’t like that. I suspect there are a lot of people who have got an ax to grind. I have my suspicions of who it is, it’s someone who also thinks they are mayor of Cockington and they do have a habit of sticking their nose in.”
Fortunately, even if things don’t change with the pub, the mayor can still keep serving his community with all of his therapy work. He’ll just need to get his Guinness elsewhere.
If you’d like to follow his political career, you can check out his Instagram.
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