A carnival pony who spent decades pulling carriages and sleds is to enjoy retirement having his favourite treats pulled for him – pints of beer.
Toby the Shetland Pony likes nothing better than a pint of bitter followed by a minced pie or a packet of crisps.
The 28-year-old pony has been in every pub in his home village of Fowey, Cornwall – including the yacht club.
But now, after 20 years of hard work, Toby’s owner Amos Putt plans to spend more time with his four-legged friend.
Amos, 71, said: “We go out for a walk and then we go for a pint together in the pub afterwards.
“If it gets too busy he’ll go outside for a drink. He doesn’t get drunk. He would if he could, but I don’t let him.”
Amos pours Toby’s drinks into plastic pint cups and then holds it for him so he can lap up the booze.
Toby’s unusual habit started when he worked as a carnival pony and he still enjoys a tipple at his local – the bar at St Blazey Football Club.
But Amos, a retired welder, said his pony wasn’t so keen on shots.
He said: “Fowey Town Band gave him several gin and tonics one year.
“People were asking what’s the matter with Toby and, when we got up to the top of the street and started marching, the band said, ‘you are going to have to put Toby at the back’.
“They couldn’t blow their instruments because of the vile smell coming from Toby’s bottom, and that’s the truth. It backfired on them.”
Toby began working soon after Amos’ wife Mags passed away from Multiple Sclerosis, aged 45.
He spent two days a week collecting for the MS Society and then went on to be the star of the show at carnivals, fetes, and charity galas.
Amos said Toby’s last job was at a Christmas carnival where he pulled Santa on a sled.
He said: “I could tell he wasn’t enjoying it. There wasn’t that sparkle in his eyes. So now he’s out to pasture. He’ll have a life of leisure which he really deserves.
“Hopefully, he’ll live for another three to four years and we’ll have a few more pints together.”