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Last Updated: Friday, 13 October 2006, 16:05 GMT 17:05 UK
Pint-drinking pony banned by pub
Tony Manton and Morning Mist outside the Port O'Call
The pub was a Port O'Call for Tony Manton and Morning Mist
When new managers took over a south Wales pub, they were amazed to discover a horse among their regulars.

The two-year-old Welsh mountain pony was often brought in for a pint by a local at the Port O'Call in Marshfield, between Cardiff and Newport.

But Graham Wheatley, who runs the pub with Craig Thomas, has banned Mountain Mist on health and safety grounds.

"The first thing customers would be greeted with was a horse's backside," he explained.

Mountain Mist belongs to retired merchant navy officer Tony Manton, who was allowed to bring the two-year-old in by the pub's former landlord.

He said: "Everyone's heard the joke about the barman saying to the horse: "Why the long face?"

"But this is no joke to me - it's a kick in the teeth.

Port O'Call pub
There's a story that a man came along with his dog and wasn't allowed to bring the animal in, even though there was a horse and parrot at the bar
Graham Wheatley, Port O'Call

"I used to enjoy walking down the pub with her for a nice pint. She really loves a pint of John Smiths."

He first took Morning Mist into the bar as a joke - but she became a big hit with regulars.

"The former owner just got used to it. I would give Morning Mist a pint and everyone loved it," he said.

But the pint-supping pony wasn't the only unusual customer before the new regime.

"One day another guy brought in a parrot who chewed cigars - so we had a smoking parrot and boozing pony in one bar," explained Mr Manton.

Mr Wheatley said: "There's a story that a man came along with his dog and wasn't allowed to bring the animal in, even though there was a horse and parrot at the bar.

"The thing is you just can't have a horse in a bar - what if it kicked someone?

Port O'Call pub sign
The sight which used to gladden the heart of a thirsty horse
"We told the owner he was welcome to tie the horse up outside, but not bring it in.

"But to be honest, we've changed the pub a lot - it's not a boozer with 10 men leaning on the bar anymore, we are focusing on serving good food."

But that hasn't stopped customers from horsing around.

"We had someone phoning up the other day for a table for four and asked if there was room for their horse, and we were asked for a bucket of water the other day too," said Mr Wheatley.

  • Earlier this month, Tyneside pub landlady Jackie Gray, who had taken over the Alexandra Hotel in Jarrow, said she was shocked when a carthorse called Peggy joined owner Peter Dolan for a pint. The horse had been drinking at the pub for 12 years.



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