This British pony’s job is officially cooler than yours.
After a long day of volunteering, visiting hospitals as a therapy animal, and acting as the village of Cockington’s unofficial mayor, Shetland pony Patrick kicks back with an Irish Stout.
The Shetland pony first gained recognition in the British village when owner Kirk Petrakis brought him to the Drum, earlier in the pandemic. During that time, Patrick was learning to socialize as a therapy horse.
The pony became familiar with residents as he continued volunteering locally. He now visits medical care centers, therapy groups, hospitals, schools, and sometimes funeral services — anywhere he might be able to assist in mental health support. He’s also the focus of “The Adventures of Patrick the Pony,” a children’s book series that describes him as a pony “with a heart of gold, always happy to help those in need.”
Earlier this summer, Cockington residents started a petition to appoint Patrick as the village’s unofficial mayor. Currently, the Change.org initiative sits at 190 signatures — enough to prompt the village to give Patrick the role.
He was appointed “mayor” of Cockington during a ceremony on July 24. The title doesn’t saddle Patrick with any extra responsibilities, though, and he’ll be recognized in name only.
While Pat’s drinking habit might raise an eyebrow or two, it’s often understood by veterinarians that horses can have a little beer, as a treat. For horses with sweat-regulating health issues, it’s sometimes even recommended as a treatment.
Hay, that’s something to celebrate — Patrick will take a Guinness if you’re buying.