Have you heard the one about a horse in a bar?

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A horse walks into a bar....

It may sound like the start of a bad joke, but at a Knottingley pub it was part of a serious challenge laid down by a pub firm to help mark the recent Cheltenham Festival.

With punters getting into the mood for the famous four-day horse racing event, Carol Lofthouse, who runs The Railway Hotel in Knottingley was asked by the pub owners, Craft Union, if she could get a horse onto the premises.

And while it seemed like an easy ask, albeit a bizarre one, it was far from being a dead cert.

Carol, who only took over the pub in December, said: “We’ve been doing quite a bit, like giving out free bets to win pints, that sort of thing, and I asked if anyone in the bar knew anyone that had a horse they could bring in.

“Everybody thought it was a bit of a joke, nobody took it seriously and I thought we’d never get one. It was a bit of challenge but we managed to pull it off.”

They were able to get in contact with local rider, 17-year-old Blaize Myers, who brought her 19-year-old cob, Rio, into the Pontefract Road watering hole on Wednesday afternoon.

Carol had even put on Facebook beforehand: “My new customer comes in tomorrow, he might be a bit large but we welcome customers old and new.”

Carol told the Express: “The people who were in the pub couldn’t believe it when he walked in, I think they were a bit overwhelmed and they were all laughing.

“We put a hat on him and got him near the bar as well.

“He was really well behaved, he was on the wooden floor which he was a bit unsure about at first but he was okay.

“We poured a pint out and he came up to the bar and he gave it a sniff but he didn’t drink any of it, even though it was a good pint.

“He was only in for a few minutes but it was great.

“I think we’re definitely going to do it again next year, maybe we can find a jockey to come in as well.”