A man says he was left humiliated by KFC staff after he was refused service for trying to buy a Bargain Bucket at a drive-through while riding a horse and cart.
Ian Bell, 55, rode up to the window last week only for a manager to come out and say he would have to leave for the health and safety of other customers.
He says his beloved steed Jon Jon is “good as gold” and made the argument, “horse and carts were around long before motor cars”, adding, “I don’t get it”.
Photos show Ian and Jon Jon, a seven-year-old Irish Cob, pitched up outside the KFC restaurant in Carlisle, Cumbria.
Ian said: “I had queued up behind some cars and was about to order a Bargain Bucket when all of a sudden this manager came out and said ‘you’re not allowed through’.
“I couldn’t believe what I was hearing, I’d done nothing wrong. Jon Jon was behaving himself, he was quiet as a lamb – he’s a very well-behaved horse.
“In the end I had to go to McDonald’s for a Big Mac. No one there batted an eyelid, they didn’t say anything to me at all, they just served me my food.”
Dad-of-one Ian added: “I think my treatment from KFC has been downright disgusting and discriminatory against people who use horse and carts.
“The horse and cart is a common way to get around where I’m from.”
The fast food franchise has spoken out in defence of the manager’s decision to deny Ian and Jon Jon service, insisting the safety of guests is “really important”.
A KFC spokesman said: “Hold your horses Carlisle.
“We’re not looking to stirrup trouble and we’re sorry for Ian and Jon Jon’s experience – but the safety of our guests is really important, so we can’t allow horse drawn vehicles in our drive-thrus.”
Ian lives alone in the seaside town of Silloth and Jon Jon resides in a nearby field.
The pair often travel 23 miles to Carlisle inside a car and horse box, before setting up the carriage and trotting around the streets.
Ian said: “Going around in the horse and carriage is just something I like to do. It’s also good training for Jon Jon.”
The 55-year-old, who used to milk cows on a dairy farm, is currently out of work after fracturing his pelvis in three places when he was flung from another horse last year.
He said Jon Jon has helped him in his recovery.
Jon added: “I love Jon Jon like he’s a member of the family in the same way some people love their cats or dogs.
“If it wasn’t for him I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
Jon said he hasn’t tried taking the horse and cart through any other drive-throughs but added that he is keen to see if Burger King will let him in.