Dockyard bans animals ahead of prom night

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LIFE-LONG horse-lover Shai Reames said her dreams have been shattered after plans for a horse and carriage to take her to her prom have been ruined.

Shai Reames, 16, was looking forward to getting dressed up and arriving in style in a horse-drawn carriage to her prom on Friday. The party is at Boathouse Number 7 in Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

Sonja Reames 35 with daughter Shai Reames 16 of Horndean are disappointed as they have booked a horse and carriage for Shai's prom, but have been told by the Historical Dockyard that animals are not allowed 'Picture: Paul Jacobs (150995-5)

Sonja Reames 35 with daughter Shai Reames 16 of Horndean are disappointed as they have booked a horse and carriage for Shai's prom, but have been told by the Historical Dockyard that animals are not allowed 'Picture: Paul Jacobs (150995-5)

The horse and carriage, which cost £250, were booked months ago.

But Shai, a student at Horndean Technology College, has since discovered the dockyard has banned animals from entering the area.

Instead she can be dropped off at the gates and will then need to walk the rest of the way in.

The 16-year-old said: ‘I’m quite annoyed and frustrated.

It’s a big event in her life. She’s getting all dressed up. Now, nobody is going to see this beautiful horse and gorgeous carriage

Sonja Reames

‘We paid all this money so everyone could see me arrive in style.

‘But now I’ve been told it can’t go in the dockyard and so my entrance is ruined.

‘It’s also my nan Betty Carter’s 87th birthday, and I wanted her to ride in the carriage for part of the way, before my date for the prom shared it with me.

‘I’ve loved horses all my life and it’s the way I wanted to arrive so it’s such a shame no one will see it.’

Her mum Sonja, 35, said: ‘It’s just such a shame.

‘We’re going to find it such a struggle finding alternative transport.

‘It’s a big event in her life. She’s getting all dressed up. Now, nobody is going to see this beautiful horse and gorgeous carriage.’

John Rawlinson is the interim director of visitor experience, at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard.

He said: ‘The decision to restrict arrival by horse and carriage to Boathouse 7 abides with the Naval Base byelaw restricting animals from entering into the Naval Base, which comes into effect at Victory Gate.

‘Last year we had a guest who unexpectedly arrived by horse and the horse was clearly skittish and spooked by the noise, posing a serious health and safety situation given the large numbers of general public present.’