A HORSE-loving family fined for parking their horse trailer at Par beach have sparked a protest to get the red-tape ruling overturned.
The Dean family visited the beauty spot at Christmas for their annual ride along the beach. But when they returned to the car park with daughter Christiana Dean, 13, and her horse Sky, they had received notice of a £35 fine on the vehicle.
Shocked mum Victoria Dean said this is the first time they have been hit with a fine since the family started the tradition nine years ago.
She appealed the penalty charge but failed, despite arguing the signs stating horseboxes and trailers are prohibited are unclear.
Mrs Dean, 46, has launched a page on social networking website Facebook to warn other horse riders and in less than a week the Horsebox/trailers at Par beach group has garnered 465 members.
Mrs Dean, from Trethurgy, said: "I could swallow the £35 fine but it's not about me it's about the principle."
She said it would be "irresponsible" to allow her daughter to ride to the beach along busy roads and "it would take up to two and a half hours anyway". She went on: "We'd have to park on Polmear Road, which is also busy and it would be too dangerous to unload the horses and tack up."
Friends of Par Beach, Douglas Scrafton, who represents Par and St Blazey on Cornwall Council, and St Austell Mayor Steve Double have signalled their support, she said.
The mum added: "What the council is saying is that you can ride on the beach but you can't transport them and leave them in the car park.
"The beach is a lovely long stretch of sand and the ponies can have a really good gallop and the members of the public love seeing the ponies on the beach.
"We don't leave any mess, we clear up after our horses and you wouldn't know a horsebox had been there once we're gone."
Mr Scrafton said that although the signs clearly show commercial vehicles are prohibited, this was the first time he was aware of anyone being fined.
Cornwall Council said heavy goods vehicles such as "lorry-style horseboxes" are classified as commercial vehicles and are not allowed in the car park because they damage the surface. However, it said that since being made aware of concerns, it was considering the situation.