’Thunder’ was photographed ‘parked’ outside the BC Liquor Store at Wembley Mall in Parksville. — Dawn Topolnicki photo

Parksville’s mystery cowboy revealed

Kevin Gourlay’s horse garners attention for being ‘parked’ outside a liquor store

The mystery behind the cowboy with no name, whose horse was photographed tethered to a post in a parking lot at Parksville’s Wembley Mall, has been solved.

The horse’s name is Thunder and is owned by Kevin Gourlay, who lives at Morningstar Farm in Parksville. Gourlay said he was surprised to wake up in the morning to see his horse featured on the PQB News website.

Gourlay noted that the photo, that has taken social media by storm, of his horse was taken back in December.

“I just went for a ride and then decided to stop and grab some beers on my way home,” said Gourlay. “It was not the first time I did that.”

RELATED: Parksville man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

There was a time when he went grocery shopping with a friend, who held Thunder for him while he was in the store.

“People just loved it and there were some people feeding him carrots,” said Gourlay. “It’s a little bit unique. I do get a lot of responses. There’s a lot of people stopping and asking questions. It’s kind of fun.”

When riding in town, Gourlay said he’s not worried about vehicles on the road spooking Thunder.

“He’s got good road sense,” said Gourlay. “He is very good around cars.”

Gourlay, who works with horses, strongly supports the use of horses for transportation.

“They’re a fantastic way to get around,” said Gourlay.

When he was 16, Gourlay said he and Thunder travelled from Parksville to Victoria on a week-long horseback trip.

“It was my political expedition to advocate for the use of horses as formal transportation,” said Gourlay. “I ended up in front of the Legislature building in Victoria. I never got a huge coverage on that, though.”

Michael.Briones@pqbnews.com

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Kevin Gourlay loves to ride Thunder to town along with his pet pooch. (Submitted photo)

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