For the past 44-years, villagers in Dymchurch, Kent, have celebrated the character of Dr Syn, a quiet village vicar by day and a smuggler hero by night, who was created by local author Russell Thorndike.
Dr Syn galloped through seven novels, donning a scarecrow disguise to avoid excisemen and soldiers as he and his desperate band of night riders bought food and drink to starving villagers.
On the second August bank holiday of every other year, a resident of Dymchurch has dressed as Dr Syn to gallop along a nearby beach and ride through the streets for a Day of Syn celebrating the hero.
However, this year, his exploits were curtailed after insurers decided it was too dangerous, leaving Dr Syn instead forced to walk.
Ian Hyson, Chairman of the Day of Syn, said: "For 44 years Dr Syn has burst into the festival on horseback. He is the main show and when he makes his entrance people are truly overwhelmed.
"He has been on horseback since 1964, but this year the insurers just did not want to know because they said riding a horse was a 'severe' health and safety risk. Only one insurer would listen and they quoted us £1,000.
How did we get by all these centuries on dangerous horses without the sage advice of elfin safety to protect us, eh?