Published: 15:55, 03 July 2019
| Updated: 09:50, 04 July 2019
A company offering families the chance to meet a unicorn has axed all of its remaining events after a backlash.
Unicorn Dream sold tickets on its website for events across the country, including one in Maidstone between August 10 and 14.
A series of packages advertised the opportunity for youngsters to groom and ride horses which are coloured and dressed up to look like the mythical creatures.
However, the company came under fire for cancelling a number of events at the last minute, blaming bad weather as well as changing government legislation regarding animals and delays with stables receiving the right certification.
Mum-of-two Kate Howell from Maidstone paid £158 for tickets to take her daughters, aged five and three, to an experience in Reading on June 2, but when they got there they found an empty field.
She was refunded and offered VIP tickets to a future event.
Parents in other areas of the country have also reported similar experiences in recent weeks.
Event bosses then posted a 910-word statement on Facebook announcing the cancellations, in which they pledged to refund everybody who had bought tickets and said "bad press" caused sales to dry up.
"We do not come to this decision likely [sic] but with the amount of anger and upset this has caused it seems impossible that we will be able to get the numbers or sponsorship to be able to run successful events in the future," a spokesman said.
"With the lack of ticket sales that is in decline because of the recent attacks on the business, we are left with no choice."
It added: "The team at Unicorn Dream have gone through a lot and faced great resistance, we are sorry we failed to put on the shows we wished for you, we are sorry that the children will not get to meet the unicorns."
A spokeswoman for Action Fraud confirmed a report had been made which was being assessed by the City of London Police’s National Fraud Intelligence Bureau, but Unicorn Dream spokesman Darren Rocket told KentOnline no crime had been committed and the company has spoken with Action Fraud.
More by this authorTom Pyman