THE residents of Llanfyllin had been left speechless.

It was market day during the autumn of 1800 and before them stood a horse in conversation with its rider.

The horse stopped abruptly and spoke, saying 'I'll go no further.'

The rider had replied: 'Come along, come along' to which the mare replied 'I'll be damned if I do.'

The conversation continued as the rider responded 'Pray do' to which the horse replied 'Not I, by hell, I will go back.'

Lee Sugg the ventriloquist.

Lee Sugg the ventriloquist.

Lee Sugg the ventriloquist.

The rider had then coaxed the horse, saying: 'Now pray go, and I will give you plenty of corn' to which the horse replied 'Oh, that's another thing' and off they trotted.

Unbeknown to all townspeople the man had been none other than Lee Sugg, the famed ventriloquist of his day, who had come up with the stunt in order to drum up interest in a forthcoming show in the town.

However the trick backfired as the country people had been so alarmed at the sight had swore they would not pay two shillings to 'go and see the devil.'