Police who pulled over a car towing a horse trailer on a country road were shocked to find 20 people hiding in the back on their way to a ball.
Officers from the Warwickshire Rural Crime Team (WRCT) pulled over a 4x4 towing the trailer as part of night-time checks following an increase in thefts in the area.
As they spoke to the driver, a 39-year-old woman, they heard noises from the trailer, despite her saying there were no horses in it.
When they looked inside they found the group of revellers dressed in tuxedos and ball gowns squeezed into what police described as a "pre-ball party wagon".
Sharing a video of the discovery on Facebook, the force said the driver was reported at the scene for several offences.
The surprise discovery happened on the A422 near Banbury at around 10.45pm on 19 November.
WRCT wrote on its Facebook page: "RCT officers were conducting late night checks of trailers and plant machinery, that were being transported on the road following an increase in thefts locally.
"At around 10:45pm on the 19th November 2022 near Upton House and Gardens NT on the A422 (Just on the border with Thames Valley Police), officers spoke with a female driver of a 4x4 that was towing just such a horse box.
"Initially the driver confirmed she wasn't transporting any horses or livestock and she was in fact off to a Ball nearby."
The force said while officers were running checks on the trailer, one heard some "shuffling and tapping" coming from inside the trailer.
"Initially the officer was concerned that a horse must have snuck itself into the trailer, without the knowledge of the driver," it added.
"It turns out on opening the trailer, some 20 attendees of the ball had opted to utilise the trailer as some sort of pre-ball party wagon transport.
"The 39 year old driver was reported at the scene for several offences, while other officers facilitated Cinderella getting to the ball safely with her extensive entourage.
"We can only be thankful that the officers hadn’t had to attend a very serious road traffic collision involving the vehicle and trailer."
Video footage shared by the force shows the officers discovering the group, with one telling them: "Unfortunately you are all going to have to walk to the venue."
One of the revellers asked if it was far, to which the officer replied: "I don't know, but it's better than dying in the back of a trailer this evening."
Another person told police: "We would've have been safer in that than we would've walking."
In its Facebook post, WRCT added: "Unfortunately, its apparent from comments made to officers by those inside the trailer that they had no understanding of just how dangerous this situation was."