Appleby horse fair: Glam young travellers dress up to wash horses in river as Europe’s biggest gypsy event starts today | The Sun

GLAM travellers have descended onto a tiny British town as Europe's biggest gypsy fair began today.

The Appleby Horse Fair in Appleby-in-Westmoreland, Cumbria, attracts about 10,000 travellers every year to buy and sell horses.

More than 1,000 caravans and 3,000 horse-drawn vehicles house them, while the number of visitors also hits the tens of thousands.

Photos from the town today show ponies trotting through the streets and youngsters riding their steeds through the River Eden to wash them, part of an annual tradition.

One unfortunate young woman may have ridden a little too fast as she toppled off her mount into the water.

Fortunately, the only thing she injured was her pride, as she came up through the surface to hoots of laughter from her pals.


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Travellers descend on Appleby as Europe’s biggest gypsy fair kicks off today

Another lady was snapped taking a dip through the river in what appeared to be a designer outfit as her horse enjoyed the cool water.

The fair plays host to members of gypsy, Roma and travelling communities, including Irish Travellers and British Romanichal.

They flock to the remote town to celebrate the 250-year-old event.

It has only been cancelled twice, in 2001 due to foot-and-mouth disease and in 2020 due to Covid restrictions.

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Last year, it was delayed by a week by the organisers to avoid clashing with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The fair originated in the 1770s on Gallows Hill where sheep, cattle and horse dealers went to sell their stock.

By the 1900s it had evolved into an event for gypsies and travellers.

It officially kicks off today, June 8.

It comes as the Met Office issued a hot weather health alert for this weekend.

The first yellow warning of the year, issued by the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA), will see six regions of the country impacted.

The alert is in place from 9am this Friday until 9am on Monday.

Forecasters say Brits are set to face temperature highs of 30C in some parts.

Ahead of the event the fair posted on its website reminding horse owners to take care of their animals in the hot weather.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Rob Melloy said: “The weather plays a huge role in the Fair and the forecast says it’s going to be a hot one.

“Just as it’s important for us to drink plenty and not work too hard in hot weather, it’s important for our horses.

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"They need to have regular access to water, be drinking after being worked and be tied up in the shade.

"Owners may need to have more patience than normal as horses sometimes don’t want to drink if they are in an overstimulating environment."

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