TENS of thousands of travellers have arrived for the beginning of the historic Appleby Horse Fair, The Sun reports. The annual event is the biggest gathering of gypsies and travellers in Europe, and it’s held in Appleby, Cumbria.
The fair is a way for the community to celebrate their love of horses, with many riding into the river on their animals. It’s been going for about 200 years, and as many as 30,000 people will take part in festivities over the next six days.
There are huge campsites all over the town, with people usually staying in caravans. As the event is all about horses, it’s traditional for people to take their animals and was them in the River Eden.
A lot of the time their owners go into the water for a dip too, plus there’s a lot of time spent on making sure the horses look as good as possible. Some take the opportunity to buy and sell their animals, while others are seen riding along in traditional traps.
Today was the first day of the event, and it’ll run until Wednesday June 8. Animal welfare is really important to everyone involved, with the RSPCA checking the river for anything which could hurt the horses before the fair kicked off.
Organisers had also asked people not to get their too early, and were pleased that most seemed to have listened to the request.