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Appleby Horse Fair warning issued ahead of huge gathering of 10,000 British travellers

NewsAppleby Horse Fair warning issued ahead of huge gathering of 10,000 British travellers

A warning has been issued ahead of the annual Appleby Horse Fair as temperatures could soar to 30C in some parts of the UK this weekend. The annual Gypsy Roma and Traveller gathering starts on June 8 in Appleby, Lancashire. Dozens of people have already arrived ahead of the popular weekend.

The Appleby Horse Fair is centred around the trading of horses and has been in existence for at least 300 years. It is very important to the GRT community, around 10,000 of who attend the fair, as well as more than 30,000 other visitors. 

Nine animal welfare charities – who are all members of the National Equine Welfare Council (NEWC) – work together at Appleby to support the protection and well-being of the horses at the event.

The collaboration, called Appleby Horse Fair Equine Welfare Project, is made up of the RSPCA which is sending 34 people this year; Redwings Horse Sanctuary which is sending nine; Blue Cross which is sending eight; World Horse Welfare which is sending eight; Bransby Horses which is sending six; The British Horse Society which is sending three; The Donkey Sanctuary which is sending three; Oak Tree Animals who are sending two and The Horse Trust.

RSPCA officers will be supported by the other charities to help any animals who are sick, injured or whose needs are not being met.

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.

“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.

“Due to the nature of any horse fair, where animals are traded, and especially given that Appleby comes off the back of Kirkby Stephen, owners may not know how much their horse has been worked beforehand so we want to encourage people to err on the safe side and not overdo it, especially in the conditions.

“Day trippers should not be bringing their dogs to the Fair. Most people know by now that leaving a dog in a car on a hot day can be fatal but unbelievably some people still take the risk and we’ve had to rescue dogs at 14 of the past 15 events.

READ MORE: Met Office seven hour storm warning issued as blistering heat surge hits

“This isn’t the only danger though, we now know that exercising your dog on a hot day can be just as hazardous*, so please don’t put your pet or yourself in that position.”

There will be a vet station at Salt Tip Corner where fairgoers can go for assistance with any animal that needs it, and anyone with any concerns can approach an RSPCA or World Horse Welfare officer or call the RSPCA on 0300 1234 999. The vet station is staffed on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm.”

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