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Tuesday, 23 September 2014

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More than 40,000 head for horse fair

MORE than 40,000 people are expected to visit Appleby Horse Fair this year, and early indications show the number of caravans arriving on the site is up.

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Appleby Horse Fair: Biggest event of its kind in Europe is major date in travelling community’s calendar

The colourful spectacle, which starts on Thursday until June 13.

Police said that hundreds of caravans had already arrived on sites around Appleby and Ravenstonedale for the fair by Sunday.

A police spokesman said: “I think it’s busier because of the long holiday weekend and the good weather we’ve had in the lead up to the fair.”

The horse-trading event is the biggest of its kind in Europe and one of the major dates in the travelling community’s calendar.

Michelle Skeer, Cumbria’s assistant chief constable, said: “Appleby Fair is a unique event, which attracts a vast amount of visitors into the area and one of our aims is to try and ensure that they have an enjoyable fair and arrive and leave in safety.”

Routes most likely to be used over the coming days include the already busy A66. Motorists should watch out for horse-drawn vehicles, as travellers make their way to the fair.

Drivers are being urged to stay vigilant and drive carefully while those steering carriages have been encouraged to be as visible as possible.

Mrs Skeer said: “Horses can be easily spooked by fast vehicles or very loud music, so please take this into consideration.

“Slow down, be patient, pass them carefully and give them room.”

A major multi-agency effort working with the traveller community surrounds the fair with input from the police, council and animal welfare experts.

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