"It couldn't be further from the truth - when you see what goes on in this town it's a shame for our town to be portrayed in this light"
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Christian Pay's family say he was "loved by all" and had "the heart of a lion". The 18-year-old died after falling ill at the festival.
The first of seven races will begin at 5:45pm, and 76 horses are competing. The UK's top female jockey is amongst the competitors.
Thousands of people are expected to flock to Brampton to catch a glimpse of the colourful breed, which is more common in warmer climates.