RSPCA urges extra care with animals at Appleby Horse Fair as hot weather forecasted

The ‘Best at Appleby’ competition celebrates examples of equine health, happiness, and horsemanship and was won last year by Lucifer and owner Carl. Credit: Appleby Horse Fair Equine Welfare Project

Fairgoers at Appleby Horse Fair are being advised to take extra precaution to keep their horses healthy in the hot weather.

The annual Gypsy Roma and Traveller gathering is the biggest in Western Europe and begins tomorrow though many people have already arrived in the area.

A collection of animal welfare charities have urged horse owners to make sure the animals get plenty of rest and hydration as forecasts predict temperatures of up to 24 degrees in the next few days.

Appleby Horse Fair Equine Welfare Project is made up of nine charities including the RSPCA.

RSPCA Chief Inspector Rob Melloy said: “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.

He also advised visitors not to bring dogs to the event.

There will be a vet station at Salt Tip Corner where fairgoers can go for assistance with any animal that needs it over the weekend between 10am and 4pm.

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