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Cheeky horse catapults rider into river at Appleby Horse Fair

One unfortunate rider got a surprise dunking at Appleby Horse Fair, when her horse launched itself off a ramp into the River Eden.

The cob took a leap of faith into the river as it attempted to follow it's friends lead into the water.

Both horse and rider walked away wet, but unharmed.

Credit: Natalie Trickett

Nine horses and two dogs seized at 'quieter' Appleby Horse Fair

Credit: RSPCA

Animal welfare charity, RSPCA, say this year's Appleby Horse Fair was 'friendly' and 'quieter' than previous ones.

Although the RSPCA dealt with fewer animal welfare issues than last year, two dogs had to be removed from the back of an enclosed pick-up truck on the Friday afternoon.

The charity say 12 warnings were given out, and 168 people received animal welfare advice.

We have two ongoing investigations, and nine horses and two dogs were taken away from the fair, which are now in the care of either the RSPCA or our partner charities.

Thanks to the member of the public who reported the dogs and the speed at which Cumbria Constabulary were able to get them out of the vehicle, with assistance from us, the dogs did not suffer.

– RSPCA chief inspector Melloy

33 RSPCA officers were on hand at the fair, which took place from Thursday 8 June to Monday 12 June.

Appleby horse fair visitors asked to leave dogs at home

Appleby Horse Fair Credit: ITV Border

The RSPCA is asking people attending Appleby Horse Fair to leave their dogs at home.

It comes after two dogs had to be rescued on Saturday when their owners realised it was not a suitable event for them.

The dogs could also scare the horses, which in turn could endanger the public.

"Do not bring dogs to the Fair. Dogs can result in hoses becoming “spooked”, which makes their behaviour unpredictable and can lead to injuries.

"Leaving dogs in cars or any enclosed spaces where the temperature can rise dramatically in a short space of time will have tragic results. We always urge people not to leave dogs in cars and not to bring them to Appleby Fair in the first place.”

– Rob Melloy, RSPCA Chief Inspector

Horse Fair river ramp closed due to high water levels

Horses in the river Credit: ITV Border

Organisers of the Appleby Horse Fair have closed the river ramp due to high river levels.

The Jubilee Ford is used for horse washing, but it will be closed overnight with immediate effect until tomorrow morning due to high waters levels and quickening water flow.

Officials say that the safety of animals and the wider public is the primary concern for these measures being put in place.

“Following a meeting this afternoon of the Multi Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group for Appleby Fair (MASCG), we have taken the decision with the support of MASCG Gypsy and Traveller representatives, to close the River Ramp on the Sands and the Jubilee Ford that are used for horse washing.

"The river’s high water level could pose a risk to animals and the public. The closure will remain in place overnight until tomorrow morning."

– Temporary Chief Superintendent Mark Pannone, Cumbria Police


River barrier to be lifted ahead of Appleby Horse Fair

Horses are traditionally washed in the river Credit: PA

Barriers preventing entry into River Eden will be removed by 4pm today, Wednesday 7 June.

The Multi-Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group (MASCG) say it is due to the river levels reducing below 0.5m and the RSPCA being able to clear most of the debris.

Travellers and visitors are still being warned to only enter the river at their own risk, as additional debris may be found in the river later in the day.

The MASCG say they will continue monitoring the rainfall over the next 24 hours.

Appleby Horse Fair ramp closed after safety concerns

Horses are traditionally washed in the river. Credit: PA

The ramp used for washing horses in the River Eden during the Appleby Fair has been closed, because of the rising water level.

Heavy rainfall in the Appleby area means the river level has risen, and the Multi Agency Strategic Co-ordinating Group of public agencies and Gypsy and Traveller representatives has decided it could put people and animals at risk.

The water level is being continuously monitored and the group will meet again tomorrow to review the situation, ahead of the start of Appleby Horse Fair on Thursday 8 June.

Public safety and animal welfare is always of paramount concern at Appleby Horse Fair. Due to the heavy rainfall Appleby has experienced over the past 24 hours, MASCG has been advised that in line with our safety policy it is in the best interest of public safety to close the ramp at the river for the time being. We will review this situation tomorrow and provide a further update.

– Dr Robin Hooper, Chair of MASCG and Chief Executive of Eden District Council

Local authorities say Appleby Horse Fair preparations going as planned

Local authorities co-ordinating this year's Appleby Horse Fair say planning to ensure the safety of visitors and residents are going as planned.

Many travellers are staying at designated stopping places ahead of the fair, which starts on Thursday, 4 June.

Up to 40,000 travellers are expected to descend into Appleby this week for the week-long annual Appleby Horse Fair.

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