Appleby Horse Fair 2017 - Submachine Guns and Winter Weather

It's Appleby Horse Fair weekend - all hatches battened down, windows boarded up, roads closed and the most intensive police presence I've ever seen.  Armed police were particularly visible - not a normal occurrence.
Rather blurred, but they don't like you taking pics.
The attendance this year has been much less than usual - fewer horses and caravans - fewer tourists. The main reason probably the appalling weather.  Temperatures have been down in single figures at times and grey, wild, wet weather all day.  The wind has been the most unpleasant feature.  It has been 'blowing a hoolie' as we say up here.

Down at the Mill we usually get a lot of horses and campers, and the river sees a lot of action as they run the trotting horses and the gigs through it, but the river's been closed for much of the weekend because of the high water levels.

Still, we've seen some beautiful horses.  These are a few of the best.

This gorgeous three year-old Shire horse from Shropshire was being harnessed on the river bank. His owner told me it was the first horse he'd ever broken by himself.

Proud Owner

Normally the horses would be 'swum' in the deep parts of the river.  Not this year though.  This stallion, with his man and boy, was just pludging around in the shallows.

The horses spend a lot of time tied up outside the pubs waiting for their owners!

A lot of horse dealing going on here.

These are the trotting horses showing off their paces on one of the lanes around Appleby.  They really fly - taking a photo is very difficult! By the time you've pressed the shutter they're out of the frame.

This guy had four in hand - one harnessed to the gig with two younger horses on each side and one tied to the back.

This is one of the Vardas, drawn by a matching pair.  A lovely sight.  But they were on their way home, leaving because of the weather.

And you can see why.  These children were all dressed up for a good time and not enjoying the mud at all. 


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