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Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?

TheSnail 01 Jul 07 - 10:08 AM
GUEST,sparticus 01 Jul 07 - 09:59 AM
TheSnail 29 Jun 07 - 04:56 PM
concertina ceol 29 Jun 07 - 04:21 PM
TheSnail 29 Jun 07 - 03:00 PM
GUEST,sparticus 29 Jun 07 - 02:53 PM
TheSnail 29 Jun 07 - 10:27 AM
Grimmy 29 Jun 07 - 09:57 AM
TheSnail 29 Jun 07 - 09:03 AM
GUEST,sparticus 29 Jun 07 - 05:54 AM
Grimmy 29 Jun 07 - 05:42 AM
The PA 29 Jun 07 - 03:13 AM
TheSnail 28 Jun 07 - 01:25 PM
TheSnail 28 Jun 07 - 01:00 PM
Grimmy 28 Jun 07 - 11:25 AM
The PA 28 Jun 07 - 11:17 AM
TheSnail 28 Jun 07 - 10:28 AM
TheSnail 28 Jun 07 - 10:24 AM
Grimmy 28 Jun 07 - 09:11 AM
Ruth Archer 28 Jun 07 - 08:28 AM
TheSnail 28 Jun 07 - 08:12 AM
The PA 28 Jun 07 - 07:46 AM
Grimmy 28 Jun 07 - 07:13 AM
Ruth Archer 28 Jun 07 - 07:00 AM
TheSnail 28 Jun 07 - 06:54 AM
The PA 28 Jun 07 - 05:15 AM
Ruth Archer 28 Jun 07 - 04:53 AM
Ruth Archer 28 Jun 07 - 04:51 AM
The PA 28 Jun 07 - 04:23 AM
Ruth Archer 28 Jun 07 - 04:12 AM
The PA 28 Jun 07 - 03:44 AM
Ruth Archer 27 Jun 07 - 11:57 AM
The PA 27 Jun 07 - 11:36 AM
Ruth Archer 27 Jun 07 - 11:34 AM
The PA 27 Jun 07 - 11:17 AM
Ruth Archer 27 Jun 07 - 11:08 AM
The PA 27 Jun 07 - 11:07 AM
Grimmy 27 Jun 07 - 10:11 AM
GUEST,Aimee devon 26 Jun 07 - 07:35 PM
Grimmy 26 Jun 07 - 11:28 AM
TheSnail 26 Jun 07 - 08:57 AM
Blowzabella 26 Jun 07 - 08:12 AM
TheSnail 26 Jun 07 - 07:44 AM
Grimmy 26 Jun 07 - 06:38 AM
The PA 26 Jun 07 - 03:20 AM
TheSnail 25 Jun 07 - 07:17 PM
Blowzabella 23 Jun 07 - 12:01 PM
Grimmy 22 Jun 07 - 12:47 PM
Ruth Archer 22 Jun 07 - 10:39 AM
Grimmy 22 Jun 07 - 09:47 AM
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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 10:08 AM

I'm fine, thanks sparticus. I'm a bit worried about Grimmy. He hasn't posted and he hasn't turned up on my doorstep. Let's hope he has taken some time to pause and reflect on what he really thinks.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: GUEST,sparticus
Date: 01 Jul 07 - 09:59 AM

Just checking on Grimmy and the Snail. Hope you're both alright?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 04:56 PM

concertina ceol

but to Grimmy and the Snail.....
....chill out, have a beer


Rest assured, I have no violent intentions. I'm not built for it apart from anything else; you've seen me.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: concertina ceol
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 04:21 PM

I have no emotional or political investment in this thread. I was in at post five but have not read this post since.

I don't support animal cruelty, but I don't campaign against it. Accepted behaviour is not always rational. Hunting with hounds is banned (which I think is a good thing), Fishing is not banned and no campaign of any profile to outlaw it - well that's just weird.

However, violence against the person is against the law, and the threat of violence is unacceptable in a civilised society.

Maybe I'm a (youngish) hippy, but to Grimmy and the Snail.....
....chill out, have a beer (or cup of tea if you are teetotal) and relax....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 03:00 PM

Grimmy seems to be hinting at something more than virtual combat "I know where you live!" His attitude doesn't convince me of his liberal credentials.

Does anybody know this chap? How should I prepare for his visit, get a pepper spray or buy in some more biscuits?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: GUEST,sparticus
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 02:53 PM

This is starting to sound like a Bronte novel. Handbags at twenty paces isn't the solution to your problem chaps. Settle this in the time honoured tradition of one to one Morris dancing where the first one to flag concedes victory and buys his opponent a pint. This virtual combat isn't worth the aggravation it's giving you both.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 10:27 AM

You have, as they say, the advantage of me sir. (Not that I've ever made any secret of who I am.) Would you care to introduce yourself?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 09:57 AM

Very well.

We'll meet a lot sooner than that Bryan.

You'll know who I am - my face is scarred through run-ins with the BNP. We can discuss our respective methods of combatting racism, since you're obviously an expert. We'll discuss other things too.

Is it raining in Eastbourne?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 09:03 AM

GUEST,sparticus

Snail, make it clear that you don't think that Grimmy is a racist.

Looking back through Grimmy's post has been a strange and disturbing exercise. What is clearest about him is that he is deeply confused. He seems to contradict himself frequently.

A while ago I said -

Chastising an entire community for the behaviour of one individual is racism.

a statement I'm happy to stand by.

Grimmy

It may be true, LTS, that you've "never known ANY people (other than upper class little white girls and their ponies) who have more respect for their horses than the Travelling people and their families.", but please believe me when I tell you that not at Appleby Fair they don't.
I've witnessed horses being kicked, punched, head-butted, whipped, beaten with sticks, run into the ground.
Indeed, the reason I no longer attend is because of the mindless cruelty inflicted on those poor beasts YEAR AFTER YEAR.
I can also tell you that you won't get many eye-witness accounts from the local residents (many of whom are my relatives) because they stay in their homes with all the windows and doors locked during the fair week.
That's the 'reality' of Appleby Horse Fair.


When someone challenged this, he replied -

Besides, the travellers are very adept (having been doing it since 1685) at conducting their activities out of sight of the authorities. There is an 'official' fair for the benefit of the visitors and an 'unofficial' one for the serious dealing - and that's the one very few people get to see.

In other words, travellers have been behaving like that for 320 years.

Where are the dog fighting images? The sheep stealing pics? The drunken fighting photos? The cottages with ivy around the door and human excrement on the lawn?

Somebody challenged this and he replied -

I am quite sure that outsiders are more than capable of sheep stealing, I will leave it to others to decide who are the most likely culprits.

Nicely ambiguous but it sounds to me as if he thinks it's the travellers.

If anyone really really wants cast-iron proof of horse cruelty (including deaths) at Appleby over a long period of time, then I will obtain it.
.............
But, for those in denial, I promise you, I promise you that I will produce evidence that horses have been killed at Appleby Horse Fair year after year after year.


To put it another way, I've made up my mind and now I'm going to look for the evidence.

Here is some of his cast-iron proof -

On Tuesday (June 6) a horse, which was being ridden by a traveller, was killed after it ran out in front of a Land Rover Discovery driven by a 19-year-old woman from Ingleton at Devil's Bridge, near Kirkby Lonsdale.
What's he saying? That the traveller did it deliberately?

http://www.newsandstar.co.uk/opinion/viewarticle.aspx?id=510970
Half remembered incident in a letter to the paper. It won't stand up in court.

And, of course, there's the crowbar incident to which Grimmy seems to have been the only witness.

As far as I can see, he has only produced hard evidence for one other death. He said himself that road accidents don't count.

One of the most worrying things is the use of this link -
http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/search/display.var.951592.0.appleby_horse_fair_arrest.php

What is he trying to prove there? This is black propoganda at its most vile.

His claim that he is only drawing attention to this "evidence" to warn people that the opponents of the fair might use it to force its closure is laughable and only appeared some way into his posts.

So, yes, I find some of Grimmy's statements and his general attitude rascist.

OK, Grimmy, I'll meet you - at Appleby Horse Fair next year on condition that you stand up in front of a gathering of travellers and say everything you've said on this thread. You can explain to them why it's all for their own good.

By the way, you don't have to be a hero to take a stand against racism. Anyone can do it if they have a modicum of respect for their fellow human beings.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: GUEST,sparticus
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 05:54 AM

Is duelling still allowed??

Grimmy, calm down, it's only a forum.

Snail, make it clear that you don't think that Grimmy is a racist.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 05:42 AM

TheSnail, I've had enough of your snide remarks and weasel words. It's time to put up or shut up.

If you're accusing me of racism then say so here and now and produce your evidence, clear and unambiguous.

If you're NOT then say so here and now and stop your pathetic personal vendetta.

If you don't wish to do it on these pages then I can make arrangements for us to do it face to face if you prefer.

Your choice.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 29 Jun 07 - 03:13 AM

The Snail

I take on board and respect your point of view. I agree that an entire community should not be punished for the bad behaviour of a few, this is what seems to be happening - on both sides.

No, I have not done the maths yet - but perhaps, sometimes death can be an escape from an life of intollerable crualty, on either side.

I shall end my postings here, having been able to put my point across to someone did not attack me simply for my chosen lifestyle.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 01:25 PM

The PA

My sincere apologies for the bad timing of postings.

These things happen. Maybe Grimmy is right and I'm too paranoid.

My point is made in my last post. There seems to be a rule for one and not for another, and the people who appear to be playing by the rules (regardless of whether those rules are effective or not) are the one's who are being attacked for crualty.

Of course all who are guilty of cruelty should be criticised and, if possible, punished. What should not happen is that an entire community shoud be condemned for the bad behaviour of a few. As you said yourself "Don't tar everyone with the same brush". It's true that the horse fairs are largely outside the law but you are not going to solve that by continuing hostility to the traveller community.

Despite their lack of regulation, on the available information, they have a far better record for horse deaths than the National Hunt or eventing for all their rules, vets and caring people. Have you done the maths yet?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 01:00 PM

Grimmy

I've witnessed horses being kicked, punched, head-butted, whipped, beaten with sticks, run into the ground.

Indeed, the reason I no longer attend is because of the mindless cruelty inflicted on those poor beasts YEAR AFTER YEAR.

I can also tell you that you won't get many eye-witness accounts from the local residents (many of whom are my relatives) because they stay in their homes with all the windows and doors locked during the fair week.

That's the 'reality' of Appleby Horse Fair.


Although, confusingly, later -

I also did not intend to create the impression that there is unremitting animal cruelty

Well. No. Obviusly not.

Besides, the travellers are very adept (having been doing it since 1685) at conducting their activities out of sight of the authorities.

Not just the younger generation today, then?

Where are the dog fighting images? The sheep stealing pics? The drunken fighting photos? The cottages with ivy around the door and human excrement on the lawn?

Where indeed? You said all your evidence was in the public domain.

All I want is for the Fair to continue - minus the abuse.

Got it now?


Well, getting there slowly but you'll have to bear with me. I still find your method a little puzzling and you haven't explained why you want the fair to continue. You don't seem to have a good word to say about it.

Let me know how your campaign goes.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 11:25 AM

TheSnail

I have made my agenda perfectly clear, which is to oppose racism and right wing attitudes finding their way into the folk scene and, yes, that is more important to me than Appleby.

My hero!

Unfortunately you are so obsessed with your own agenda that you are quite incapable of rational debate. All you succeed in doing is to harm the very 'folk scene' you seek to protect with your cowardly insinuations. Indeed, if I really were a right-winger and wanted to cause trouble, I'd probably employ tactics very similar to your own.

If all you can do is accuse me of telling the truth then what does that say about you?

I don't give a flying bab if you are baffled by my position. You're so busy looking for ulterior motives that you just can't accept it at face value. However, here it is again, for the last time (and I'm typing really slooowly, just for you):

All I want is for the Fair to continue - minus the abuse.

Got it now?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 11:17 AM

The Snail:

My sincere apologies for the bad timing of postings. My posting was not directed at you at all. My posting was in reply to Ruth Archer, and never intended as an attack on your goodself.

The second pony was found dumped in a field. When the police tried to trace the 'owners' they had disappeared. Wherever this creature had been in the meantime it had not been an enjoyable experience, the poor thing, a shetland pony, was terrified. It took years to get its trust. We've 'fostered' it for 10 years. I never intimated once that all our rescues were anything to do with travellers, only the one which we were sure of.

My point is made in my last post. There seems to be a rule for one and not for another, and the people who appear to be playing by the rules (regardless of whether those rules are effective or not) are the one's who are being attacked for crualty. Again, read my previous posts and you will see I have never defended abuse of horses no matter how or where it occurs.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 10:28 AM

The PA If you'd like to stop attacking ME for things I haven't said and answer the points I made in my "hysterical rant", we might get somewhere. Otherwise, as I said, rational debate is obviously pointless.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 10:24 AM

Well, I did say I expected personal abuse.

We all know what your agenda is, TheSnail, and it's got nothing to do with Appleby.

I have made my agenda perfectly clear, which is to oppose racism and right wing attitudes finding their way into the folk scene and, yes, that is more important to me than Appleby.

I am still baffled by your position. You do everything you can to blacken the fair's name and claim that you are doing it for its own good.

YOU, with your denial of the truth, are a bigger threat to Appleby than I could ever be.

What truth am I denying? In what way do I threaten Appleby?

I repeat, come up with some positive suggestions. So far, you've come up with a very good case for banning it.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 09:11 AM

When all else fails - shoot the messenger, eh?

We all know what your agenda is, TheSnail, and it's got nothing to do with Appleby.

If I was able to uncover the various abuses which you have listed above - all from the public domain, mark you - then so can those who would seek to ban it. If you can't see that then you're a bigger jerk than I thought.

YOU, with your denial of the truth, are a bigger threat to Appleby than I could ever be.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 08:28 AM

"To make that analogy comparable you have to hold the shoplifter's entire community collectively responsible, dragging up every misdemeanour any of them have ever committed, and threaten their whole way of life while dismissing the big business corruption as normal practice."

"Horse racing IS within public acceptance despite the far higher rate of horse fatalities. Ask yourself why Appleby is not. Could it be something to do with the people involved?"


These are precisely my points, made far more succinctly and clearly than I have been able. Cheers, Snail.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 08:12 AM

At the risk of attracting more personal abuse -

Grimmy

In court, a shoplifter claims that far more money is stolen by corrupt 'big business', that the police should be out there chasing the 'real villains' and not wasting everybody's time with such small fry. Valid arguments maybe, but no defence.

To make that analogy comparable you have to hold the shoplifter's entire community collectively responsible, dragging up every misdemeanour any of them have ever committed, and threaten their whole way of life while dismissing the big business corruption as normal practice.

I really can't work out your position, Grimmy. If you want Appleby to continue, why do you keep digging out more evidence to demonise the participants? You have painted a picture of horse torturing, sheep stealing, garden polluting, fire engine abusing, rapists who fill in their spare time taking pot shots at RSPCA officers. If it's so awful, why have you been 30 times? Why do you want it to continue? You don't seem to have a good word to say about it.

Then ask yourself which activity would require the least adjustment to bring it within public acceptance: Appleby or horse racing.

Horse racing IS within public acceptance despite the far higher rate of horse fatalities. Ask yourself why Appleby is not. Could it be something to do with the people involved?

All I want is for the Fair to continue - minus the abuse. Is that too much to ask?

Then come up with some positive suggestions instead of giving the opponents more ammunition.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 07:46 AM

I have NEVER EVER, in any of my posts (go back and read them carefully) defended nor denied the alleged cruelty or deaths connected with horse sports. If you stop your hysterical rant for one moment and read what I have previously posted you will see that I have openly criticised flat racing along with other sports. I have criticised Franki Dettori myself.

My point, and I'll repeat it again, is the fact that we, as competitors and horse owners, have to adhere to rules and regulations and standards layed down by the governing body of that sport, the British Horse Society, the breed societys and British Riding Club Rules, and equine welfare organisations. Those standards may not be perfect, and are being improved upon year by year. At least thats a start. Yet we are the people YOU seek to criticise.

The people who participate in the events taking place at Appleby and Stow do not, they have no govening body. They are a law unto themselves, and god help anyone who tries to intervene. I have attended horsefairs with Horsewatch and neither we the RSPCA or our vet were particularly welcome. The horses at Appleby have no-one to watch out for them.

They will not even agree to 'police' themselves, if they did they would have caught the person's responsible for the deaths of both horses - yes there were two not one. The other horse that collapsed and died was just abandoned on the roadside.

Racing and eventing is open to the public, everyone can see what goes on, that makes those industries the 'easy target'. The fact is that at Appleby they do not want 'outsiders' seeing what goes on at these fairs - What are they hiding??

I have attended horsefairs, markets, auction sales and abatiors as well as competing. I have seen where the welfare of horses is the issue and have a far wider view of crualty in the horse world - I have never denied that it exists and certainly take exception to your implying that I do.

How may events, shows, races, markets etc etc have you attended? (and I would like an answer to that please). Where do you get your knowledge and experience.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 07:13 AM

In court, a shoplifter claims that far more money is stolen by corrupt 'big business', that the police should be out there chasing the 'real villains' and not wasting everybody's time with such small fry. Valid arguments maybe, but no defence.

The biggest threat to Appleby Fair is complacency. Those who would deny the abuses, ignore them, or even justify them merely leave the door open for those who would seek to ban it.

The politicians have got hold of it now - and that should worry people. I don't think many on this thread realise the scale of resentment felt by the local community towards the fair. You may choose to ignore it - politicians dare not. David Maclean MP will feel obliged to spit bile to appease his constituents; we must hope he doesn't take it any further.

Governments look for easy targets (smokers, hunters, druggies). Ask yourself which activity would be easier to ban: Appleby or horse racing. Then ask yourself which activity would require the least adjustment to bring it within public acceptance: Appleby or horse racing.

All I want is for the Fair to continue - minus the abuse. Is that too much to ask?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 07:00 AM

"And at last, you admit it you think drowning horses at Appleby is OK."

Rubbish. It's the opposite of what everyone here has been saying from the start. I was pointing out a semantic inaccuracy which you'd deliberately created for effect, which is a manipulative and dishonest way to conduct an argument.

"These things happen, what was once a cute tradition is now a cruel and distasteful practice no longer suitable for the modern world..."

If that's true, it's much truer of racing and eventing. You still have not answered any of the criticisms directed at these sports. You haven't told us whether you go onto their internet forums to complain about the quantity of death, excessive whipping and drugging that goes on. Surely it's much more important to end the sports responsible for large quantities of death and harm to animals than to persecute one small annual event. So why aren't you going after them?

"exactly the same as children up chimneys, bear baiting, bull baiting and more recently fox hunting."

Again, PA, let's at least try to maintain some perspective. Appleby is not an event that exists to perpetuate cruelty: no one here has suggested that all, or even most, horses at Appleby are badly treated. Some may well be, and yes, measures that are both effective and sensitive ought to be considered. But tell me: as so many horses die in the racing industry, surely THAT is actually the outdated pracice which, along with cock-fighting bull-bating etc, ought to be stopped?

You may live and work with horses, but you won't accept the criticisms directed at your industry. I may not know about working with horses, but I never claimed I did and that's irrelevant to this argument. I CAN read statistics, though, and I can see the disparity between the numbers of horses killed each year at, say, the Grand National and the ones killed at Appleby.

Pots and kettles...motes and cinders...take your pick.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 06:54 AM

Rational debate is obviously pointless so here are a few random thoughts.

Grimmy

The comments on both sides of the argument are interesting.

        ....and a refreshing change. Good to see someone actually talking to the travellers instead of just regarding them as an amorphous mob. The PA's response was sadly predictable.

The PA

We have two at the moment. One pony had the crap beaten out of her for fun by 'travellers' in the East Anglia area.

And the other one? Not 'travellers' or you would have said so.

Of course more horses die in racing and eventing, there are more race meetings and events than there are horse fairs. That's obvious.

So far on the "evidence" produced, 2 or 3 deaths at Appleby over the last ten years; equivalent to one day of the 2006 Cheltenham Festival or one average Grand National.

All the top riders pulled out of the cross country section of Badminton this year because they considered the ground too hard.

....and two horses died.

If the travelling community are such an 'easy target' as you suggest, why are they not being attacked by the animal welfare groups or investigated by the Police or the animal welfare charities? Because they fear retaliation – that's why.

From the newspaper article quoted by Grimmy -

>>MP for Penrith and the Border David Maclean is urging a "fundamental rethink" over the fair,
>>while animal welfare charities are calling for the practice of washing horses in the
>>River Eden to be banned.

Don't tar everyone with the same brush, just because its your only argument.

I quite agree. I'm sure it's not something you would ever do yourself, PA.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 05:15 AM

All these dead horses my friends and I are responsible for, had to clamber over a pile of them this morning - just to get to me Range Rover - yes I really do drive one.

And at last, you admit it you think drowning horses at Appleby is OK.

I live and work with horses I am not ill-informed - you are.

You just want to tar everyone with the same brush because someone may question whether a so called tradition has outlived its sell-by date. These things happen, what was once a cute tradition is now a cruel and distasteful practice no longer suitable for the modern world we live in exactly the same as children up chimneys, bear baiting, bull baiting and more recently fox hunting. The sooner we put an end to this, along with cock fighting, dog fighting and badger baiting the better for all, or maybe you think those are traditions worth preserving as well because it part of their 'culture'.

You and your traveller friends are just going to have to accept it and move on.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 04:53 AM

By the way, you can change the statement

"Racing, Eventing etc    -    BAD, because its the preserve of the rich.

Drowning horses at Appleby    -    GOOD, because its tradition and carried out by cheerie old characters who can spin a good yarn."

to

"KILLING QUANTITIES OF HORSES at Racing, Eventing etc    -    BAD, because its the preserve of the rich.

Drowning horses at Appleby    -    GOOD, because its tradition and carried out by cheerie old characters who can spin a good yarn."


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 04:51 AM

Errr...no.

What happened was some loud and not particularly well-informed people banging on about getting Appleby shut down because of a horse being drowned. As some of us actually do care about heritage and tradition, we pointed out that, if the issue is REALLY animal rights, there are two things that need to happen: firstly, the abuse at Appleby needs to be quantified and substantiated. Secondly, it needs to be PUT INTO PERSPECTIVE against the numbers of "accidental" deaths which are accepted as part and parcel of racing, eventing and hunting - sports which cause many, many more deaths than Appleby does each year.

YOU were the one who said "Culture - me arse!". Well, perhaps that's the way some if us feel about your "horsie community" if it will cast aspertions at events like Appleby while ignoring the buggering great cinder in its own eye.

Tell me, how often do you go onto racing and eventing forums and demand that they get their own house in order?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 04:23 AM

Oh I see now :

Racing, Eventing etc    -    BAD, because its the preserve of the rich.

Drowning horses at Appleby    -    GOOD, because its tradition and carried out by cheerie old characters who can spin a good yarn.

Silly me why didnt I see that in the first place.

And, it was you who called them 'pikeys', love not me. Oh an I dont do hats.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 04:12 AM

By institutionalised abuse, I mean that I can't think of any other sport or activity where animals regularly die in numbers, often several on one day, and this is considered to be an unfortunate but acceptable by-product of the sport. Never mind the sort of public flaying frankie dettori gave to his horse last week - again, a slap on the wrist resulted, not a public outcry.

This is being compared to activity like tethering ponies at the side of the road and their risk of being hit by a car.

I did not mean to cast personal aspersions - I'm sure you're a fine chap who loves his horses and his mum. But, as has been demonstrated ad infinitum, there are a hell of a lot more horses dying on the "respectable" fields and courses of the racing industry than at Appleby. And not just because there are more race meetings: take an annual event like the Grand National. One day per year. A lot more horses dying than ever do at Appleby Fair.

I did say earlier that I don't think a blind eye should be turned to the abuse which is alleged to happen at Appleby, but the response DOES have to be a sensitive one. You, on the other hand, came out all guns blazing against the event: "Culture - my arse!" - they are only pikeys, after all, eh, PA?

Somehow it's okay to watch horses being whipped, drugged to the eyeballs and killed, so long as you're wearing a nice hat. Okay, yah.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 28 Jun 07 - 03:44 AM

Of course more horses die in racing and eventing, there are more race meetings and events than there are horse fairs. That's obvious.

I'd be interest to know what you mean by 'institutionalised abuse'? The FEI investigate accidents and deaths to horses, and riders, for that matter when these instances occur, and improvements to courses and fences are enforced. Their reports and statistics are freely available on their website. It is simply not true to state that these incidents go unchallenged because the people involved have money. All the people on my yard who compete also hold down full time jobs in order to pay for their horses. Personally, I run my yard and work fulltime 8 – 5 five days per week. Training takes place between 5 and 6 in the morning or in the evenings.

Just for the record my horse is 14 and has competed all his life. He has never been lame or ill, the only time he's seen the vet is for his annual vaccinations and check up. He is fed on top quality organic food approved by the vegetarian society. I do not believe in artificial supplements or drugs. Does that sound like a horse that's been 'abused'.?

As for challenging the risks at events yes I have seen showjumping classes where there has been one competitor because everyone else withdrew because either the going was too hard or the fences were unsuitable. All the top riders pulled out of the cross country section of Badminton this year because they considered the ground too hard.

For all these reasons, yes I do hold my self up as a shining example of good example and I'm proud of it. And we are not in the minority.

If the travelling community are such an 'easy target' as you suggest, why are they not being attacked by the animal welfare groups or investigated by the Police or the animal welfare charities? Because they fear retaliation – that's why.

My main concern is the welfare of these horses. We have standards to meet and rules to adhere to, whether you choose to believe it or not. The activities I have mentioned previously at these horse fairs actually contravene the Animal Welfare Act 2006. Why should one group be allowed to get away with it when another cannot?

I have made these points because of your sweeping generalisations and attacks on people involved in a sport or activity of which you say yourself in an earlier post you know nothing about.    Take the blinkers off Ruth Archer – give them back to the horse. Oh and you may be interested to know that I do not and never have hunted and wholeheartedly support the hunting ban. Don't tar everyone with the same brush, just because its your only argument.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 11:57 AM

Round here I've only seen horses tethered with rope, not chains.

I think that the point people have repeatedly made on this thread is that there is an institutionalised level of abuse that happens within industries associated with horses. But because these are seen as the necessary risks of the trade, and those within the industries and fraternities involved have money and influence, such practice goes unchallenged. I think it's been demonstrated that far more horses die as a result of these industries than die as a result of events like Appleby and Stowe.

Presumably you challenge all these risks to animal welfare at eventing and race meetings you may attend and - dare I say it - within the local hunt?

These people profess to love their animals; so do travellers. But in both cases, there seems to be another side to the story.

My hope is that you aren't choosing the easy target as a vent for your anger and frustration, while ignoring the much larger-scale, institutionalised abuse that is accepted as a necessary evil by the "horsie community".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 11:36 AM

Ruth Archer - I accept what you say regarding who you know and who you believe. All I can say to that is that I feel I am qualified to speak about horse welfare. My family come originally from southern Ireland. We have been involved in horses, breeding, competing, riding etc for almost 150 years (I havnt researched any further back yet). Personally, I have been involved with horses all my life, over 50 years). Including riding, breeding, competing. I still compete in eventing and showing as does my son. We own a medium sized livery/competition yard and also accept abused horses, including crualty cases, for a national charity. We have two at the moment. One pony had the crap beaten out of her for fun by 'travellers' in the East Anglia area. They only handed her over to the charity because she was quite literally on her last legs. My yard is inspected regularly especially, every 3 to 6 months for the rescue horses. Last week we were give a 5 star rating for the care of the horses. Tethering horses by the side of the road with chains, running horses up on roads, and dunking them in rivers is simply not acceptable - it doesnt matter who you are.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 11:34 AM

The "horsie community" is responsible for dozens more deaths of horses than anything that happens at Appleby, as highlighted earlier, at eventing, race meetings etc. Why should you lot be held up as shining examples of good practice?

community - my arse.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 11:17 AM

Oh and another thing.

As from February 2004 every horse, pony and donkey in the UK is supposed to have a passport, containing all its details, bit like a car log book, but including all its vaccinations, vet treatment, previous owners etc complete with description of the horse. They cost around £20 - £40 just for the paperwork and then have to be signed by a Vet which can cost, including call-out, anything up to £50.00. In some counties the Police actively stop and check passports or horses being ridden on the roads. Its some EU crap. Anyway you're not supposed to sell horses without them. There's something like a £2,000.00 fine for not having one. So, Ok how many of those horses changing hands at Appleby had their passports checked by the Police, RSPCA, before they were sold? Like I said, they get away with it because the authorities are scared. Drag them into line with everyone else, or close it why should they be treated any differently from the rest of the horsie community.

Like I said tradition/culture - my arse.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 11:08 AM

"This throws into doubt the rest of the comments made by this 'traveller', that he's a 'horse breeder', not something that can be managed well if you are on the move, where do you keep the mare when she's heavily in foal, how do you manage the stallion, where is the foal born - at the side of the road. As for a horse drowning if its ears go under the water - not true."

So how much do you know about travellers who breed horses? There are plenty of them. Just because you're a traveller doesn't mean you don't own land, nor that the horses you have with you at the time are the only ones you own. George rents a field near my village from a local farmer, co-owns a piece of land near Doncaster with another traveller, and also has some land (not sure if it's rented or owned) in the Vale of Belvoir. That's where he keeps his horses - and he has a fair few. He also owns more than one vardo, and has various places where he keeps the ones he's not currently travelling with. I know this is true - i've seen at least two of them myself.

You can put "traveller" in brackets all you like. He's the genuine article. I was looking at his family photos last weekend - they go back generations. I met his sister on Saturday, and his nephew on Sunday.

Consequently, I know who he is. But I don't know who you are, PA, so I know who I choose to believe.

By the way, we discussed Appleby again. Conclusions? Well, there weren't any. George deplores the attitude of the younger generation, yet can't see any obvious solution. Outside intervention would be met with hostility, and there's no obvious group within the travelling community who could police it without causing the equivalent of civil war.

Not particularly promising.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 11:07 AM

Sorry, but absolute bollocks from that Billy Welch prat, if the horse was not in the water in the first place this would not have happened. As for not wishing to put horses in danger - yeh right thats why they have them tethered by chains to the side of busy roads. Culture - my arse! If I treated the horses on my yard in the same manner I'd be prosecuted and the yard closed. They get away with murder because the RSPCA, BHS etc are scared of confrontation.

Anyway thats just my opinion - rant over.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 27 Jun 07 - 10:11 AM

UPDATE

I reproduce here in full an article from the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald. The comments on both sides of the argument are interesting.


Call for "fundamental rethink" over Appleby fair
Monday, 25 June 2007

DRAMATIC changes are being called for at Appleby New Fair following this year's horse drowning and a record number of complaints.

MP for Penrith and the Border David Maclean is urging a "fundamental rethink" over the fair, while animal welfare charities are calling for the practice of washing horses in the River Eden to be banned.

Mr. Maclean said the fair needed to be turned into "a properly controlled fun festival for a week rather than something where local people put up the shutters and evacuate the area". He said it should also benefit local people and businesses.

"We need a fresh look at this mega event. We can be the only place in the country that gets 30,000 visitors and yet the town council, district council and county council end up out of pocket and we have appalling incidents like the horse drowning and litter on a massive scale," continued the MP.

Mr. Maclean said he had received more complaints this year than ever before but that, with record numbers of people attending, the public authorities had coped as well as could be expected with their limited powers.

Also this week, the British Horse Society and RSPCA have criticised the practice of submerging horses' heads in the River Eden. Lee Hackett, welfare senior executive for the British Horse Society, said: "Witnesses report that the horse's rider repeatedly dunked the animal's head until it failed to re-emerge, causing the rider to flee the scene.

"The drowning of a young horse is clearly abhorrent and, although it would seem to be a tragic one-off event, it is essential steps are taken to ensure it cannot happen again. The practice of completely submerging horses' heads is archaic and serves no clear purpose."

A spokesman for the RSPCA added: "We would back any call to ban the submersion of horses' heads at Appleby as we feel it is unjustified and dangerous."

The spokesman added that they wanted a restriction so no horse would be allowed in the water without a head collar and a head rope, which must be less than a metre long, so increasing the safety of horses.

However, the suggestions have been slated by gypsy traveller spokesman Billy Welch, who said using a rope would pose a serious danger to both horse and owner and had been to blame for the tragic death of the horse at this year's fair.

In the drowning, Mr. Welch claims the horse had a rope around its nose which became caught on its hoof in the water. As the animal struggled, it repeatedly pulled its own head into the water rather than being dunked by the owner. He said the owner was not a part of the travelling community and was simply inexperienced.

"You never go into deep water with a rope on the horse. The lad was trying his best to pull it out. They should only be going in with reins on because, if they get caught, they will snap, but a rope doesn't. The RSPCA are inexperienced in horses. The last thing we want to do is put a horse in danger — it's the opposite of our culture and way of thinking," he said.

"All this is just an excuse for the anti-fair lobbying; it's poor but it's the only one they can grasp," continued Mr. Welch, adding that the tradition of washing horses in the River Eden had been followed for centuries and would never be stopped.

Mr. Welch also commented on the mass of complaints about litter in the town over fair week and said Eden council had just been overwhelmed because of the sheer volume of people — visitors, travellers and gypsies alike.

A number of residents have, in fact, praised the council for the speedy cleanup operation following the end of the fair, with Appleby being described as "spotless".

Daily litter picking, refuse collections and mechanical sweeps were undertaken throughout the fair by Eden District Council, along with introduction of an additional litter picking gang on Tuesday. An estimated two tonnes of litter and rubbish was removed from the town centre each day.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: GUEST,Aimee devon
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 07:35 PM

bloody disgustin..find that flippin gypsy and kill him, what an arse hole... when i saw that poor horse in the paper, i wanted to know why? why the hell wasnt everyone jumpin in the water when they could see that some fucking stupid loser gypsy is hurtin the poor thing... they could probally see that that wasnt right... just pure wrong and evil, really really upset me that has....


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 11:28 AM

TheSnail

While I am as concerned as anyone about cruelty to horses, what I am more concerned about is infiltration of the folk scene by the right wing who see it as an opportunity to further their cause

Well, you have certainly clarified your position.

I'm quite happy to let people decide, from the evidence on this thread, which is the more likely:

1) As someone who has actually been to Appleby Fair some 30 odd times, that I am part of some right-wing conspiracy to bring about its demise, or

2) That you are some self-appointed "super-hero" of the folk scene, bulldozing evidence aside in your witch-hunt to expose the incursions of an 'enemy' which exists solely in your twisted mind.

And if you accuse me of being a right-wing infiltrator, then you get personal abuse. OK?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 08:57 AM

Blowzabella

I'd really like to bow out of this, my head's starting to hurt but I can't let this pass.

Are you suggesting that it is absolutely inherent

Certainly not. You started the ball rolling with a thread title that implied that this single incident brought the whole future of the fair into question. Others, for whom Grimmy now seems to have become the principle flag bearer, set about digging out more and more evidence to try and prove that cruelty is endemic. Much of this was hearsay or irrelevant (cruelty to fire engines?) or poorly documented. Grimmy seems to have been the only witness to the crowbar incident. Why do travellers' horses killed in traffic accidents miles from Appleby give evidence of cruelty at the fair?

The comparison with more "respectable" horse events shows that Appleby is, in fact, remarkably safe. The determination to find yet more evidence of cruelty, no matter how obscure, suggests to me that attacking Appleby is more important to some people than preventing cruelty to horses.

I gave Grimmy the opportunity to clarify his position and he descended into personal abuse.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 08:12 AM

I don't think that what Grimmy has done could be described as 'attacking' Appleby Horse Fair, to be fair. What he has done is comment on certain aspects of it. He has said over and over again that he wishes it to continue and that he does not wish to see it become a sanitised shadow of itself - but that there are aspects of it at present, which could lead to public opinion turning against it - namely the examples of cruelty / mistreatment which have variously been posted. I don't think that is attacking.

I'm trying to cite a relevant but unrelated example here - supposing, for instance, an accident happened in a workplace and concerns were raised about the working conditions of the employees. Would that be seen as attacking the industry?

Of course there are a myriad of other forms of animal cruelty but I don't see that discussing one particular example suggests that you are turning a blind eye to - or condoning - the rest. In fact the discussion here seems to have been more about concern that the event could be stopped because of some of the youth element (which Ruth's acquaintance seems to have confirmed is the main problem), rather than any outright call for it to be stopped. I can only think that you are particularly prickly about finding condemnation where there is none - or have some other point to try and make?

Yes, I will condemn cruelty where I see it - I would not, however, like to imagine that the event could not continue without it. Are you suggesting that it is absolutely inherent and that incidents of cruelty should be tolerated because the event / tradition is more important? I am genuinely not sure what you were saying.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 07:44 AM

Now that Grimmy has confirmed that he is only interested in horse cruelty as a means of attacking Appleby Horse Fair not as a cause in itself, I will take his advice and politely piss off.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 06:38 AM

TheSnail

I really can't be arsed trawling through all your ramblings.

Anyone who has read my posts will understand that I have highlighted various abuses at Appleby Fair that could give the authorities reasons to ban it. The horse cruelty, which strikes a particular nerve in the public conscience, would be the most likely excuse.

If you can't see that then there's no hope for you.

As for being paranoid about right wing infiltration, I've a few issues to work out locally

Start with inside your head.

I have done my best to communicate in as polite a way as I could in the face of some very disturbing statements.

So have I, including your insinuation that I'm a right-wing infiltrator. Now piss off.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: The PA
Date: 26 Jun 07 - 03:20 AM

I would completely dispute the price of £16,000.00 for a coloured cob. These horses, considered by some (unfairly I may add)to be the mongrels of the equine world, can be picked up anywhere for £50.00 to £500.00. You would expect to pay £16,000.00 for a talented showjumper, eventer or dressage horse. This throws into doubt the rest of the comments made by this 'traveller', that he's a 'horse breeder', not something that can be managed well if you are on the move, where do you keep the mare when she's heavily in foal, how do you manage the stallion, where is the foal born - at the side of the road. As for a horse drowning if its ears go under the water - not true. Horses are actually fair swimmers if not interfered with by people.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: TheSnail
Date: 25 Jun 07 - 07:17 PM

Grimmy

I suggest you get back behind your circle of wagons, take your paranoia and your twisted imaginings with you, and leave this thread to those who actually care about the welfare of horses.

Well, you did ask.

I'm sorry you felt the need to respond in that manner. I have done my best to communicate in as polite a way as I could in the face of some very disturbing statements.

May I remind you of some of the things you have said?

I've witnessed horses being kicked, punched, head-butted, whipped, beaten with sticks, run into the ground.
Indeed, the reason I no longer attend is because of the mindless cruelty inflicted on those poor beasts YEAR AFTER YEAR.
I can also tell you that you won't get many eye-witness accounts from the local residents (many of whom are my relatives) because they stay in their homes with all the windows and doors locked during the fair week.
That's the 'reality' of Appleby Horse Fair.


The RSPCA and the local police are sh*t scared to intervene in case they provoke an 'incident'.
Besides, the travellers are very adept (having been doing it since 1685) at conducting their activities out of sight of the authorities. There is an 'official' fair for the benefit of the visitors and an 'unofficial' one for the serious dealing - and that's the one very few people get to see.


Where are the dog fighting images? The sheep stealing pics? The drunken fighting photos? The cottages with ivy around the door and human excrement on the lawn?
For a proper balanced view, speak to the locals as well as the visitors. Except that they'll still be clearing up the mess for the next two weeks.


You also cited the following web pages. Could you explain what they have to do with cruelty to horses?

http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/search/display.var.951592.0.appleby_horse_fair_arrest.php
http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/search/display.var.500103.0.incidents_mar_horse_fair_success.php
http://www.thewestmorlandgazette.co.uk/search/display.var.497266.0.fire_crews_attacked_at_appleby_fair.php

You say "If we're including accidents, then my figures go through the roof.", yet you include these horse deaths amongst the Appleby score -

On Tuesday (June 6) a horse, which was being ridden by a traveller, was killed after it ran out in front of a Land Rover Discovery driven by a 19-year-old woman from Ingleton at Devil's Bridge, near Kirkby Lonsdale.

Police also believe that a horse killed by a van on the A65 at Newby, near Ingleton, belonged to a traveller.


In your more recent postings -

it's not the number of horses which die every year, it's the manner of their deaths.

So what do you really care about, the horses or the motivation of their owners?

An animal-loving nation .......... will not baulk at calling for an end to the Appleby tradition if it perceives that the deaths are unnecessary and preventable.

What are you saying, that the deaths in National Hunt and Cheltenham Festival and Badminton are "necessary and unpreventable"?

While the incident at Appleby was clearly appalling, the Fair seems to have a far better record than the "establishment" horse events. Please decide exactly what you are attacking.

As for being paranoid about right wing infiltration, I've a few issues to work out locally but I may be starting a new thread on the subect.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Blowzabella
Date: 23 Jun 07 - 12:01 PM

Thanks for your comments, Ruth - it is good to hear what a member of the travelling comminity had to say about it and it concurrs with my own thoughts on the event.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 12:47 PM

Ruth, I agree with much of what you say. There is a certain 'robustness' associated with the Appleby tradition which I would not wish it to lose.

But there must always be a balance - the feelings and sensibilities of the onlookers and the local residents cannot be ignored. Not to mention the law of the land. It is my opinion that, in recent years certainly, the excesses of a youthful minority have gone too far.

The cruelty and suffering that have taken place are not part of the tradition. Indeed they serve only to bring that tradition into disrepute. And therein lies the danger - it's not the number of horses which die every year, it's the manner of their deaths.

Public opinion is a fickle creature. An animal-loving nation which tacitly accepts horse racing deaths, yet demands the banning of fox hunting, will not baulk at calling for an end to the Appleby tradition if it perceives that the deaths are unnecessary and preventable.

I just hope that something is done about it soon, because people are not going to tolerate many more incidents such as the dreadful one that occurred this year.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Ruth Archer
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 10:39 AM

Decent doesn't begin to describe. He's a gentleman in every sense of the word.

I think one of the things that concerns people who might be reading and responsding to this thread (I know it's something that concerns me) is that if you start talking about policing and regulating one traditional custom, what's to stop all the others coming under scrutiny? If you've ever been to any of the traditional football games, for instance, you'll know that they're hardly the sanitised, folked-up, gentrified affairs that some first-time visitors may expect. Some of them are pretty red in tooth and claw; many involve a lot of drunkenness, injury to participants, and picturesque villages drowning in litter and filth.

But the thing about these events is that they haven't been taken over by "folkies" - they're folk events precisely because they really belong to the people, and because this is the way they have ALWAYS been conducted. This is England's living folk heritage, precisely because it's not folkies who do it and because it's not been regulated and sanitised.

I don't approve of animal cruelty. And I still believe that if abuse of horses is the crux of this issue, there are much worse institutionalised offenders than the participants at Appleby - numbers alone tell you that. But on the other hand, it's dangerous to turn a blind eye in the interest of preserving tradition. That's why the issues of who should be responsible for regulating certain activities at the fair, and how it could be done, is of paramount importance.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Appleby Horse Fair: A Tradition Too Far?
From: Grimmy
Date: 22 Jun 07 - 09:47 AM

I'd certainly be interested to hear what he has to say, Ruth. The lack of proper control has dogged the event for donkeys' years:

"APPLEBY horse fair cannot be allowed to carry on "in an uncontrolled and unacceptable manner" and changes must be made to protect public safety, Eden district councillors will hear Thursday night.
Concerns about lack of organisation, management and serious safety risks at Britain's largest horse fair, which attracts thousands of travellers, gypsy horse dealers and visitors every second week in June, will be outlined to members of the environment committee
".

That was back in 2003!

The Town Council, which actually owns Fair Hill, has washed its hands
of the whole affair. I think they're scared of possible legal ramifications if ever the balloon goes up.

Your friend George sounds a decent bloke, I hope you manage to squeeze some songs out of him!


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