Appleby Horse Fair Equine Welfare Group

The Appleby Horse Fair Equine Welfare Group is made up of nine charities* - all members of the National Equine Welfare Council - who work together at the annual Gypsy Roma and Traveller gathering in Appleby-in-Westmorland, Cumbria.

The event – which is the biggest in the UK - happens at the beginning of June, and this year is taking place from Thursday 8th to Monday 12th of June 2023.

It is centred around the trading of horses and has been in existence for at least 300 years. Around 10,000 people of GRT heritage attend the Fair, which is extremely important to the community, as well as around 30,000 other visitors.

In 2023, the welfare charities – who have been supporting the protection and well-being of horses at the Fair for over 20 years – are asking fairgoers what changes, if any, they’d like to see to make it the best possible event for horses.

The responses will be fed into the work of the Project over the next five years (2023-2028).

People can approach staff from the collaboration at the Fair who will be identifiable by ‘Everyone has a voice’ armbands, or anyone who would like to have their say is invited to head to the NEWC tent on Salt Tip Corner during the Fair for refreshments and a chat.

The RSPCA is sending 34 people to this year’s Appleby; Redwings Horse Sanctuary is sending nine; Blue Cross is sending eight; World Horse Welfare is sending eight; Bransby Horses is sending six; The British Horse Society is sending three; The Donkey Sanctuary are sending three and Oak Tree Animals are sending two.

RSPCA officers will be supported by the other charities at the event to help any animals who are sick, injured or whose needs are not being met. Meanwhile, a team also provide horse information on topical issues to horse owners of different ages and experience.

The engagement team is supported by NEWC members, the Society of Master Saddlers and prominent Farrier and Educator Dean Bland.

A vet station where assistance can be sought for any animal that needs it will be located at Salt Tip Corner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10 am and 4 pm.

The collaboration-run ‘Best at Appleby’ competition – sponsored by the Traditional Gypsy Cob Association and now in its 8th year – will celebrate examples of equine health, happiness, and horsemanship. Since 2015 over 60 awards have been given out.

*The charities working in collaboration on the Appleby Horse Fair Equine Welfare Project are RSPCA; Redwings Horse Sanctuary; Blue Cross; World Horse Welfare; Bransby Horses; The British Horse Society; The Donkey Sanctuary; Oak Tree Animals and The Horse Trust.

For more information about the Project please contact the press officer Leanne Plumtree at 07711 489623/07825 148879 or email

Useful links:

Multi-Agency Strategic Coordination Group

Redwings Best at Appleby Welfare Awards

Traveller Times

The Welfare of Traveller and Gypsy-Owned Horses in the UK and Ireland

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