Appleby horse fair: Shocking moment campervans daubed with vile racist graffiti on way to biggest gypsy event in Europe | The Sun
TRAVELLERS on their way to Europe's biggest gypsy fair have had their vans daubed with racist graffiti.
Footage of the vandalism has been shared online ahead of the Appleby Horse Fair in Appleby-in-Westmoreland, Cumbria – prompting widespread fury.
Owners of the vans parked up overnight woke to find them covered in spraypaint, including the words "GYPSY", "NO PARKING" and "F*** OFF".
TikTok videos posted by the account @bareknuckle_boxing showed a young girl among those looking on at the damage.
CCTV footage also allegedly shows the moment the thug sprayed the vile messages.
The clips prompted hundreds of comments, many of them sympathetic to the travellers en route to the event.
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One person remarked, "That's out of order!! Why are folk like this?", while another said: "It's shocking what social media has turned us into."
Other comments included "Out of order that is", "No need for this", "Disgusting behaviour" and "That's very cruel".
Laughter from cruel trolls also provoked a backlash.
One viewer wrote: "The comments on this video just goes to show how small-minded people are and that they have never been around travelling people to know that there's good and bad in all walks of life."
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The Appleby Horse Fair typically attracts about 10,000 travellers each year to buy and sell horses, housed in more than 1,000 caravans and 3,000 horse-drawn vehicles.
Throughout yesterday ponies were seen trotting through the streets with youngsters riding their steeds through the River Eden to wash them.
The 250-year-old fair welcomes members of gypsy, Roma and travelling communities, including Irish Travellers and British Romanichal.
It was cancelled in 2001 due to foot-and-mouth disease and again in 2020 due to Covid-19 pandemic lockdown restrictions.
Last year it was delayed by a week to avoid clashing with the late Queen Elizabeth II's Platinum Jubilee celebrations – and has been given a similar starting-date this time around.
The fair originated in the 1770s on Gallows Hill where sheep, cattle and horse dealers went to sell their stock – and by the 1900s had evolved into an event for gypsies and travellers.
This year's event, which officially kicked off yesterday, comes amid warm weather and with the Met Office issuing a hot weather health alert for the weekend ahead.
Brits are tipped to face temperature highs of 30C in some parts and Appleby Horse Fair organisers posted a website warning for horse-owners to take care of their animals.
Meanwhile, RSPCA chief inspector Rob Melloy said: “The weather plays a huge role in the Fair and the forecast says it’s going to be a hot one.
“Just as it’s important for us to drink plenty and not work too hard in hot weather, it’s important for our horses.
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"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."
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