Wickham Horse Fair

Today for a total change I decided to go to the annual Wickham Horse Fair.  This is an event which has taken place annually on May 20th since a Royal Charter was granted for a livestock fair on the square in 1269.  Although the fair today is a far cry from that of the originals it is still steeped in history and tradition and travellers come from across the country to trade horses.  It is an assault on the senses with the noise, smell and chaos of masses of horses and people crammed in to a small space but there is an incredible buzz of excitement as horses and ponies are shown off and offers are made.  The event is well policed and there are vets and RSPCA officers in attendance to keep an eye on the welfare of the animals and although not everyone agrees with the fair, I think it is a tradition it would be sad to lose.

I hope these images give you a feel for the event.  I have chosen to process them all in black and white to reflect the gritty nature of the fair – the colours take away from the expressions of the amazing characters I saw.  I hope you enjoy them!

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