Appleby fair is taken by Storm

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A local animal has received the rosette as ‘Best Horse at Appleby 2015’ at the famous fair in the town of Appleby-in-Westmorland in Cumbria.

Brechin girl Cara Evans was there with Storm, owned by Andy Stewart, which so impressed the judges.

Cara said: “I was taking Storm to get a new set of shoes from the farrier, on the flash at Appleby, and as I was asking someone where the farrier was based, a welfare vet from Redwings Horse Charity, who was one of the judges, approached me and asked if Storm could be awarded Best Horse at Appleby 2015!”

The annual event, held in the first week of June and which dates back to the 15th century, expands the town’s normal population of 2500, with 10,000 gypsies and travellers and over 30,000 other visitors from across the UK and Europe.

Horses are traditionally washed in the River Eden and then shown off or ‘flashed’ by trotting up and down set lanes.

Cara continued: “The vet had spotted us in the sea of horses on the flashing lane and fell in love with Storm. Of course, I was taken completely by surprise and eagerly waited to be photographed with Storm while she got new shoes.

“The vet then explained what the competition was all about - to encourage people to get their horses looking tip-top and in good condition to be considered for a rosette.

‘‘Some of the horses at Appleby are in very poor condition and those which are well looked after are awarded prizes, to encourage more people to take good care of their horses and show them off to their full potential.

“Storm seemed to relish the attention of the photographers, as she was given her rosette and a prize of striking pink grooming brushes. The presentation drew quite a crowd around us, which was amazing publicity for the cause competition.

“We then returned home, tired out after our taste of the limelight, but with the biggest of smiles knowing that we had been selected out of thousands of horses at the fair.

“There is no greater feeling than that of accomplishment when it comes to horses, and for yours to be awarded ‘The Best Horse in Appleby’ is just astonishing, as you can reassure yourself that all the hard work put in has eventually paid off!”