Spectators' horror as horse drowns at popular country fair

Police and RSPCA to probe tragedy

11th June 2007
Daily Mail

The police and RSPCA have launched an investigation after a horse drowned at a fair in front of horrified spectators.

A man desperately tries to save the splashing horse

The horse was said to be in a stressed state when it was led into the River Eden at the Appleby Horse Fair in Cumbria to be washed by its owner.

Washing horses in the river is an established part of the fair run by travelling families and horse breeders.

Onlookers try to pull the horse to safety

The horse appeared to slip into a basin of deep water and did not resurface. The man who led the horse to the river then fled.

Onlookers plunged into the water to try and save the animal but it had already drowned.
Its lifeless body was later pulled to the shore.

The animal lies lifeless by the water's edge

Cumbria Police said they had joined forces with the RSPCA in a formal investigation and appealed for witnesses to the tragedy to come forwards.

"We particularly wish to trace the young man who led the horse into the water," said a spokesman.

The lifeless horse lies on the river bank