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Having found out that a man drowned a horse in a river at Appleby Horse Fair this year, I ask myself WHY do we allow these cruel events to continue in the name of tradition?
The daily washing of horses takes place in the river. Horses (including mares with foals trailing behind) are ridden into the water to be washed for the days trading. This ritual includes dunking the horses head under the water. The man in question rode the horse into deep water where he began forcing the horse under. Well of course the horse drowned as a result! This person then fled when he noticed how angry the crowd where. I hope he does get what he deserves if he's ever caught.
How many other horses need to die?
This has not been the only horse death at this fair and will certainly not be the last. How many other horses need to perish in the river before something is done? Other horses are raced with carts at insane speeds along narrow roads missing spectators and other passing racers by merely inches.
As a horse rider myself who's horse has bolted with me on a tarmac road, I can tell you that horses can slip over very very easily. So this kind of event is basically another accident just waiting to happen! Some also tie a lot of their horses to barbed wire fences. It doesn't take a genius to know what damage can happen if one of those horses spooks and pulls back.
I'm fed up with the usual argument of "oh, but you can't do anything about it because its tradition". To hell with tradition! We used to traditionally hang "witches", should we have carried on doing that?! In cases like this tradition is NOT a good thing, and it is NOT an excuse to allow sick things like this to keep happening in what should be a modern civilised society!