Although many Travellers on the Isles have abandoned their nomadic lifestyle—mostly as a result of forced sedentarisation implemented by governments—they still take pride in their Gypsy heritage, with family bonds and strong religious faith at the core of their identity. They are committed to their way of living and holding onto traditional values of the community.
—One such element of Travellers’ tradition is annual horse fairs. They have a rich history in both in Britain and Ireland—some fairs date back to the 18th century. Even with the arrival of lorries and trailers, Travellers’ relationship with horses remains strong. However, it’s not only horses that you’d find at the fair. This gathering attracts all kinds of businesses, from fortune-tellers and antique dealers to clothes stalls and fast food trucks. Families and friends get together for a weekend, arriving from all over the country. Proud parents dress their children for the occasion—children wear immaculate tweed suits and satin dresses, carefully navigating around muddy fields on the outskirts of towns. It is a celebration of Gypsy culture and one of the most important events of the year for many Travellers.