Page last updated at 08:06 GMT, Friday, 15 May 2009 09:06 UK

Recession hits ancient horse fair

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Stow Horse Fair suffers from falling visitor numbers

Traders at Stow-on-the-Wold's 500-year-old horse fair say the biannual event is suffering from the effects of the recession.

Numbers of visitors to the fair are down compared with recent years.

"This is really very, very quiet, I've never seen so few horses and traders," said chief inspector Lee Hopwood of the RSPCA.

"This is probably another indicator that people are feeling the pinch," Mr Hopwood said.

Traditions

The RSPCA inspected the animals on site and gave them the all-clear.

There have been objections to the horse fair from some Stow residents in past years but organisers and supporters insist the tradition will continue.

"The traditional people who've lived here for a long time like it," said Vera Norwood of the Gypsy Council.

"It's mostly people who've moved in, built large houses and think maybe it'll devalue their property who complain."



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