Violent clashes marred Wickham Horse Fair today as hundreds of travellers took over the village for one of the biggest and most historic events in the travelling calendar.
In one terrifying attack, a man was shot in the head with a a missile fired from a catapult
Dramatic video broadcast by ITV Meridian showed him bleeding profusely from a wound on his forehead. Click here to see the Meridian video The man was taken to the Queen Alexandra Hospital in Portsmouth after the incident.
Police said six people were arrested when a brawl broke out in the centre of the village.
Two men began to fight and others joined in before police restrained them
The violence erupted as the centre of Wickham was transformed today as Wickham annual horse fair took place.
Horses were being sold and a funfair took place on The Square.
Travellers had come from all over the UK and Ireland for the fair.
One of the best horses at yesterday’s fare was a black and white cob called Champ.
Owner Ronnie Moore had travelled down from London with three horses and was hoping to get around £20,000 for Champ.
Ronnie said: ‘I have been here for the last four years. I love it here. There’s a lot of police and RSPCA here today. we don’t mind them but they have been on our backs. I like it here, it’s my best one.’
Wickham C of E Primary School turned the dodgems into a step dancing stage and put on a performance.
Around 20 children performed and the school invited people at the fare to join in.
Headteacher Maria Ackland said: ‘The children have been learning at school with some local dance teachers. They have taught them the steps. It’s the first time that any dance has been at the fair.’
Funfair organiser Bernice Wall, of Walls Funfares, from Hook, said: ‘We were delighted that the school came down and performed because it is about learning the history of this fair.
‘The local travelling children joined in. It was really special to see the two cultures mixing.
‘We appreciate the tolerance of the local community for this event. It is a traditional event and so many come and enjoy it.’
Just after 1pm a woman was injured when she was trodden on by a horse in the square. She was taken to the same hospital by ambulance. It is not known how serious her injuries were.