Wickham Horse Fair 2018: The fair’s history and why it is on May 21 this year

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DUBBED the country’s oldest and biggest fair, Wickham Horse Fair is returning for its 749th year.

The event, which attracts traveller communities from all over the country, is an important part of the community’s calendar for trading and parading horses.

The 2015 Wickham Horse Fair. (150849-14)

The 2015 Wickham Horse Fair. (150849-14)

READ MORE: Wickham Horse Fair 2018 - Full list of road closures

The fair is usually on May 20 except when that falls on a Sunday – then the fair is on May 21, which is why this year’s fair is on Monday.

With the centre of the village closed to traffic for the day, the horses are free to be shown off to the crowds in a specially-created run.

The event dates back to 1269 from a royal decree and has been held every year since.

It is one of just two major horse-trading events in the country and includes bareback parades with ponies decorated with ribbons.