THE RSPCA has released a CCTV appeal after a horse was worked to death at this year's Appleby Horse Fair.

The stallion – a three-year-old skewbald trotter, 14hh – collapsed at Jubilee Bridge at around 3pm yesterday (Wednesday, June 5).

RSPCA chief inspector Rob Melloy said: “The horse’s temperature was very high, and he was covered in rubs. He had been worked until he dropped.

“This was an inexcusable act of cruelty. This person has let themselves, their family and of course this poor horse down, who undoubtedly suffered before he died.

“We want to hear from anyone who knows who is responsible and are releasing CCTV images of him, with the horse, so that we can ensure this doesn’t happen again. Please contact the RSPCA on our special appeal line 0300 123 8018 or police on 101.

“This incident is a very disappointing way to have started the Fair today, where there are so many examples of good horsemanship, and we know a lot of people will be upset to hear about this.”

CCTV appeal following horse's deathCCTV appeal following horse's death (Image: RSPCA)

Gypsy and Traveller representatives, Billy Welch and Bill Lloyd, have "condemned" the unidentified party responsible for the animal's death.

"We are sickened and saddened by the cruelty that this person or persons have shown," they said. 

"We have no hesitation in asking anyone who has any knowledge of this awful event to cooperate fully with police and RSPCA in identifying whoever is responsible," they said. 

READ MORE: Live: Appleby Horse Fair 2024 gets underway

They urged anyone with relevant information to speak up for "the sake of justice and the fair's future".

The RSPCA and other animal welfare charities will operate at Salt Tip Corner on Friday, Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm, where help can be sought for any animal in need.

If you notice discomfort or distress in an animal, approach an RSPCA or police officer immediately.