After a fifteen year gap the Belfast Horse Market is back in business.
Traditionally, horses were bought and sold at the old Wednesday fair held every month in Belfast city centre. As motorised vehicles replaced the horse and cart, the demand to keep the monthly fair going dwindled. The Troubles added to the demise of the fair, and by 1969 the horse fair was no more.
Patrons of the old fair recall the market used to attract people from as far as England and Scotland and it supplied working horses to pull the Isle of Man trams.
The organisers of the new fair have an equally thriving market and there is much interest in purchasing ponies for children and for pony and trotting clubs that are being established in Northern Ireland.
Among the 200 visitors to the fair are those looking to buy horses others are there to observe proceedings whiles some families came to enjoy a day out. The return of the horse fair also offered the chance to catch up with old acquaintances with one elderly man joking,
It's thirty years since I’ve seen him to the day, and he doesn’t know who I am.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 17 July 1984. The reporter is David Ross.