Although there are fewer horses on sale than usual, thousands of people attend the opening of annual October Fair week in Ballinasloe, County Galway.

Over 20,000 people attended the opening of Ballinasloe's annual October Fair week taking place from 1-8 October 1977. There is a big welcome for King of the Fair John Cosgrave and the parade to mark the opening of the Horse Fair. The event is officially opened by Dr Tom Walsh of the Agricultural Institute.

The Ballinasloe Horse Fair dating to the early 1700s, is billed as

Europe's biggest horse fair.

Buyers from France Italy and Germany and Switzerland are in attendance. There are fewer horses on sale this year because of a depression in the trade. On horse-sale day a disappointing number of animals are sold. However a Swiss buyer purchases ten top class hunters.

The Horse of the Fair competition, for the best made hunter on show, is won by Judy McMahon, of Kilmessan, County Meath. For the second successive year, Victor Robinson of Portadown, County Armagh wins the trophy for the best young hunter.

An RTÉ News report broadcast on 4 October 1977.