'Shots were fired and three men hospitalized at the oldest horse fair in Dublin as a feud between Traveler families turned ugly and frightened onlookers ran for their lives.'
-Irish Central, 7 March 2011
'This is not some quaint tradition that celebrates Ireland’s love for horses. This is a major health and safety issue that today moved firmly into criminality. The Smithfield market is unlicensed, unregulated and completely unsuitable for horses.'
_DSPCA, Jimmy Cahill
One of the oldest and most controversial horse fairs in the world, the monthly Dublin's Smithfield horse market deals in discount horses, unkept little ponies and donkeys to farmers, Travelers, gypsies and bored kids from the inner city council estates who bought cheap ponies and rode the animals through tarmac streets and let them graze on public fields. The fair drew attention in 2009, when an injured horse was sold to an 11-year-old boy for €8. Now, the 273-year-old tradition is facing a permanent shut down after the March 6, 2011 shooting.
Urban Cowboys is a photographic portrait of the Smithfield horse market on the sunday morning of the shooting, where 4,000-5,000 Travelers gathered.