The present picture was believed to show Meopham Horse Fair when it was acquired by John Reid Walker in the 1890s. Herring moved to Meopham in Kent in 1854, and this work appears to show the local horse fair, with the village of Meopham to the right and a castle, perhaps Rochester, beyond the Medway Valley in the distance to the left. Herring painted several horse fairs, including a larger version of the present work (Mercer Art Gallery, Harrogate Museums), which in the past has been identified as Barnet Fair.
Herring began his artistic career as a coach painter, and his understanding of horses and carriages was renowned. A Royal mail coach and a stage coach form the centre of the scene, while working and hunting horses are being traded on either side. The figure in the left foreground wearing a boater is reputedly a self-portrait by Herring.