This year's judge for Britain's Best Beach Donkey competition is Amber Brennan and today I went with her to Weymouth to see the first group of donkeys. When we got to the beach, I was really taken by the sea of colours and the huge crowds.
We had arrived early to avoid any delays in traffic and by 11 am the beach was packed with happy families enjoying the sunshine and splashing around in the sea. The donkeys were already saddled up and there was a long queue of children waiting with their parents for a ride on one of the donkeys.
Amber was due to meet Mark Kerr, regional welfare officer for the south and south east area, to go and start the judging at 1 pm so we took the opportunity to take a walk along the esplanade to so that I could start my own personal challenge of buying a postcard with a donkey on from each resort we visit.
The Weymouth donkeys are owned by Maggie Aldridge and this year her group of seven donkeys - Jasmine, Stumpy, PeeJay, Sooty, BeeJay, Sparky and Daisy - were through to the national finals. Jasmine was also this region's contender for Britain's Best Individual Donkey. And if that wasn't enough, Maggie's donkeys were also contenders this year for Best Trimmed Feet, which they won last year.
Tomorrow the judging will take us to Brixham, Paignton and Llanelli as we travel anti-clockwise around the country finishing in Great Yarmouth on Thursday 27th August.
Day one, Weymouth and back (100 miles)