Just back from two glorious weeks in North Yorkshire and straight into action taking four of my own donkeys to take part in the annual Farriers' Competition, this year to be held at the Suffolk Showground, Ipswich.
A rather eleventh hour call from Ed, one of the Committee, on Monday whilst I was still on holiday, resulted in me trying desperately to find suitable donkeys with owners able to attend on the following Sunday. Bit of an ask, and sadly due to family commitments, other plans and a big donkey show in Peterborough, I failed to come up with anybody able to attend.
Into the breach step Skooby, Violet, Aaron and Charlie. As their feet were only done a few weeks ago there was not much growth but needs must and my Fab Four were willing participants. Another two donkeys were kindly produced on the day making a total of six which meant one foot per farrier!
Attending this competition is a great opportunity to meet and talk to farriers and raise the profile of our work, together with offering the advice of our very knowledgeable Sanctuary farriers should they need it. Donkeys' feet are different from horses in a number of ways and more subject to seedy toe, a fungal condition in the white line.
The competition was run over two days with the donkey class being on the second day. It was great to see an impressive number of entries with 21 farriers vying for first prize for trimming a donkey's foot.
The class was judged by John Blake, a well known respected farrier who does a lot of work for World Horse Welfare. Competitors over the two day show came from far afield, including one from Norway and another from Wales.
It was an enjoyable afternoon and I understand John had difficulty judging the close competition, but the winners were:
- 1st - Sammy O'Gara
- 2nd - Russell Deering
- 3rd - Ant Waterfield
Well done guys!
Rosettes were given to sixth place together with Donkey Sanctuary Calendars and DVDs on Donkey Footcare were available to those who hadn't already got a copy. First to Third places also received prize money and I was able to supply an additional £20 voucher for the overall winner.