A special prize giving ceremony was held on Friday 24th October at Oakleigh House (due to inclement weather) for the owners of Blackpool's award winning beach donkeys.
Winning the region's award for Best Individual Beach Donkey was Carl, owned by Mark Ineson, whilst Terry and Christine Roabuck's team of donkeys scooped the Best Group of Beach Donkeys title. The owners were presented with shields, certificates, and rosettes for their donkeys, by staff from The Donkey Sanctuary's welfare department.
The awards are part of a national competition organised by The Donkey Sanctuary, a charity based near Sidmouth in Devon, which aims to recognise high standards of animal welfare practice. All donkeys at Blackpool were judged to find regional winners, which then compete against other regions’ finest donkeys to find the national winners.
Molly Lloyd, one of the Sanctuary's regional welfare officers, explains how the awards are based on the donkeys' welfare: "The donkeys must be in good health; have gentle and placid natures and, above all, be happy in their work. The condition and suitability of their tack is an equally important factor."