A special prize giving ceremony is being held on Tuesday 22nd September at 1pm on the beach for Weymouth’s beach donkeys for winning three titles in the South East regional awards of Britain’s Best Beach Donkey competition 2009.
Councillor Anne Kenwood, Mayor of Weymouth and Portland, will lead the ceremony by presenting a bucket of carrots, rosettes, certificates and Shields to the award winning donkeys, owned by Maggie Aldridge as follows:
- Britain’s Best Beach Donkey (South East) is Jasmine
- Britain’s Best Group of Beach Donkeys and the Best Group of Beach Donkeys with the Best Feet (South East) comprises of Jasmine, Stumpy, Sooty, Peejay, Beejay, Sparky and Daisy
The awards are part of a national competition organised by The Donkey Sanctuary, a charity based near Sidmouth in Devon, to recognise high standards of animal welfare practice.
The donkeys are judged on overall impression, fitness for the job, temperament, condition, tack and turnout, feet, attitude of the owners and facilities.
Jasmine and her companions were selected as the winners by the charity’s regional judge for the South East, Tina Henderson, says: “Jasmine is a stunning donkey and oozes friendliness. She is reliable and safe and I would be more than happy to let my little girl ride her.
“I was really impressed with Maggie’s set up on the beach and how keen the donkeys are to work – they really are a super bunch. All of the donkeys have neatly trimmed hooves and their feet are in excellent condition.
“This is a really difficult competition to judge as the donkey operators put so much time and effort into looking after their lovely animals. I really didn’t expect the winners of three categories to come from the same resort but they really are spectacular donkeys.”
Jasmine just missed out on winning the national title as Britain’s Best Beach Donkey 2009 which was awarded to Sooty from Skegness.
Whilst Britain has around 850 happy beach donkeys protected by minimum working conditions (e.g. maximum 8-stone weight limit), millions are being overworked in developing countries where they provide essential transport to millions of people living below the poverty line.