Adorable donkeys on display

Have you ever been to a donkey show? We really recommend it

Jean Reid’s Tara Squirrel Nutkin
Jean Reid’s Tara Squirrel Nutkin, winner of Champion Gelding

Donkeys are special animals and come in many shapes and sizes. There is a small but very keen group of people who show donkeys in New Zealand. While some A & P Shows still have donkey classes, there are also shows exclusively for donkeys and mules.

We were therefore very interested to attend the All South Island Donkey Show which was held at the Kaiapoi Pony Club Grounds on February 21. Entries were not as high as they had been in previous year, and unfortunately there were no mules entered this year.

The morning was for in-hand classes. The judge, Mary Naish, watched the donkeys walking and (when they co-operated), trotting. The experts on the sideline confirmed that it was the conformation of the animal which played the biggest part in the final decision. Of course, as with any showing, it is the judge’s personal preference but they were a friendly bunch and everyone appeared happy with the decisions made.

IMG_1531The best trot of the day was observed outside the ring, when one of the entrants had been caught napping and nearly missed the class. After being alerted by the helpful steward, the pair quickly made their way to join the other patient competitors. The collegial nature of the donkey showing crowd was demonstrated not only by people sharing their knowledge with the beginners at the show, but also the sharing of lunch after the in-hand classes.
The Champion Jenny was Awapuni Cotswold English Rose, shown by Diana Humphries. IMG_1541Diana has had five-year-old ‘Lacey’ since she was a weanling. “She’s a pleasure to show, just a dream.” Diana runs the Canterbury Donkey Rehoming Centre in Motukarara, Banks Peninsula. Lacey runs with the herd of 19 in the “donkey hill paddock” which is ideal for them, as there is no lush grass and the donkeys get lots of exercise up and down the slope. Donkeys do have a tendency to get fat on too much grass, and do best when they have a high fibrous diet in small quantities. The rehoming side of Diana’s operation has been busy since the beginning of the year, finding places for seven donkeys in the last three weeks. The Humphries also won the Champion Foal with Cotswold DJ McQueen.

IMG_1582The Champion Gelding of the Show was Jean Reid’s Tara Squirrel Nutkin with Sherryn Green’s Flaxen Green Mr Mario reserve.
The Champion Jack of the show was Linda Bellamy’s Matthews Xing Marco who is a half Mammoth donkey.

IMG_1644Marco went on to win the Supreme Champion of the show. “He’s a dude. He’s so laid back,” said delighted owner, Linda. The four-year-old has just begun his breeding career, with the first foal due on the ground in a few months. Linda thinks that Marco’s next show will probably be the Malvern A & P at the end of March. The Mammoth breed of donkey is a lot bigger than many donkey breeds, and originates from America.

Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay for the shared lunch or the Donkey Versatility Events but the results are detailed below.

If you want any more information on donkeys, and what shows are on, and the full results, then visit the Donkey & Mule Society’s very informative website

Mathew Xing Marco, Linda Bellamy
Matthews Xing Marco, Linda Bellamy Supreme Champion Donkey

Best Presented Donkey in Harness: Zeta, L O’Neil

Paced & Mannered Harness: Zeta, L O’Neil

Photo by Lea Hullett. The most Versatile Donkey overall & Runner Up Fidel – A. Holcroft
The winning pack donkey and runner-up most versatile donkey overall, Fidel – A. Holcroft (Image: Lea Hullett)

Versatility Events:

Pack Donkey

  1. Fidel, A. Holcroft
  2. Special Kaye of Canterbury, L. O’Neil
  3. Stormey, G. & S. Green
  4. Flaxton Green Kaylee, G.& S. Green.
  5. Zeta, L. O’Neil

Paced & Mannered

  1. Kowhai Rosie, R. Winter
  2. 2  Rosedale Lucy, G & S Green
  3. 3.Tara Squirrel Nutkin, J. Reid
  4. Zeta, L. O’Neil
  5. Mathew’s Xing Aimee Belle, D. Harvey
  6. Special Kaye of Canterbury, L. O’Neil

Child Handler

  1. Zeta, LO’Neil
  2. Fidel, A. Holcroft
Lea Hullett photo of Kowhai Rosie – R. Winter
Lea Hullett photo of Kowhai Rosie – R. Winter


  1. Kowhai Rosie, R. Winter
  2. Flaxton Green Shayla, G. & S. Green
  3. Rosedale Lucy, G. & S. Green
  4. Cindy Loo, R & A Tester
  5. Flaxton Green Sweet Brandy, Shelley-Rose Petrie

In Hand Challenge

  1. Kowhai Rosie, R. Winter
  2. Rosedale Lucy, G & S Green
  3. 3.Flaxton Green Shayla, G & S Green
  4. Flaxton Green Kit’s Kaylee, G. & S. Green
  5. Zeta, L. O ‘Neil
  6. Special Kaye of Canterbury, L. O’Neil

Long Rein Obstacle

  1. Kowhai Rosie, R Winter
  2. Fidel, A. Holcroft.
  3. Special Kaye of Canterbury, L. O’Neil
  4. Zeta, L. O”Neil
  5. Stormey, G. & S. Green
  6. Flaxton Green Kit’s Kaylee, G. & S. Green

Champion Versatile Donkey: Kowhai Rosie; Runner-Up: Fidel