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Stay Clear: Donkey Handlers in Training

April seen many of our members meeting together at Kinedale Donkeys, in Ballynahinch, Co. Down to learn from Robert Wallace the “Art of Donkey-Showing”.

With Balmoral Show to begin the showing season, over 30 individuals gathered to learn the history of the donkey in Ireland, to begin their understanding of why we show our donkeys and how judges should make their selections. The donkey was originally a beast of burden and still is in many developing countries, with this knowledge we can make informed decisions on what makes a good showing donkey.

The donkey can not only be of good conformation but, must be well handled and have the ability and confidence to show itself to make the best of its qualities. The members where taught the motions and protocol of the showring, which tack and accessories would be expected and which can be utilised the most effectively.

Following a superb lunch from Amanda Wallace and family the training continued to a practical element, with a mock showing class headed by many of our young contributors. A lot of positivity was felt at the training day and it has been noted another training day focussing on carriage driving is very much wanted and the Wallace family are happy to deliver.