Before I go on to report on our annual Summer Fair, just a little bit of information. The EST Centres (The Elizabeth Svendsen Trust for Children & Donkeys) were charities within the main Donkey Sanctuary Charity, but after many years of planning, the two charities have now merged together to become one charity and all the EST centres are now under the one main charity of the Donkey Sanctuary. They were officially merged on the 1st January 2012.
Ivybridge Donkey Sanctuary Summer Fair 2012
Saturday the 16th June was the date that the Ivybridge Donkey Sanctuary held its annual summer fair - well if you could call it a summer fair, more like a mid winter one. It was dry when we were setting up, but it was extremely windy and at one point one of the gazebos decided to uproot and collapse. There was lots to see and do to keep families occupied throughout the day with display stalls, traditional games (for all the family!) BBQ & refreshments donkey cart rides, a bouncy castle, a riding display, a family dog show, have-a-go dog agility and other displays etc. There were also some Morris Dancers who put on a display which should have been held outside, but as the weather was at its worst when they were due to perform, they had to go inside.
I was on the adoption stand with a full time member of staff promoting our adoption donkeys, Eeyore, Pooh and Wayne. They were in a pen next to our van and had lots of visitors coming to pet them, and we had quite a few takers for our adoption scheme, which helps with the funding of the sanctuary, with a couple being purchased as a present for Fathers Day. For anyone living in the vicinity of these sanctuaries who adopt one of the adoption donkeys, they can actually come and see their chosen donkey at any time. To adopt a donkey is also an ideal gift for anyone, and each of the centres around the country have their own particular adoption donkeys.
There was a lot of excitement when two beautiful Poitou donkeys - Aramis and Dartanyon arrived from Sidmouth to spend the day with us at Ivybridge. They were led into their pen right next to our donkeys, whose ears pricked up and very interested in these "strangers" in the camp. There was quite a bit of nipping and pushing and shoving as they all jostled for a front row view of these gentle giants. Once settled, the handlers went about brushing their long shaggy coats so they were beautifully groomed, and they were a big hit with the crowds of people who were most interested in meeting these unusually large donkeys.
The gates opened at 10.00 am and it was still dry, however, during the riding display, the heavens opened and we had heavy showers for the family dog show, and when they arrived they all looked lovely and clean, but all went home covered in mud. The light coloured dogs changed to a dirty brown, but they all appeared to have had a good day.
The poor Poitou donkeys who started off the day looking all fluffy and dry ended up looking rather bedraggled, and it proved that they too can have bad hair days!! I know the feeling!!!
Please see my other posts relating to my voluntary work with the Ivybridge Donkey Sanctuary