Tonight’s carol service tonight (17 Dec’15) was very well attended. Here are a few highlights:
When you go down to the shops today you might be in for a surprise, at least if you shop at certain supermarkets near Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary.
We’re pleased to be able to bring a couple of donkeys to meet Christmas shoppers at super stores in South Oxfordshire. Here we are in Abingdon. Just a few days ago we visited the Tesco store in Didcot. All contributions including the proceeds from sales of Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary products help to keep the rescued donkeys safe, healthy and happy.
Here’s a huge thank-you to everyone who has helped us or just paused to say hello to the donkeys.
Some of our donkeys will be at the National Pet Show in Birmingham this weekend. The event takes place at the NEC Birmingham this weekend, 7-8 November 2015. There is a huge variety of animals here including dogs, cats, alpacas, rabbits and, of course, some very special donkeys. There will be talks by experts in different types of animals, even crocodiles! Other attractions include rabbit show jumping and duck herding.
With well over 100 donkeys living at Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary at the moment, only a few representatives travel to any one event. This time our little group includes Monty, Chocolate (who is an adoption donkey, by the way), Charlie (you can also adopt Charlie) and Charlie ‘North’.
When they aren’t busy eating the donkeys take an interest in what is going on.
A big busy county show is a great day out even if you’re not competing.
Did you know that some of our donkeys have won awards at shows up and down the country ?
This weekend, 19th-20th September, some of the Island Farm donkeys (and people) are at the Royal Berkshire Show at Newbury Showground. Show opening times are 8am to 6pm on both Saturday and Sunday. If you’re in the area please do come along to our stand where you can meet donkeys Monty and Mr Crusty. We’ll also be glad to talk about our work at the sanctuary and accept any donations – large or small. We are looking forward to meeting new and existing supporters during the weekend.
Now that we’ve had time to settle in here are a few photos of Monty and Mr. Crusty making themselves ‘at home’ here.
At 7.30pm on Thursday 10th September a short memorial service was held for all commemorated on our Memorial Walls.
The service, which was led by Rev Janice Chilton was much appreciated by everyone. There will be another service in September in 2016. We will be making this remembrance an annual event.
Visitors to Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary (IFDS) will be familiar with the memorial wall opposite the barn on the left-hand side when walking towards the yard. The metal plaques commemorate much-loved friends, including pets and other animals, who have passed from physical life but live on in the affections of those who knew them. Friends and supporters of the sanctuary have had these plaques added to the wall both as a lasting tribute to their loved ones and to support the donkeys via payment for inclusion here. In addition to maintaining the memorial wall itself, IFDS holds regular short services that take place about once a year.
If you are interested in purchasing a plaque to commemorate a friend, relative or pet (minimum donation £100) you can download an application form or e-mail us at email@example.com with details of your request. Alternatively, and if you have any further questions about this, you can call the sanctuary on 01491 833938.
We are pleased to announce that the building work for the first phase of a new ‘Equine Hospital’ facility at Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary in Brightwell-Cum-Sotwell began recently.
The purpose built hospital comprising of a treatment and convalescent area, two holding pens and a veterinary and staff hygiene area will provide facilities for essential veterinary treatment, in a warm, sterile environment. Donkeys at the sanctuary are currently having to be treated in a clean stable on site or taken to the vets. The new hospital will reduce the stress of travel to and from the vets and save the sanctuary money.
John McLaren, founder of the sanctuary said “we are very pleased to be embarking on this new development for the sanctuary. We rescue around 30 donkeys every year, most needing immediate treatment and this facility means the sanctuary vet can help us help them at a critical time.”
The start of this project has however been tinged with sadness after the sudden passing of one of it’s main fundraisers, Keith Lawrence, who became unwell while on holiday in Minehead. Keith, who lived in Grove with his wife Heather, was regularly seen at the sanctuary manning his Equine Hospital stall. He also helped run fun dog shows at the sanctuary with his daughters Jackie and Michelle.
Judy Gibbons, Chair of Trustees said ”We were all very shocked and saddened to hear of Keith’s passing. He had been instrumental in getting the project off the ground. Everyone at the sanctuary, staff and fellow volunteers, extend our sincere condolences to Heather and the family.”
The rescue centre is still actively fundraising to complete the works on the hospital. To donate please call the sanctuary on 01491 833938 or visit www.donkeyrescue.org.uk
Perfect weather greeted our annual Donkey Show and Fun Dog Show on the 5th July when 38 donkeys from as far afield as Bristol, Huntingford and Crawley were entered in classes such as Best Condition and Turnout, Best Stallion, Best Mare, etc.
New for this year were Driving Classes with beautifully turned out donkeys in harness pulling equally impressive carts. We would like to thank Angela and Peter Scales for arranging such a fantastic addition to the show. Feedback has been very positive and it is something we would definitely like to continue in 2016. The Show Drive through the picturesque village of Brightwell-cum-Sotwell was well supported with Ros Lester, the Deputy Mayor of Wallingford, in attendance. Ros also judged the Concours d’Elegance class.
Please go to our Gallery page for images from the day including some from our Fun Dog Show. Thank you to Rachel Philo Photography for the photos of the In Hand and Miniature Champion donkeys. Check out www.rachelphilo.co.uk for more great photographs.
We would like to extend our thanks to Mr. Alec Horn, the In Hand Judge and the Driving Judge, Mr. Richard Wiggins plus all the stewards, volunteers and sponsors for making the show possible.
An In-Hand and Ridden Pony Show took place at Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary on Sunday 7th June. Competitors and visitors were greeting by clear blue skies and pleasant weather in addition to the warm welcome from the staff and volunteers and donkeys here at the sanctuary.
Many beautifully turned-out ponies competed for rosettes in 40 different classes held in 3 show rings. Some of the classes at this event included:
Best Condition & turnout (ridden), Family pony (ridden), Shetland pony classes, Welsh pony classes, Exmoor / Dartmoor pony classes, Dales / Fell / New Forest/ Highland / Connemara pony classes, Coloured / Piebald / Skewbald ponies, a class for Roans, Duns, Palomino, Appaloosa ponies, Prettiest mare, and even a “Thelwell Pony” class.
Below are a couple more photographs from this Pony Show at Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary.
Above, Catherine Keogh with ‘Rosy’ winning second in the Veteran class
Above, Right: Gavina Semonella on ‘Burnside Larra’, winner of the Supreme Championship
This is an annual two day event featuring a wide range of entertainers and demonstrations of various skills and activities. Many attractions have a rural or agricultural associations while others are cultural or simply great fun. This year’s event featured birds of prey, a ‘Pets Corner’, llamas, dog agility and Shetland Pony agility events, model and craft displays, vintage cars and motorbikes, Irish dancers, Ashnah Folkloric Fusion Dance, and the Kennesaw Confederates and the H-Bar-C Drifters American West Living History Displays. Our popular fun dog show also takes place during the Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary Country Show weekend.
In addition to the displays, competitions and musical entertainment there were also plenty of stalls selling various products.
Below are a just a few photographs from this year’s Country Show, which took place in late May.
If you enjoyed the Country Show or if you missed it but would like to visit something similar soon do come and visit our Pony Show on 7th June and the Island Farm Donkey Show with Fun Dog Show on 5th July.
Donkeys are by far the most numerous residents at Island Farm Donkey Sanctuary in Oxfordshire. Even so, if you look closely around the yard and fields or even just at the photographs on our website you’re sure to notice many other animal residents including chickens, geese, mice and a few larger mammals that occasional receive a mention in our newsletters and online.
Back in September 2013 we wrote about the arrival of Percy the pot-bellied pig together with various companions including a goat, a little brown duck, a Shetland pony and her mule foal together with his donkey dad. You can read more about them all here.
Although our main concern is for donkeys, all the animals at Island Farm are loved and cared for, which includes their various needs being met. Pigs need access to mud, or even better, a shallow muddy pool to cool off when the sun shines. Now that spring and some warmth from the sun is returning to Island Farm, here are a few photos of Percy doing what pigs do.