|During December 2011 not only did we hold our
Annual Horse and Donkey Show, but we also held a Staff Competition. Each member of staff
is allocated a horse to take care of, and that individual is then responsible for ensuring
that their horse remains fit and healthy. This not only encourages the staff to develop a
good relationship with their horse, but it also encourages them to recognise any problems
at an early stage.
Due to the fact that some of the horses have physical problems (which is why they remain with the Trust), it would be unfair to have a regular showing class for the horses so we decided to run the competition as the
|'Most Improved' over a period of several months. We had a team of three judges (Immie, Ellie and Ros) who assessed the condition of the horses in comparison to photos of the horses from the day that the competition was started, and each horse was given a score of improvement.|
After much deliberation the judges were unable to choose only one winner, so the competition resulted in a joint first place.
The first to be chosen were Benson and his carer, Ngara. Ngara is a small person with a huge personality and despite his lack of English he seems to have the ability to make everyone he meets smile. Benson is one of our more elderly horses and it has always been difficult to keep condition on him. Ngara is excellent at taking care of the less healthy horses and he has put his heart and soul into taking care of Benson, and it shows. Benson seems to have a new lease of life since Ngara took over as his caretaker; his coat is shining again and his weight is increasing. Benson and Ngara seem to have struck up a wonderful relationship together and it is not uncommon to see Ngara riding him bareback out into the bush, a big grin on his face, and a contented look on Benson's.
Also chosen were Phoenix and his carer Robert, who was unable to hide his surprise at winning a prize! Phoenix requires excellent care due to his badly damaged skin from the fire that he was in. Every day Robert has taken however much time is needed to clean and moisturise Phoenix's body, and it is clear that the pair have become quite attached to one another. Robert's calm nature works well with Phoenix's over exuberance, and whilst Phoenix dances around on the end of his lead rope Robert calmly strokes him to settle him down.
Both Ngara and Robert received a prize and a rosette to recognise their hard work. The period of time leading up to the annual show is notoriously busy and despite this the enthusiasm of our staff never waned.
Congratulations to Ngara and Robert and thank you to all of our staff for their hard work.