The 2008 Annual Horse and
Donkey Show was held in Sambel Kunda on the 8th November and was a great success. 16
volunteers made their way up to Sambel to do what they could to help and what a fantastic
team they were too. They included five men (long suffering husbands, partners and sons of
supporters Ros, Di and Dena.) They also included judges, a vet, a holistic practitioner, a
veterinary nurse and some very enthusiastic jacks of all trades. They all worked
incredibly hard, nursing, putting up marquees, unpacking the shipment of donated goods,
exercising horses and donkeys, judging, handing out and fitting bits and harness and the
men turned into builders, plumbers and odd job men for the duration of their stay. Some
good and lasting friendships were made, particularly between Martin and a donkey called
Rhona. Rhona decided Martin needed to be taken under her wing and she gave him her full
and almost undivided attention, only deviating to share melon or breakfast with the staff!
A great deal of fun and laughter was had and a very diverse group, ranging from 14 years
to past retirement age (that was diplomatic wasn't it!) became a very close knit and
We were ably assisted by our scholarship
students who came up to help. A student was allocated to each volunteer to translate and
explain things and it all went very smoothly.
We are extremely grateful to our volunteers
for all their incredibly hard work, our staff, the staff of The Chimpanzee Rehabilitation
Trust, the students and the people of Sambel Kunda. Everyone did their best to make it a
success and they succeeded admirably. We had television and radio coverage and it awakened
interest all over the country.
We would also like to express our very sincere
thanks to all the people who donated prizes and sponsored classes, you will see from the
pictures above just how much this was appreciated. Thank you all so much.
Finally my congratulations to Lion and his
owner. They won the supreme championship for the third year running. It is a huge
achievement to win it once, but to maintain that standard with a working animal for three
years running in the conditions we have in The Gambia shows great horsemanship. The fact
that Lion, though a very great showman, is quiet and kind to handle and work with is also
a reflection on the way he is handled. Congratulations to you both!