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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 supportive 'family'.

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!

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