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Donkey is an eye-catching competitor at local show

While others were driving horses and ponies around the show ring Eugene Hennebury was in the cart behind his donkey Joseph. 

Eugene Hennebury and his donkey, Joseph, take part in driving shows around the province. They were at the equine park in Salmon River for a show on the weekend.

“I first showed a donkey for a friend,” said the Newport Corner resident. “I liked it so much I decided to get my own donkey. Joseph is 14 years old now and I’ve had him since he was five.

“I trained him, and training and driving a donkey is different from working with a horse. Their personality is different and they are more into self-preservation. Where a horse will run itself to death a donkey will turn around and look at you like you’re crazy if you ask it to do too much.

“When you’re training everything is on their time, not yours. It was just last year that I got Joseph to back properly. Sometimes he wants to work and sometimes he doesn’t.”

He does well in Bridgewater and got a second there.

Joseph shows in classes with miniature horses but may have more donkeys joining him soon.

Hennebury has a six-year-old female donkey at home and plans to have a young girl driving him in shows next year. He is also helping someone in Middleton train their donkey.

“Joseph is very vocal and very strong,” he said. “The female is more passive and quiet and faster at learning to do some things.

“I have done parades with Joseph and I can also just take him along a road and relax and enjoy the drive.”

He said donkeys are easy keepers, thriving best on pasture that is not too rich. They also have tough feet and always go barefoot.

“They are crafty animals but they’re fun,” he added. “The minis were invited to the Morgan show in Windsor and I took him along too. He decided to stop part way through things and eat the flowers that were out for decorations.”

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