I am Melanie Rush and I have the great pleasure of being the custodian of Weymouth Donkeys.
I officially took over owning the donkeys from Maggie on the 3rd March 2011. For four years I sat at my beach business and watched the donkeys walk up and down the beach. Maggie and I became friends and I would help her with driving the lorry and operating the donkeys when she needed a well- earned day off.
When I made the decision to sell my business Maggie approached me and asked if I would consider taking over the donkeys, as she was feeling it was time to retire. My heart immediately said yes, but I did give it careful consideration as owning the donkeys is a huge responsibility.
I have always had equines and animals in my life;
I wanted to ride as soon as I could communicate. I had lessons from the earliest age possible. When I was eight years old my Grandparents moved to a house with some land attached. It was then I was lucky enough to have my first pony Snowy and two Jenny donkeys, Jiggy and Julia.
I started with eight of Maggie’s donkeys, Daisy, Dainty, Jasmine, Stumpy, Sparky, Sooty, Peejay and Beejay. I have jigged the names slightly Peejay is now Sweet Pea (more feminine) and Beejay is now just Bee, It took a little while for the girls to adjust to me, Dainty being the newest donkey came round quite quickly, Bee was the last to accept me, but then she is the boss.
There have been a few changes as I write this; Jasmine our oldest donkey at approximately 27 years is to semi-retire, she will be making special appearances and doing what she does best, posing for the camera. Sooty has retired due to mineralisation in her withers. Sooty will stay with us because she is one of the gang. Daisy the smallest donkey decided beach life wasn’t for her and has been found a lovely home in Portland, Dorset. Where she can be petted and fussed by all the staff and visitors.
The latest new donkeys to have joined us are; Big Jenny, Dolly and Pixie.
Writing this today the donkey family comprises of 21 donkeys and 3 guest donkeys and the family grows!
I look forward to welcoming you to Weymouth Beach or if you fancy the idea of a Donkey or a few at your special occasion give me a call and we can talk over the options.