Poynton was one of the first shows in the country to hold classes for donkeys on behalf of a Society called The Donkey Show Society. This society was renamed in 1968 and is now known as The Donkey Breed Society.
The aims of our society are to promote donkeys to lead a full and active life, whether they are bred for the show ring or be a much loved family pet.For many years the welfare of our long eared friend has been neglected. He has always been seen to be the poor relation to the horse, and is often the butt of many a cruel joke. The DBS has strived for the donkey to be taken seriously and set up a Stud Book, which guides people to stop inbreeding, therefore improving conformation and giving the donkey a much better chance of a happier and healthier life. The DBS is also a registered passport authority, not only for donkeys, but also horse, ponies, and mules.
More recently the Stud Book has set up sections for Miniature donkeys and also Foreign bred donkeys, some of which are rare breeds in their native countries. The society has a Driving Committee who encourages people to break their donkey to harness. Driving classes are held all over the country, with one of the highlights being at The Royal Windsor Horse Show, where each year a wonderful display is given in front of Her Majesty The Queen showcasing different types of turnouts. The DBS also parade in the New Years Day parade around London. Quite a few of today’s leading horse riders started riding on the family’s pet donkey.
The donkey is a very kind and patient teacher to the young and vulnerable, and is often used with handicapped and disabled adults and children. The DBS holds test and training days for junior members to increase their knowledge and skills in management. These skills will never be forgotten and will be called upon in later life in all animal husbandry.