The best donkeys in Britain

FILEY'S beach donkeys are officially the best group in the country and their owner now has the award to prove it.

At a ceremony on Scarborough’s South Bay beach, honours went to the Best Individual Beach Donkey William, owned by Rachel Phillips, of Scarborough; Best Group – Amanda Pickles, of Filey; and Best Stables – Guy Smith, of Scarborough.

The annual competition is organised by the Sidmouth-based Donkey Sanctuary.

Rachel Phillips was delighted that 13-year old William, who used to work in Scarborough and is now in Filey, was named as Best Beach Donkey.

She said: “William is a mischievous character – he knows his own mind and can get bored quickly! But he’s wonderful with the kids and it’s lovely to see him get this award.”

Her sister, Amanda Pickles, who won Best Group, said: “We’re really pleased. We won the award last year, so to keep it again is really nice.

“We get a lot of regulars coming to see the donkeys and the kids really get to know them.”

The awards were presented by the Donkey Sanctuary’s head of welfare, Martin Taggart, who said: “We’ve been impressed with Scarborough’s donkeys.

“The standard is fantastic and it’s rubbing off on other places. It’s great to see a rise in standards, as our interest is in making sure the donkeys are okay and that we’re supporting the people who look after them.”

The donkeys are judged on overall impression, fitness for the job, temperament, condition, tack and turnout, feet, attitude of the owners and facilities. Scarborough mayor Cllr Bill Chatt also attended the presentation.

He said: “I’m very proud of all the people who do this work.

“It’s a real tradition of seaside resorts.”