The Irish Donkey Society has nominated Amanda Wallace, from Ballynahinch, to the Hall of Fame for exceptional services to donkeys.
Amanda is a skilled administrator and exhibitor for whom nothing is too much trouble when promoting the dignity and versatility of our much-loved donkeys. Her grandfather Millar is credited with her passion for donkeys.
A spokesperson explained: “In 1996, as a family, they purchased a donkey called Muffin from a local breeder and this started the Kinedale Donkey Stud as it is today.
“The Wallace Family have at present 21 donkeys which they show in-hand, drive and plough with. Showing is the family business and Amanda’s sons have been keen to compete in all aspects of donkey ownership.
“Over the years the Kinedale Stud have bred some prize-winning foals from their own stallion which are now third generation animals registered with the Donkey Breed Society (DBS).
“Currently Amanda is Chairperson of the DBS in Northern Ireland – a role she really cherishes as she gets to meet so many donkey enthusiasts as well as enjoying the soft-furred, intelligent creature that is the donkey.
“She has been on the committee of the Irish Donkey Society (IDS) for a number of years and enjoys working closely with likeminded donkey lovers.
“She is currently head of the Donkey Section at Saintfield and Newry Shows as well as being secretary of Cultra Championship Donkey Show which is held in the beautiful setting of the Ulster Folk Museum.
“At the Royal Ulster Agricultural Society and in the RDS Dublin Horse Show, on behalf of the IDS, Amanda is Chief Steward in the Donkey Section, organising the displays which involves showing the public how versatile the donkey is and that it was the back bone of the family farm in Ireland.
“Over the years she has included in the display farming implements such as ploughs and harrows and that the donkey was also used to take the family to their place of worship and to the market. The display also features some beautiful carriages.
“Kinedale Stud’s donkeys have featured on BBC Countryfile and Blue Peter as well as taking part in Carol Services and Nativity plays. One of their donkeys is a regular visitor to local nursing homes as well as being an assistance donkey at a nursery for disabled children. The Wallace family driving pair has taken brides to church for their big day and one of their donkeys took a lovely lady to her final resting place.
“Donkeys are such a big part of Amanda and my family’s life and they have given them so many years of joy, Amanda feels truly blessed by having donkeys in her life as she has made friends around the world and got to know some wonderful people and experienced things that one can only dream about.”