Richmond Gumdrops

Our first donkey


Gumdrops Born 13/12/1970. Bred by Margaret and David Patton Hilderthorpe. Reg. JY70/7/2NZ by Jack 3, Mother Frances. The photo is of Gumdrops when we first saw her at a month old at the Patton's near Oamaru in 1971.

Dale meeting Gumdrops.

Gumdrop's mother & aunties.


To bring her home at just four months old (Really too young to be weaned but, nobody knew that then), we removed the front seat of our VW and Gumdrops stood with her bottom against the dashboard and me holding her on the back seat.

Dale, right from the start was always finding out how things worked. Gumdrops went along with him and I grabbed the camera.

She didn't ever show any sign of kicking and I trusted her. Maybe, this was because she was very young and lived beside the house when she came to us and bonded with us. I have found that when treated kindly donkeys are like that. They return in kind


Dale would ride his scooter in the old school grounds adjoining the house where Gumdrops was.

She was very good with him.

The boys and I took her for walks down a fenced country lane and sometimes I let her loose as she stayed with us.


She travelled in a trailer into which she jumped.

Gumdrops tollerated their attentions.

She gave rides to lots of children.


She liked to be a part of what was going on and join in.

Philip leading Gumdrops while she gives his sister Andrea a ride.

Schweitzer our Siamese ejoying the warmth of her back.


The baby goats liked to play and would jump on and run up her neck and then jump off. What patience she had.

Children visited from the school and had a lesson on looking after and feeding a donkey and they all had a ride.

I washed her feet in a bucket of water before she went to take part in a children's play and a little 'Mary' sat on her back while 'Joseph' led her down the aisle of the church and after 'Mary' dismounted at the altar I led her off out through the vestry. Afterwards, an old man came up to me and with tears in his eyes told me she bought back memories of the war.