Sidmouth donkey named Sweet Pea by royal visitor celebrates first birthday

A Sidmouth donkey named Sweet Pea last year by the visiting Duchess of Cornwall has celebrated her first birthday.

Camilla was invited to name the three-week-old foal when she spent time at The Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth last July to celebrate the charity’s 50th birthday.

On the day Jacob Leney, then three years old, stole the show by singing Happy Birthday to the royal visitor, who was spending her 72nd birthday at the Sidmouth sanctuary.

camilla at The Donkey Sactuary

HRH Duchess of Cornwall, taken at last year’s visit.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary

Liza Macmaster, farm supervisor at the sanctuary, said: “Sweet Pea has been a delight to look after from day one.

“She has a warm personality and always enjoys extra, loving cuddles and scratches.

“She also enjoys being around people and is a firm favourite with the grooms.”

Since June, Sweet Pea, who is cared for at Paccombe Farm, near Sidford, has formed a bond with an orphaned foal, called Sam.

It is hoped the four-legged friends will stay together under The Donkey Sanctuary’s rehoming scheme.

Lisa Coles, one of Sweet Pea’s grooms at the sanctuary, said: “It was so sweet because never having been in such close proximity to other donkeys before, the usually confident Sweet Pea became slightly coy around Sam, peeping out from behind her mum to check him out.”


Donkeys Sam, left, and Sweet Pea, right, are firm friends.
Photos: The Donkey Sanctuary.

Sweet Pea, left, with Sam, right.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.


Now Sweet Pea has celebrated her first birthday at the Sidmouth sanctuary.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.


Sweet Pea was three weeks old when she was named by The Duchess of Cornwall on a visit to the charity.
Photo: The Donkey Sanctuary.

Sweet Pea has been cared for by the sanctuary since her birth, in June 2019. Her mum, Poppy, was in foal when she was relinquished to The Donkey Sanctuary after her owner could no longer care for her.

Sam came into The Donkey Sanctuary’s care in December 2018, after he was orphaned at birth.

The Donkey Sanctuary said the pair were ‘ideal candidates’ for the charity’s rehoming scheme when they mature.


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