THERE were thrills and spills aplenty at a spring fair with a twist on Bank Holiday Monday.
The Bournemouth North Rotary Club’s Donkey Derby and Dog Show, held annually in aid of good causes across Dorset, saw thousands visit Pelhams Park in Kinson.
And with stalls, games, snacks and a series of donkey races around the field, there was something for all the family to enjoy.
The first race took place shortly after 12.15pm, and QE School student Georgia Whittle took first place.
The 14-year-old said: “I’m so pleased that I won.
“I take part every year because it’s so much fun. I’m so happy with my donkey.”
Younger brother Harry, 12, who attends St Michael’s Middle School, took the rosette for third place.
He said: “I’m ecstatic.
“I always lose. My donkey was quite lazy, so I had to work really hard, but I’m so happy.”
Sarah Hughes, 31, had less luck than the horse-mad siblings, and came in second from last.
“My legs have turned to jelly trying to get my donkey to move,” she laughed.
“I’ve got a Welsh Section B pony, but he has a bit more get up and go, so I’m not used to this!”
However, she added: “I’m having such a nice time.
“I was too busy laughing to concentrate on actually riding.”
The donkeys – from Hunts Racing Donkeys, based in Guildford, Surrey – were considerably more relaxed about their eventual placing.
Rotary Club secretary and organiser Gabriel Shead said: “All the money from the day goes to local charities, and everyone has such a lot of fun too.
“We hire the donkeys and have specific rules on who is allowed to ride – there’s an upper weight limit of eight stone because the animals are very small.”
He said members of the club were delighted with this year’s turn-out.
“There are lots of people here having a nice time, and that’s wonderful to see,” he said.