August 14, 2007

Introducing Clive and Rufus

As majestic as my Friesian horses are, they have nothing on the two newest equine additions to the Bedford stable: Clive and Rufus, the adorable one-year-old miniature donkeys. They arrived at my farm just a few months ago from Harry Witteveen, my horse breeder in Ontario, Canada, and since then they have already logged countless hours of frolicking in their paddock. Native to the Mediterranean coast of North Africa and the Italian islands of Sicily and Sardinia, this breed of donkey has not been bred down in size, as is the case with most other "miniature" animals. They are simply diminutive creatures by nature, standing anywhere from 31 to 38 inches high at full height, as measured from the ground to the withers -- that is, the space just above the shoulder blades, where the neck meets the back. Right now, Clive and Rufus, both jacks (male donkeys; female donkeys are jennets), are a few inches shy, but they still have a couple of years to reach maturity, which generally occurs at age three.


Photos by Eliad Laskin