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With our departure from the miniature donkey business, I wanted to write a note to all of you as a way of sort of saying goodbye, and to introduce the new owner of Liíl Angels Miniature Donkeys. I guess we always knew this dream would not last forever, but this has been one of the best experiences of our lives. The hardest part was knowing all the work we have put into building a quality herd of miniature donkeys, and walking away just when we finally reached some of our long term goals.
We send our best wishes to all of you,
In our years in this business, we have met some great people and enjoyed watching other breeders build their own breeding herds, just as we have done. One of the great things about this business is that we are all individuals, just as the donkeys are individuals. We each see different characteristics that we appreciate for our own reasons. For us, it was important to breed for movement since we appreciate the miniature donkey for itís natural ability to pull and work, but halter conformation, as it is judged in the show ring is critical for any serious breeding program. Blending the two together has always been our dream, and our end goal.
We met Jenny Eastep at the Colorado sale in 2010. I had talked with her before that, but when we met her we were both very impressed with her and we both liked her right away. Sometimes you just click with people, and thatís how it was with us, I think. At least it was for me. Jenny was getting into the donkey business, and she was seriously doing her homework, and seemed genuinely interested in learning what it was going to take to build a quality herd, and a sound breeding program. I gained a lot of respect for her right away. We both did.
After our first meeting, Jenny and I continued to talk. Now and then she would ask me if I would sell Lacey Doll, or Allegra, or Easter Frost. Well, I wasnít anywhere near ready to part with any of my favorite girls, but I found it interesting that she always picked my favorites. As the list grew longer with her, I began to think that one day I would turn over some of them to her, as I replaced them. Having had a much larger herd at one time, we had made a commitment to keep our numbers down, and I knew some would eventually be available. I told her so, and she held me to it. Her donkey list began to grow, and so did my esteem for her.
In the summer of 2011 Jenny made her first trip to our farm, and Kenny and I could both see that we were right about her. Jenny has a very inquisitive nature, and is always willing to listen and learn. She wanted to get it right, and for the right reasons. She wanted to know every detail of our views on conformation, and we poured over it for a few days, until she understood our animals, what we breed for, and why. Best of all, we were all on the same page. By the time she left I think she was interested in at least half of our herd. Her list was growing bigger, and so was our confidence in her.
When the time came for Kenny and I to retire from this business, we both knew that Jenny would be the perfect person to carry on with our program. She was young enough to carry on for many years, and clearly shared our vision for the future of our herd. I remember how nervous I was when I called her to ask if she would be interested, but I didnít expect that she would jump at the chance. Once we got over the initial shock, Kenny and I were overjoyed. Jenny wanted to carry on with our herd, and with our name. This was just too good to be true, but it was very much her dream as much as ours. It is one of those things that was meant to be.
Kenny and I wish to express our deepest appreciation to everyone who has purchased donkeys from us in the past, and we hope to continue to enjoy the friendships we have found through sharing our donkeys. Thanks so much for your confidence in our donkeys, and in our breeding program. And also, we thank those of you who have shared your donkeys with us and entrusted us with their care.
As we turn the majority of our herd, and the Liíl Angels donkey business over to Jenny, we wish to express to the whole donkey community how much we think of her as a person, and as a breeder. We have a great deal of confidence that she will be a very strong influence in this industry. We very much appreciate her honesty and integrity, and feel sure that others will see her in the same light. Simply put, she is the ideal person to carry on our farm name. Our Liíl Angels are in good hands!
Jenny and I have a very good relationship, and we both look forward to years of working together. She has asked me to stay on as a consultant for her, and Iím very happy to be useful. Kenny and I have kept a few of our favorite performance donkeys, and we plan to continue to train and maybe show a little, just for fun. Hopefully we will see some of you out there in the show ring. I may even still teach a clinic now and then.
Ken and Jeannie
Li'l Angels Full Moon
National Halter Champion
Multiple Performance Champion
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