It’s a three-peat for Jesse.
The eight-year old mini donkey, which belongs to Alexis Good of West Jefferson, won the Coon Jump for minis for the third straight year. He out jumped the nine other competitors by six inches when he cleared 36 inches on the first try. He was the only donkey to clear that height.
Good has had Jesse since he was 10 months old. She was inspired to take on training a donkey for its various contests by Samantha Briggs.
“She showed Bumper,” Good said, indicating that donkey’s prowess as a competitor approached legend status.
Good spends many hours of her days with Jesse building a bond of friendship that becomes special between her and her donkey.
“As long as you’re their best friend, they’ll do anything you want,” Good said of her gray pet with a distinct black cross on its shoulders and back.
With all of the classes, including pole bending, lead in barrels, halter and lead in barrels, the latter demanding a flat-out run from animal and handler, Jesse was tiring. His head was hanging low, it was pointed out.
But when he’s fresh, Good said Jesse exhibits exuberance in his own way.
Good also shows a black donkey, one much younger than Jesse, named Texas Tea for his “bubblin’ crude” color. With Tea, Good won trail and hand as well as showmanship.
When the fair is over Jesse and Texas Tea will be turned out to pasture to take it easy.
“He likes to be in pasture in summer,” said Good a sophomore at West Jefferson High School.
It’s good eatin’ all day with an occasional treat of grain, but that’s not his favorite treat. Good said that honor goes to, what else: animal crackers.
Dean Shipley can be reached at (740) 852-1616, ext. 1617, or via Twitter @DeanAShipley.