Saturday 18th of March 2023

Donkey Denise Celebrates 20th Birthday at Redwings

A very special donkey, who came to live with Redwings Horse Sanctuary when she was just a couple of hours old, will be celebrating her 20th birthday this summer – and everyone is invited!

Denise and Matthew

Denise and Matthew

Denise and Redwings Caldecott donkey herd

Denise and Redwings Caldecott donkey herd

Adoption Star Denise

Adoption Star Denise

Lovable Denise, who lives at Redwings Caldecott Visitor Centre, near Great Yarmouth, was taken in by the charity in 1996 when her mum was not able to produce milk to feed her struggling baby. She was so tiny that when her owners contacted Redwings Hose Sanctuary for urgent help, she was transported to the Sanctuary by car because she was too small to travel by lorry! Denise was given round-the-clock care and grew up to become one of the charity’s most charismatic and treasured residents, as well as a popular member of its long-standing Adoption Club.

Redwings cares for 1,500 rescued horses, ponies, donkeys and mules at centres across the UK. The charity’s Adoption Club, which has been running for over 30 years, allows supporters to sponsor an Adoption Star for just £12.50 a year, with every penny going directly towards their daily care and that of their friends.

Supporters can visit their Adoption Star for free during any open day at the centre where they live and receive updates on their four-legged friend’s progress. They’re even invited to celebrate their birthday with a party every year where supporters can give their Adoption Star a big cuddle and join in with the fun and party games, while their adorable friend tucks into a specially made cake, just for them!

Denise will be celebrating her big birthday with a party at Redwings Caldecott on Sunday 4th September from 11.30am.

Gemma Walpole, Redwings’ Head of Fundraising, said:

“With her friendly nature – and famous mischievous streak – Denise has been delighting us and our supporters for 20 years. As a long-serving Adoption Star, she has given so much back to Redwings that we think she deserves a big party where everyone can lavish her with all the fuss and attention she adores. We hope as many people as possible will be able to make it.”


And if partying with one cute Adoption Star wasn’t enough, some of Redwings Caldecott’s other resident Adoption Stars will also be celebrating their birthdays this summer, including:

Adorably fluffy Shetland pony Sampson on Sunday 3rd July
Lovable pony Cauli on Sunday 31st July
Beautiful Shire horse Poppy on Sunday 21st August
As the largest of all the charity’s visitor centres, Redwings Caldecott also provides a safe and happy home to 120 rescued horses, ponies and donkeys who would love a cuddle too! 

Denise’s birthday party will take place on Sunday 4th September from 11.30am.

Join in the celebrations at Redwings Caldecott, Caldecott Hall, Beccles Road, Fritton, Norfolk NR31 9EY. For more information about the Adoption Club or to sponsor a Redwings Adoption Star, visit

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