Foal who inspired Lincolnshire donkeys' owner to fight on after devastating burglary

A foal has inspired the owner of donkeys that have been giving rides along the Lincolnshire coast for three generations to fight on to save his business.

John Nuttall - whose has 90 donkeys in Skegness, Mablethorpe and Cleethorpes - was facing selling up after the devastating blow when his season's takings and family heirlooms were stolen in a burglary last month.

And a few days ago he met his "lowest point" when he posted details on Facebook of the first donkeys up for sale.

But then a foal was born at his stables in Ingoldmells, which was initially rejected by its mother, Heidi.

John Nuttall has been inspired to carry on thanks to the help of a donkey foal called Kye.

John tried introducing it to a foster mum and hand rearing - developing a special bond that was captured on camera.

It was a turning point when an image of John sat up against a wall with his head lowered being nuzzled by the foal was shared on Facebook.

John posted the caption: "When a picture tells a thousand words, How can I possibly sell this little fella?"

Amongst the many comments on the post was one by Susan Mcateer, who said: "Aww, he’s an angel in disguise - you definitely have to keep him."

John has been topping up Kye's milk.

Kim Martin said: "You're amazing with all your donkeys. None of them could ever have a better home than with you.

"I really hope you keep them all and things turn better for you. That little guy looks like a good luck charm to me."

And Lynsey Pexman said: "Stay strong, stay positive for yourself. Your daughter and your donks - they all need you."

When our reporter caught up with John, he said the public support had been amazing. He explained: "I was at a very low point when that picture was taken.

John was facing having to sell his donkeys after a devastating burglary.

"Having to put donkeys up for sale was the hardest thing for me.

"The changing point for me was when the foal was born - how could I sell him..

"After being initially rejected by its mother I used a method my father taught me to prevent the foal being kicked.

"We had tried a foster mum and have been topping up his milk and he's getting stringer and fighting back now."

The foal has now been named Kye after the son of fundraiser Julie Walmsley, who sadly died in a car crash three years ago.

"My daughter, Leah Cunningham, set up the GoFundMe and I just asked John if he had named the foal yet and suggested it might be called Kye, after my son," said Julie.

"When I heard he had named him Kye I felt so honoured. My daughter is visiting in October and we hope to go to the stables and meet him."

Although John is feeling more hopeful, he still has some difficult decisions to make. He said: ""I may still have to sell some donkeys but I don't know how many.

"Also the winter feed is now in and that will need paying for soon.

"But the public support has been amazing so I have to try.".

The GoFundMe page, Help John and his Skegness donkeys, had raised £960 at the time of going to print. To make a donation visit here.

*The police investigation into the burglary is ongoing. Anyone with information to call 101, quoting incident 76 of 19th August..

Read also