Visit with Donkeys During Local Book’s Launch

Book cover for The Book of Donkeys, published 2016. Source: Donna Campbell Smith, NC.
Book cover for The Book of Donkeys, published 2016. Source: Donna Campbell Smith, NC.

Local Writer Launches the Book of Donkeys at Donkey Day

By Donna Campbell Smith & Shannon Hoffman

Local writer Donna Campbell Smith will be launching her latest book published by Lyons Press, The Book of Donkeys, at Donkey Day. This local event is scheduled for April 16, 2016, starting at 10am and continuing until 2pm.

Donkey Day is hosted by Shannon Hoffman and located on her farm at 813 Moss Road, in Zebulon NC.

Donkeys are gaining in popularity across the country. The USDA’s 1998 equine census reported there were 270,000 donkeys in this country. People are utilizing them for trail riding, packing trips, pets, livestock guards, and as show animals. Donkeys are also used to breed mules, which are a hybrid produced by crossing a male donkey and a female horse.

In The Book of Donkeys, Donna Campbell Smith covers the origin and history of donkeys world-wide, as well as breeds and types, care, housing, breeding, training, and the use of donkeys. The Book of Donkeys will stand alone as an introduction to the world of donkeys and donkey keeping.

The Book of Donkeys is the fourth in a series of equine books written by Smith and published by Lyons Press. Previously published, The Book of Mules, The Book of Draft Horses, and The Book of Miniature Horses have been revised and are being released April 1, 2016. All four books will be available for purchase as the Donkey Day event.

Donna Campbell Smith has an AAS Degree in Equine Technology from Martin Community College. She is a certified riding instructor and served many years as a Master NC 4-H Horse Program Volunteer. Smith worked in the horse industry as an instructor, breeder, and trainer for over thirty years. She is now retired from teaching and training, and writes from her home near Franklinton, North Carolina.

Shannon Hoffman owns a small mule and donkey farm in Zebulon, where she has three mules and three donkeys of her own.  Having owned “Long Ears” for over fifteen years she has become accomplished at training them and competing against horses. Shannon specializes in trail obstacles and developing a handy well-mannered equine who can be used for any job or event needed. Shannon teaches lessons to adults and children and on a limited bases takes in training projects.

Smith met Shannon Hoffman when she began working on The Book of Mules. “After all the help she gave me while writing The Book of Mules, she is the first person I turned to when I knew I’d be writing The Book of Donkeys. Shannon has once again been so very gracious in letting me take up her time to answer questions and photographing donkeys at her farm.”

Donkey Day activities will include meeting Audie Murphy, the donkey pictured on the cover of the book, and several other donkey-models that Smith photographed to illustrate the book.

There will be a coloring contest for youth and adults, riding demonstrations, and farrier — a hoof-care specialist — Craig Horvath will be there to answer hoof care questions.

Free refreshments will be provided by Wagon Wheel Kitchen. This local eatery is known for its catering and homemade products like jams, jellies, and more.

Donkey Day is a family friendly event and ideal for youth groups such as 4-H, riding clubs, and Scouts in addition to those adults who own or are considering getting a donkey.

For more information, contact Shannon Hoffman 919.754.7568.

Ed. Note: Donna Campbell Smith works with the Franklin County Arts Council (FCAC), organizing regular writers guild meetings, special writing events, and the annual FCAC writers retreat. In addition to the equine books, Smith is the author of four children’s books. Three of her books, Pale as the Moon, An Independent Spirit, and Bear Song have not only been popular reading for young people, they are used in many schools as supplemental reading for students learning about US colonial history. Smith also released a murder mystery for grown-up readers, In the Garden with the Pruning Shears.

Donkey Day announcement for April 2016 event.
Donkey Day announcement for April 2016 event.
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About Donna Campbell Smith 78 Articles
Donna Campbell Smith, an author based in Franklinton NC, worked in the horse industry for over thirty years as an instructor, trainer, breeder, and writer. She has an AAS Degree in Equine Technology from Martin Community College and is a certified riding instructor. Smith has written four non-fiction books on equine management: The Book of Donkeys, (The Lyons Press 2016) The Book of Miniature Horses (The Lyons Press 2005), The Book of Draft Horses (The Lyons Press 2007), and The Book of Mules (The Lyons Press 2009). All her books are available at or ask for them at a bookstore near you. Donna is a member of Franklin County Arts Council. Visit her website at