STUDENTS from the Thomas Hardye School in Dorchester have welcomed their new mascot – a goat named Vinnie This academic year has seen the school adopt a college or house system with four colleges called Stratford, Napier, Henning and Trenchard.

The four colleges have their own assemblies and each has been looking to recruit its own mascot.

Stratford College has found its perfect match and received a visit from Vinnie the Bagot goat at one of their assemblies.

The Bagot breed is an old British breed dating back to the 1500s and there are only around 200 left across the world.

The Stratford College team decided to opt for a goat as their mascot as it best represented their values of ‘active, curious and determined’.

Vinnie, who lives at the Kingston Maurward Animal Park along with other rare breeds, certainly made an impression with the students who described him as ‘very cute’ and ‘perfect for our college mascot’ while adding that other colleges were ‘very jealous of our college mascot’.

Head of Stratford College Paul O’Donnell said this was another good example of how Thomas Hardye and Kingston Maurward are working in cooperation with each other for the benefit of students in the Dorchester area.

He said the students were very excited to meet their mascot at the assembly, when he was brought in by staff from Kingston Maurward.

Mr O’Don nell said: “We were very grateful to the staff from Kingston Maurward for bringing him and teaching the students about him.

“Although Vinnie did get slightly nervous – thankfully there were some wooden boards put down – he seemed happy enough.

“We look forward to seeing Vinnie on more occasions.”

Science teacher Scott Munro, who located Vinnie and suggested him as the mascot, said: “The two tone black and white coat and large, swept back horns make the Bagot very striking.”

Thomas Hardye’s Stratford College students will be working with Kingston Maurward to try and protect this important breed of goats into the future.