Showing alpacas at Halter Shows
Showing alpacas is very rewarding and great fun. Going to shows offers opportunities to meet other breeders and assess how your alpacas compare to others in the national herd. It is also a useful marketing tool. We have shown black alpacas in halter classes in the past and won several black Championships and numerous rosettes. Alpacas are assessed on their conformation as well as their fleece qualities. Alpacas do need to be halter trained, used to travelling and well socialised prior to attending a show. Some events are one day while at others alpacas are required to be penned for several days.
Showing Alpaca Fleeces
It is essential for the industry to develop fleeces which are of high quality and commercially viable. We now leave the alpacas at home and show only their fleeces. Fleece shows are becoming more common as part of alpaca events.
Showing fleeces requires a different form of preparation. Immediately after shearing, the fleeces need to be skirted and prepared before rolling and placing in a bag ready to be sent to the show. Fleeces are marked using a score card which provides excellent unbiased information about the fleece. Score cards are very useful when making breeding decisions to improve the quality of our herd. In addition, all fleeces are anonymous to the judges. A fleece can be sent to several shows during the year giving an opportunity for different judges to assess your fleece.
Alpaca Fleece Traits
Quality fleece should be fine in micron, dense in terms of weight and show good staple length. In addition fleece should exhibit the characteristics demanded of a very high quality fibre product. ie excellent brightness, handle, colour uniformity and a well defined, organised crimp style.
To show or not to show?
Showing alpacas in halter classes is a matter of personal choice but is not without risk in terms of alpaca health. We know from experience that our animals are happier and healthier staying at home. Meeting them in their own surroundings provides a better opportunity to see normal behaviour. Visitors are always welcome to view our alpacas by appointment. We are repeatedly told how calm and friendly our animals are compared to other alpacas. Come and see the quality of our herd for yourselves.