The place was heaving; the number of entries mind-boggling (380); and the standard of the alpacas was awesome. Liz Barlow had the unenviable task of judging over the two days. Classes of 20 alpacas were summed up as all being worthy of a rosette!
Our hopes were always with Explorer, but it only took a glance in the schedule to conclude that Robyn was probably right. Junior white male, the future elite herdsires, was always going to be tough, but we really were up against the big boys. If we could only get a rosette, any colour (awarded to six places) we would be ecstatic.
However, we would have to wait until Saturday afternoon before his class was to be judged. A long wait. In the meantime a number of very established and very knowledgeable breeders were asking to take a look at Explorer. He was getting some very serious compliments... he was even thinking of changing his name from Gorgeous to Stunning... I could see him puffing himself up... maybe he could be up there after all; expectations were high. Never a good thing.
He looked great in the ring. He walked and stood like a pro. Unfortunately the squeeze of the testicles did trigger the 'pouffing machine'...which he found difficult to switch off. In the end he was placed third behind the eventual white champion. A brilliant achievement for our little fellow. Unfortunately, Explorer was not so impressed...his rosette was tied to his barrier...upon our return this morning...I found it in the bedding, discarded under a pile of poo...you can't please some alpacas.
Roma did not manage to make the top six amongst a class of amazing junior white females (won by our friends at Fowberry Alpacas, so we still had something to celebrate). We did however do better than I had expected in the fleece show. The new rules were in place (weight marked out of 15 points rather than 20) so my over skirting was less of a disaster, and our two entries both received second place (EP Cambridge Lady Gaga and Silverstream Galaxy). We also got a second with one of our photos, so we were more than happy.
We have had a fantastic weekend. Just to see such a high standard of alpacas in one place is such good experience. Our friends at Nero Black Alpacas had some fantastic results so we were able to cheer them on, as well as Fowberry Alpacas who also had a collection of red rosettes and broad ribbons...well done folks.
It was lovely to catch up with friends and fellow bloggers, talk alpaca, and to participate in a bit of serious socialising...I am now suffering from sleep deprivation and I am croaking like an old bull frog...but it was a fantastic event and we are already looking forward to next year.