This really was what alpaca auctions should be about (in my humble opinion); showcasing superior genetics, and offering the very best alpacas up for sale. The animals were calm, the shorn fleeces were there to be seen, and the breeders were on hand for the whole of the two days to offer advice. I think all us breeders felt like a child in a sweety shop, the standard of the auction lots was so high...and consequently so were prices.
I was especially interested in three lots (but only in purchasing one). First of those was Lot 2; Bozedown Magic Charm a fawn female. I dropped out when the bids got to 9,500gs. At this point I was thinking that they might get cheaper as we went along, when people were spent up...wrong...the next one I had my eye on was Lot 4; Bozedown Gracie 11, but when she went to10,000 gs I had to stop for the sake of Paul's health. She has the most stunning fleece and is going to Alpacas of Wales (congratulations Susan).
Was it going to be third time lucky...yes...this was probably my first choice, but I thought that she may be too expensive for me...she is a present for Beck Brow Explorer (he deserves one after Thursday) and is a great match for him, with a SD of only 3.3. Yes, joining us at Beck Brow will be Bozedown Celestrial!
Adding to our excitement was the fact that Debbie and Paul (Barnacre Alpacas) were making telephone bids (I won't spoil the surprise, but Congratulations and well bought).
The speakers were excellent and I felt like I learned so much. It was interesting that more than one lecture suggested that emphasis on extreme fineness was not necessarily a good thing. After all nobody wants to process a 14 micron fleece. Aiming for a fleece that retains a micron of 20-25 over years, and has good density and low guard hair, seems to be the goal. There was also great emphasis on considering factors such as mothering skills and fertility when making breeding decisions. The other point was the ability to improve fleece quality in just one generation is incredibly high with alpacas. Conformation faults are less easy to improve.
We have unfortunately come home to some very bad news, but I won't share this tonight as this is such a positive blog. If anyone had any doubts about the how the alpaca industry is thriving...just check out the prices realised at the auction... and the amount of support the event received.