Saturday, April 3, 2010

Indiana Show Update

If you are looking at the posting time on this then you'll see that I'm up in the middle of the night. I have horrible heart burn and can't sleep. So, I figured I might as well blog. No sense laying in bed in pain. It's my own fault. For some reason I have felt like eating a lot of Mexican food lately, and the last two nights with supper I've had a margarita. I rarely drink and this is part of the reason, it gives me heartburn. Though, honestly, a lot of things give me heartburn. I must be getting old.

For my blog this time I thought I'd get some pictures of the venue. I often forget to do this. And, once J learned about the fact our animals do better in the ring when I don't have my camera on me, well, we won't have any pictures of them in the ring ever again.

At every show I always notice upon arrival on show morning the scene in the parking lot. You know you are at a show when there are all these trailers:

I remember when we were first getting into the business we visited a farm where they were saying how different farms can be in how they do things. Some go all out and spend a lot on these big trailers, while others drive up in an old beat up horse trailer. I thought this pictured really showed the difference between a smaller cargo type trailer and a big horse trailer:

Somehow, we all manage to get to the show, no matter what our method of transport is.

This is the entrance to the building at this show:

Then inside, the animals are kept in pens. Each show determines the number of animals per pen (it depend on the size of the pen for that venue). Sometimes farms share pens, and some farms have several pens. It's very hard to get a picture of what this looks like because I can't get the magnitude of all the pens, but this is sort of what it looks like inside:

Looking down this isle you can see the banners and stuff farms put up. Some farms put up ribbons, other's don't. Many post the animals ARI certificate (so you can see their genetic history).

We don't put up every ribbon our animals have ever won. We certainly put up any they win at the show we are currently at. And, we will put up any from this particular season (any spring 2010 ribbon goes up). We also will put up some past ribbons, especially if they did really well. Here is our stall, with boys in the pen on the corner and girls in the pen next to them:

More of a close up of the girl's pen:

Then there are the rings. At this show there are 3 rings. Ring #1 is for suri's. Ring #2 is for female huacaya and ring #3 is for the males. This picture shows where you line up for the rings and the length of the 3 rings:

Close up of one ring:

Our animals do pretty well in the pens. Here are the girls lounging about:

Cavalier resting:

The big boys, Greyt and Lightning:

Our first day of the show was a bit rough. I sort of had a feeling when I was getting ready that things might not be good. My hair was not curling like it usually does, it was very lifeless and almost straight. I'm not sure how much my hair is like alpaca fiber, but I was worried if my hair was like that, what if their fiber is limp and lifeless? When we got to the coliseum, as I feared, their fiber was dry, without good bundles or shine or much crimp. This was not a good start to the day.

I don't know exactly why, but both last year and this year we have found this show to be more competitive than other shows. It was the toughest show we attended last year. And like last year, we are finding it harder than the Ohio show we just attended 3 weeks ago. It's not even that there are that many big farms here. It just seems like people bring out the quality here.

This show starts with the production classes (get of sire, produce of dam and so forth). It was almost noon before the blacks started showing.

Rosco showed, but did not get placed (she "got the gate"). We know she lacks density, and if you add on that she was hot and her crimp was falling out, she really didn't look that good today. She's one that we wanted because we feel we can build on her. Bred to a dense bundled male, she'll produce some great cria.

After Rosco we had a long break before our next ones in line to show, Cavalier or Tehya. We weren't sure they would even show on the first day. As it ended up, Tehya did show, but Cav did not.

When looking at Tehya, we noticed that her fiber is starting to web. From what I can tell this happens when an animal is very fine. So that is a good thing, she's fine. But, it means she doesn't have the bundles in her fiber that the judges want to see also. It's such a hard balance! Last year at this show she got 2nd place, now this year, she got 4th. We are a bit disappointed. Upon thinking about it, we can see how she placed where she did. We really didn't notice this webbing until recently, so we hadn't really processed how it would affect her showing. The challenge now will be to find the right male to breed her to, so that her cria will have nice bundles, but still hold onto her fineness.

Now for day 2 (which it is already but the show doesn't start for another 5 hours), we will have Cav to show first thing in the morning, then Lightning, Greyt and Pocahontas. We still have 4 of our 6 to show. Who knows what day 2 will bring. I should figure out a way to get a bit more sleep before then, and I do hope I wake up with curls in my hair :)


watalulu said...

Good Luck at the show. I thought very seriously of coming to this show (it's in Ft Wayne, right?) But we are going to the opening day for the Ft Wayne Tin Caps on Thursday and I thought two trips to Ft. Wayne in a week might be too much on gas.

Your alpacas are cute.

cara said...


This show comes around each spring so there will be other chances to go. And, at the end of May Nationals are being held in Ft. Wayne this year. We are thinking of bringing our one little girl to it. This is one of the biggest alpaca shows, huge event with amazing animals.

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