Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fall Show - day two

Today, Saturday, is the day that actual alpaca showing began.

Alpacas are broken up into classes by type of alpaca (Suri or Huacaya), by age (juvi, yearling, 2 year old and Mature), by sex (male or female), and by color. All of our alpacas are Huacaya. Rose is a juvi (older than 6 months old but younger than a year old). Pocahontas and Cavalier are both yearlings. Just after you arrive, you bring your animal to "color check", this is where they verify the alpaca's color to make sure they are in the right class.

Cavalier color checked as "medium fawn". This put him in the class of Huacaya Yearling Male, Medium Fawn. There were 17 total in this class, so it was split into two groups. Cavalier placed 4th in his group of 9. Cavalier is one alpaca that we have had a hard time evaluating ourselves. We struggled with the fact he has some primary hairs that stick out, and his chest is smaller than we would ideally like to see, but we were not sure how this would affect his placing. The judge stated that Cavalier had great proportions, great brightness, great density and fineness. The only fault the judge stated was that Cavalier he has inconsistency in his micron, which is the same issue as the halo of primary hairs. Cavalier's placing is about what we expected. It feels good to know we already had identified what issue might be a problem for him in the ring.

As my long time readers will know, I don't take pictures of the alpacas in the ring. I used to, but I found whenever I did this they did terrible. The times I forgot my camera, they would do well. Now I just don't do it at all, I leave the camera alone until after they show.

Here is Cavalier's ribbon:

Right when he got back to his pen, he started eating hay. I swear they stress eat:

Finally I got a picture of his face:

Rose colored checked as rose grey. She is in a class of 2 alpacas, both huacaya juvi female rose grey. There are rules about combining classes and separating classes. For this show, they separated the silver grey from the rose grey. Some shows choose to put these classes together. Because they are separated, the class is small. While a positive to having a class of only 2, you are guaranteed to get a 1st or 2nd place. But, we like the competition, we want to know how our animals measure up, even in a big competitive class. So, we are not happy to have her in such a small class. Rose is an incredible animal, she needs to show off her great qualities. I do have to say whenever we walk her anywhere we get comments from people passing of how cute she is and how they want to take her home. Rose will show on Sunday.

Pocahontas color checked as Indefinite Dark (we had the judge double check because she's a tricky one). Indefinite Dark is a last resort class for colors that don't fit into any other category. Pocahontas is brown with grey fibers throughout her blanket. She really is a rose grey without enough grey to be considered grey. Unfortunately, she is the only one in her class at this show. This means she has no competition. In a case like this, the judge usually awards the animal a 1st place, but also gives an evaluation of the animal. Sometimes, the judge will decide the animal has enough of a fault that a 2nd place is awarded. Being that Po has won 1st place in groups of 2 and 3, we would be very surprised if there was a fault so great that they only awarded her a 2nd place. Tomorrow we will find out for sure.

Over all our trip has been good. We have found some great restaurants (after our horrible time in Columbus, Ohio, not being able to find good places to eat, we have a new respect for this). The hotel is wonderful, except for the train tracks right behind our room. I didn't notice the train going through, but J reports it seemed like a train came by every half hour all night long. Needless to say, we won't stay here if we come to this venue again. Though I have enjoyed the high speed internet and the hot tub.

Sunday will be a busy day for us. We would like to get to the show early enough to see our former alpacas, Lightning and Lily, show in their white classes. Whites are showing first thing in the morning. We are eager to see how they do. We will need to show both Rose and Pocahontas. Then we will begin to pack up and eventually head home.

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