Wednesday, May 2, 2012

showing everyone

When we put together our plans for alpaca show season, we aim to show all our show age alpacas (any under 2 years old).

The big farms certainly can't do this, they have too many to show.   Some big farm show maybe 10% of their offspring.  Even the mid size farms only show a portion of their alpacas (depending on the farm this could be 50% of their offspring).   Most farms put together a show string of their best to show.

There are pros and cons to showing every alpaca.  This is something we evaluate every year.  As we get to be a bigger farm there may come a time we do have a select show string.  But at least for right now, we are showing everyone.

I point this out to say that if we showed 10% or 50% of our available show animals, we would have all great showings.  That's why those big farms can run off with tons of 1st and 2nds.  It's when you add in everyone that there are some that just didn't show well.  Those are the ones that wouldn't make a show string at another farm.

Our results from GMAF:

Challenger ~ 3rd place
Rose ~ 1st place
Twilight ~ 2nd place
Gabe ~ did not place
Thunder ~ 4th place
Duchess (AKA Princess) ~ 3rd place
Lady Bing ~ 3rd place
Shamballa ~ didn't place
Vamil ~ 4th place

If we only showed 10% we would have just brought Rose and came home with 100% 1st place :)  or if we showed 50%, we could have had all 1st, 2nd and 3rd :)

I can't say much more for Rose and Twilight - they rock!  I should say that Twilight's 2nd place is even more impressive if you saw the girl who won. The girl who beat Twilight was incredible and ended up taking color champion.  To come in 2nd in that big class to her was an honor.

We do like getting feedback on all of our alpacas and this is a big reason why we take them all to alpaca shows.  We were quite frustrated that Gabe, who last year was winning color champions, is not even placing.  We had a well known black alpaca breeder come and look at him.  Gabe did have Emac last summer, he was deathly ill.  We knew this took some toll on him, but we have underestimated how much.  This black breeder stated that Gabe has the right genetics, he can tell the quality it there, and if he hadn't gotten sick would still be winning championships. The good news is that he can be used as a breeder!  The bad news is that the toll it has taken on him means he won't be winning much in the show ring.  So after next weekends show we will retire him from his show career and focus on his breeding career instead.  For him, the proof will be in his progeny.

We believe Lady Bing and Shamballa did not place as well because they were not cria shorn, and their fiber is so long it has a hard time holding onto consistency.  It's there, it just doesn't show well with such long staple length.  And those tui tips makes their fiber feel less dense.  The good news for them is that after they are shorn this spring, they should should show better.

Poor Thunder has very lovely fleece but it gets missed because he is in such an awkward growth stage.  At this time his front legs are quite close, making his chest look small.  It's too early to know if he will outgrow this stage, so for him it is a wait and see.

Vamill was acting very poorly at the show.  He is new to our farm and clearly not familiar with us yet.  I don't know that it affected his showing.  Yearling white is historically a very tough class.  He did come in the top 1/3, which is what we consider to be herdsire material. 

This was the first show for Duchess (AKA Princess).  She was placed in 3rd and the judge said she had rock solid confirmation, great bone, and fine fleece, with no negative mentioned.  This was frustrating because then why was she placed 3rd? 

We have one more spring show, the Buckeye Alpaca Show, in Columbus Ohio - this weekend!!

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