This past weekend we attended Michigan International Alpacafest (MIAF) in Grand Rapids, Michigan. This show is about a 45 minute drive for us - so no excuse for not attending. Though I will say living near the venue has it's pros and cons. For example, we didn't need anyone to watch our farm because we would be home each evening. But at the same time, we never really got away. Part of what's fun about an alpaca show is to travel. We did get to catch up with many of our alpaca friends. And a show is always fun to talk to others about alpacas.
Our dilemma this fall was that we are between having a set show string. Our show string from last spring has mostly matured - Rose and Twilight are now bred. Gabriel and Vamil have started their breeding careers. We wouldn't put show stress on a bred female, and it typically isn't fun to take a male once they are breeding (they can be hard to keep calm in a pen near all those pretty girls!). At the same time this year's cria are too young to show yet (they have to be at least 6 months old to show, and given we breed for births from May to August, none have hit that age mark yet). This left our yearlings: Thunder, Shamballa and Lady Bing. So, that is who we took to the show. But to be honest, it felt a bit discouraging because Lady Bing is at an awkward growth stage, and both of the yearling boys aren't quite the whole package. For example, Thunder has incredible fiber, but is smaller than most his age.
Zack was nice enough to take some pictures of the venue to show what the alpaca show looks like inside the DeltaPlex Arena.
The far side with stalls set up for the alpacas:
The middle section where the judging was taking place:
And the far other side where there are more stalls with alpacas and products:
Zack took these pictures for me from way up in the stands :)
And if you are wondering why this is posting during the night, it seems I drank way too much caffeine over the weekend and find myself unable to sleep.