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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

European Alpaca show. Vierzon, France. 2009

It was all set to be a disaster as the Mitsubishi started playing up with intermittent fuel problems two weeks ago, ending in a total breakdown last Monday. In true French style the garage rushed to our aid and collected the vehicle three days later! Too late it seemed to attend the show.Luckily Gary and Felicia from Popham Alpacas who were also planning to go agreed to tow the animals down for us if need be.Then at zero hour on the Thursday evening Monsieur Huet called to say it was fixed.
We collected it,spent an hour beating the dust out of some very dirty alpacas, and, with the veterinary inspection over we were ready to roll.
The six hour trip passed without incident and within minutes of being unloaded the alpacas were munching happily on the hay completly unfazed by the journey.This was more than could be said for us. Too tired to go to the conference on alpaca fibre,we opted for the bar and restaurant instead.
The show the next day was well attended with many exhibitors from other countries including Belgium,Switzerland and Australia.The French turnout however was a little lacking with possibly some breeders saving themselves for the Pompadour show in two weeks time. Us 'Bretons' held our corner well with Enid from Briezh Alpacas and Robin and Linda of Utopian Alpacas both showing well and getting placed, including supreme champion suri for Utopian with Don Quixote a fantastic fawn from their own Silken Lad.
As for us. Atlas, our Black Huacaya stud male took first place in the Adult Black class and went on to take Reserve Champion Black Huacaya for the second year running His fleece entry also won the silverware (well alright,plastic ware) for us. Scoring top marks for colour and consistency, without a single white fibre.
Angove,Fleur and Felicia all claimed second place rosettes in their classes,with Eldoret coming third in the Suri adult class behind the two Moonsbrook males co-owned by Pure-suri-alpacas.
Our most pleasing result though has to be Quelvehin Fanny-Ann our junior white female huacaya from Popham Bella and bred to Popham Alamo who took first place against some stunning and well travelled alpacas in a notoriously competitive class. Made even more pleasing considering we nearly missed it after being sent out of the ring due to a cock-up on my part giving an incorrect date of birth which we clarified just in time to be re-assessed!
Needless to say we were delighted with our efforts and have learnt a lot during the course of the week-end and have made a few more friends and acquaintances from many far flung corners of the world.
We missed out on the raffle prize of a free mating to Bozedown Pernod by one number,the winner being Jacques Olivier. Jacques and I were queued at the same time for a ticket and he let me go first.So,good manners paid off! Now he'll have to buy some alpacas! Oh, and well done to Gabi for winning her own box of walnuts!
Thanks to Marie-Genevieve and the alpaga developpement team,and to the judge Jill Macleod for all their efforts in putting it together. Great show. See you next year.

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