Well what an absolutely fantastic day Saturday was.........it started with an early on the road driving time of 05.30 as I set off for the Standwick Centre, Frome Market, Bath. Today was the day of the Great Western Region Fleece and Fibre Show, a first of its kind to judge fleeces shorn from the alpacas without knowing who the alpaca belongs to, the names of the breeders and animal names were sealed in envelopes and only open once the judges decision had been made. I arrived just after 08.00 and was greeted by fellow alpaca breeders setting up the trade stalls in the main hall.
We had entered 2 fleeces into the show and was unsure what to expect, just learning from what the judge had to say about the fleeces was worth the trip down. Mr Dominic Lane internationally renowned for judging alpacas was the judge for the day.
The judging started at 09.00 and it soon came round to the first class of alpacas that we had a fleece entered into, Huacaya-White Junior just looking down the list of entrants made me nervous and with the judge having to narrow down the fleeces to get his chosen few, I was certain we had not even got a mention, never mind.....it is our first alpaca fleece show. The judge has made his choice....6 boxes with fleeces in them sat on the table in front of me....can I tell if any of these are our fleece.....No they all look the same....which is what built the atmosphere in the room.....know one could tell who's fleece is who's. Well the judge reveals 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th and highly commended......not even a mention of our fleece, i suppose it could be the 1st place choice but with hearing the names of the other winners in the class, I don't think so.
Before we can find out who the winner is all the Huacaya-White of all age groups have to be judged and then the first place winner from those classes gets judged and the winner from that goes onto Champion to be later judged for Supreme Champion but you still have no idea who's fleece is who.....what a fantastic way of doing things....its any ones guess who is going to win.
So its onto the next class and we have a fleece in this class too, Huacaya-White Intermediate another large class of entrants with some very good breeders entered, the judge really has got his work cut out trying to reduce the selection of fleeces down to just 6, I see some very good fleeces get pushed aside not making it into the final 6.....but the judge is happy and has made his decision......in 2nd place he announces "Wellground Cyan" Owners Name "Mrs Lisa Birch" in 3rd place.......hang on a minute that's our alpacas fleece....what in 2nd place.......then I get a nudge on my shoulder from Rob Rawlins saying "how about that then" Bloody Hell excuse my language we just came second....I cant believe it out of all the entrants in this class.....crikey.
Well the rest of the Huacaya-White classes get judged with some fantastic fleeces passing by my eyes, Then its time to get all the 1st place entries for this class together so that the judge can decide which one is Champion to be put aside to go onto be judged for Supreme Champion. The judge is ready he has selected his choice of champion for this class and that entry goes onto the chance of winning Supreme Champion so we won't know who that is until later, but we can now find out who has come first in the other Huacaya-White Classes so the winner of the Huacaya-White Junior Class is "Wellground Magenta" Owners Name "Mr & Mrs Birch" We have only gone and bloody won 1st place......holly macaroni.....I am shocked to say the least.......a 1st and 2nd......S**t the bed.......I cant believe it....I need to tell Lisa.
Our First place and Second place Rosettes.
The whole day was absolutely amazing, the atmosphere in the room was just fantastic everyone was just blown away with this show and its success, its certainly a show that we are already thinking about which alpaca fleeces to enter next year. In our opinion all those involved in getting the show up and running deserve as much support next year to make it even bigger. Great Western Regional Alpaca Show 2011 is a must for any alpaca breeder.
Well that's all for today, back soon.