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BAS Alpaca Evaluation Course Hosted by NEBAG

Jay Holland presented a one day BAS Alpaca Awareness Course which was held at Castleside Village Hall back in October.

The event was well attended and feedback very positive. The course content was packed with detail on conformation, anatomy and fibre evaluation and participants shared their experiences and anecdotes throughout the course.

Jay brought along a selection of fleeces to help participants put the theory into practice later in the day. All managed to sort the wheat from the chaff although some were a tricky mixture of good and bad characteristics.

The event seemed to go down very well including the venue and catering, and the affable Jay made the whole day very interesting and informative. He certainly knows his stuff which is good news as he’ll be judging at the Northumberland County Show in May!

Course Participants

Course Participants

Baptism of Fire (in a good way)!

We have another new member, Heather Callender of North Star Alpacas, who found herself thrown in at the deep end at Westmoreland Show back in September. Heather is relatively new to alpacas and showing so wasn’t prepared for the frantic logistics of her success in the show ring. Members rallied round to help out when she needed to be in (at least) two places at once by being in the ring for championship judging as well as in the holding pen for the next class. It was more than worthwhile however when her boy North Star Abiad was awarded the male white championship.

Heather with Male White Champion, North Star Abiad

Heather with Male White Champion, North Star Abiad


In the show ring with judge, Nick Harrington-Smith and apprentice judge Julia Corrigan-Stuart

In the show ring with judge, Nick Harrington-Smith and apprentice judge Julia Corrigan-Stuart

Heather explains how she and her husband became involved with alpacas much of which will no doubt sound familiar!

I moved with my husband and two children from South Shields to Durham three years ago. My husband and I have always loved all kinds of animals and were keen to buy a property with a little land. Luckily we found that dream place and began filling it with goats, chickens, horses and dogs!! I may add, with exception of the dogs, we had no experience. We’d been looking in to owning alpacas for a while after we moved, then we attended one of Jacki Barlow’s (Beacon Alpacas) sale days and that was it!!!! We fell in love with them and came away with our own little herd. It’s been a learning curve but with a lot of support from Jacki we are getting the hang of things

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Flying the NEBAG Flag at the 236th Wolsingham Show

Wolsingham Show, which claims to be the oldest agricultural show in the country, was held on Saturday 5th and Sunday 6th September. Jan and Phil Archer from Castleside Alpacas went along with three of their award winning boys, Isaac, Matteo and Rowley, following a request from the show organisers. There was no alpaca class in the show but their presence proved to be a popular attraction. The appearance was also used as an opportunity to promote the breed and NEBAG.


Lovely setting, lovely weather.


The boys are getting bored with carrot by now


“Do they spit?”

New Members Success at Northumberland County Show

Best Northumbrian Alpaca Satara with Sandra, Val Fullerlove (right) and apprentice judge Julia Corrigan-Stuart

…or more accurately we persuaded Lesley and Sandra Oliver of Cherry Hope Alpacas to join NEBAG after their Suri, Cherry Hope Satara, won Best Northumbrian Alpaca. The brown junior male won high praise from the judge Val Fullerlove who was wowed by the lustre of his fleece.The day was a great success thanks to the help of many NEBAG member and in particular Mel and Mike Douglas and Paul and Rachel Vaclik.

It seemed appropriate to begin our new (and hopefully regular) feature of NEBAG herd profiles with Cherry Hope Alpacas. So here it is in their own words.

Read more »

Its Shearing Time

For those of you still in need of a shearer this year please click here to download a spreadsheet listing UK shearers.

CLA Sponsor Huacaya Supreme Champion

We are delighted that the main sponsorship of the Huacaya Supreme Champion for the Alpaca Section of the County Show is being provided by the Country Land and Business Association. Most alpaca owners and breeders are privileged to own land, even if just a few acres, but with ownership comes significant responsibility which can lead to expensive problems. The CLA provides independent and impartial advice and the free advisory service is available to members and their advisers. Land agents, accountants and lawyers can consult the CLA in house experts including barristers, surveyors, planning and tax specialists to establish best practice and the most recent legal opinion. For further information on CLA Membership and the full range of services contact Mark Scandle on 07794070547.

The Show Season Starts Here

The Show season is on us with a bang having had the National Show at Telford in March, Alpaca Showtime at Houghton Hall last weekend and the NWAG Show at Carlisle next Saturday. NEBAG members have supported all shows so far despite the distances and have all done well with their alpacas. We look forward to seeing many of you at Carlisle this weekend. Read more »

BAS National Show and AGM

The National Show was held at the International Centre at Telford last weekend with more than 360 alpacas in competition. The new location was excellent – easy to reach by motorway and superb facilities. NEBAG members were very much involved in the organization with Barbara Hetherington and Melanie Douglas on the Committee, and Paul Vaclik designed and ran the website and also gave one of the seminars. John and Juliet Miller ran the Fibre Zone and Paul Rippon assisted with the commentary ringside. Apologies if I have omitted anyone! Read more »

Shirley Bettinson

Northumberland County Show Halter Classes

We are delighted to welcome Shirley Bettinson of Toft Alpacas, Warwickshire to judge the halter classes at the Northumberland County Show 2014.

There will be few in the alpaca world who have not come across Shirley who qualified as a BAS judge in 2012. Shirley and husband Rob have been breeding alpacas since 1997 and now have a herd of over 200 providing the fleece for the hugely successful Toft Alpaca Shop.

Shirley plays an active role in the alpaca world and brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to her judging, as well as being a delightful person.

This is a Colour Championship Show with Huacaya classes including a Sires Progeny class and suri classes which will be split according to entries. We are also running a Young Handlers Class – please let us know when you send your entry fees if you have a Young Handler entry, there is no entry fee for this class. Entry fees 2014 are £12 per class, £20 Sire’s Progeny (no VAT). Numbers are limited to a maximum entry of 10 alpacas per breeder. Alpacas will only be accepted from 4 year bTB testing parishes.

Entries open 1st April and close 30th April or earlier if the maximum number has been reached. Please enter using the BAS on line system.

Please get your entries in as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.

Complimentary admission tickets will be issued as follows:

1 entry = 1 admission ticket and 1 vehicle pass

2-5 entries = 2 admission tickets and 1 vehicle pass

6-10 entries = 3 admission tickets and 1 vehicle pass

 Additional admission tickets may be ordered and paid for with your entry at a discount from the gate price

Advanced Ticket Sales

Adults £10
OAP £8.00
Children £2.50 (from 4 to 16 years old)
Family Tickets £25 (2 adults and up to 3 children)

Cheques payable to TYNEDALE AGRICULTURAL SOCIETY. Please post print out & cheque to the Show Organiser:

Vicki Ridley,




NE47 0AN

Tel: 01434 673473

Mob: 07425160446

e-mail: moorgair@nullbtinternet.com or northumberlandcountyshow@nullyahoo.co.uk

You can also pay by card or BACS, please ring the show office on 01434 604216

For any queries or further details please contact the show organiser Vicki Ridley, 07425160446 email; moorgair@nullbtinternet.com or Chief Steward Melanie Douglas, 01434 681276, mel@nullfallowfieldalpacas.com

More Cows Colostrum

Doug Steen would like to let everyone know that he has a stock of cow colostrum frozen in small(ish) bags should anyone should  need some in the Durham area.