Rain doesn’t stop the fun at the alpaca section of Northumberland Show 2017

Northumberland Alpaca Championship 2017 Show Report

by Rachel Vaclik Chief Steward of the 2017 Northumberland Alpaca Championships.

The Northumberland Alpaca Championship took place as part of the Northumberland County Show at Bywell, Stocksfield on May 29th 2017. Run by NEBAG, the show was organised by Chief Stewards Rachel Vaclik and Paul Vaclik (Munaycha Alpacas) and was a great success, attracting a large number of animals and visitors alike.

Chief Stewards welcome exhibitors

We were pleased to welcome back as judge Liz Barlow, with her high standard of judging, clear and insightful feedback delivered in an efficient, friendly and educational way from which everyone benefited.

The show attracted many herds from outside Northumbria and was pleased to welcome back entrants from Yorkshire, Cumbria and Wirral with many breeders showing for the first time in Northumberland. This larger number of herds increased variety amongst the classes and to that end, the show boasted a very high standard of animals with champions from the region and beyond.

The Supreme Champion (kindly sponsored by Platinum sponsor Nero Black Alpacas) was awarded to Old Felton Alpacas with their Intermediate Female White, BeckBrow Fashionista for which they were awarded the Vicki Ridley Memorial Trophy.

Judge Liz Barlow

Reserve Champion, (kindly sponsored by Intake Vets) was awarded to Fangdale Alpacas with their Junior Male White, Fangdale Rooney.

Supreme Champion Old Felton’s Beckbrow Fashionista

The trophy for Best Northumbrian, (kindly sponsored by show sponsor Gentoo Homes) was presented to Nero Black Alpacas, with their Junior Male Light, Nero Black Mountbatten for which they were awarded the Lucinda Memorial Trophy.

Best Northumbrian Nero Black Mountbatten

The Suri Supreme Championship (kindly sponsored by Moorgair Alpacas) was awarded to Hebbs Alpacas, Adult Male Fawn, Wellow Amadeus Winston.

Suri Supreme Champion Hebbs Alpacas Wellow Amadeus Winston

We are also very keen to encourage the younger breeders of the future and this year was no exception. The young handler class attracted a wide range of ages from 4 to 11 who all demonstrated their handling skills and knowledge by negotiating a small obstacle course and answering a question from the judge.

The alpaca section attracts a lot of interest from the public and as Chief Stewards, it has always been important to us that we increase the awareness of these beautiful creatures and to educate the public. With that in mind, in addition to keeping them entertained by the classes and commentary (which always plays an important part for the public) we created a bigger “show and tell” area in the marquee. This included two banners, containing key alpaca facts, a presentation of raw and washed and carded fleece, along with information for the public and the opportunity to have your photo taken up close with an alpaca. The area was staffed by stewards so there was always someone on hand to answer questions and we were also lucky to be joined by the Tynedale Guild of Spinners who interacted with the crowds and spun alpaca fibres, showing the different stages from fibre to finished garment. This area was a real hit with all ages, attracting much larger crowds than anticipated and having received great feedback from both breeders and public alike and certainly something to develop even further next year.

Whether exhibitors came away with a rosette, sash, trophy or just happy memories, everyone had a great day. Even the rain didn’t dampen the spirits of either exhibitor or spectator. Our “wet weather” contingency was executed efficiently (thanks to our great team of helpers and stewards) and it was soon forgotten as the day got into full swing.

Entries will open again in March 2018 so keep an eye on the BAS website around that time and/or contact us at rachel_louise_hill@nullyahoo.co.uk. Rachel Vaclik and Paul Vaclik Chief Stewards of the 2017 Northumberland Alpaca Championships.

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