How to Show an Alpaca



Make a sound decision about why you are showing your alpaca.,
Know what the alpacas are being judged on.,
Register for the show.,
Obtain suitable clothing.,
Make sure the alpaca is trained properly.,
Bring the right gear and needs with you.,
Bring your alpaca’s health papers.,
Be on time.,
Don’t talk to the judge.

Going to shows is hard work, tiring, but rewarding. You need to reach your own reasons as to why you want to show your alpaca to justify the expense, time, and effort that is required to show an alpaca. Main reasons that people show their alpacas include:

Getting the judge’s opinion of your alpaca (if you get as far as the final deciding group)
Meeting up with other alpaca breeders
Promoting your alpaca stock
Winning a ribbon; for pride, or for increasing the value of your stockBenchmarking your breeding decisions against the decisions of others and sharing tips, ideas, and know-how; go on and feel the fleeces of winning alpacas so that you get a tactile impression of what the fleece should feel like; this can help you know what to aim for in your stock!;
, Before you even head off, you should be informed about the show’s style, its requirements and what the showing seeks to emphasize. Note that there are variations in what is looked for in alpaca shows depending on where you are in the world and the reason for the occasion. In South America, alpaca showing can be an excuse for a fiesta, with the alpacas being part of the festivities. In the USA, alpaca showing can focus on the abilities of alpacas to navigate an obstacle course to demonstrate the owner’s “handling” skills, or it can focus on the fleece as a commercially viable outcome of breeding alpacas, as is most common in Australia and New Zealand.Show associations can provide you will all the details you need to know; contact them in advance. A list of relevant show organizations is provided under “Tips”. Showing an alpaca might include:

Division of alpacas by color
Division of alpacas by sex and age
Judging of fleece according to certain standards
Judging of handling
Possible judging of shorn fleeces if you have these as well.

, Most shows will require advance notice of your intention to bring your alpaca(s) along. Know which class or classes that you want to place your alpaca in and fill out the registration forms and send back in on time. Some shows will not permit late entries or will charge a late entry fee. Be sure to pay any fees required also, or you might find yourself disqualified for non-payment.

, Wear a white or black shirt, white or black pants, and nice shoes. Or wear a white coat as pictured here. Nothing too flashy and nothing that says your farm name or logo. This will ensure a neat and complementary presentation with you alpaca being the star, and you not upstaging it or distracting the judges.

, There is no point showing an alpaca unless you have already trained it to perform the correct show presentation. These are things to train your alpaca in:

Getting used to large groups of people and being viewed by people. This is a case of always handling your alpaca and having people around her.
Halter training your alpaca. She should be comfortable with being lead around from a halter.
Train your alpaca to halt, to walk, and to enter a trailer. It is really important that your alpaca is familiar with the trailer before you go, as this can be a frightening experience and might cause you to stay at home instead of going to the show if your alpaca shies away and refuses to enter it.
Play at judging with you alpaca. Have someone other than you run their hands through your alpaca’s fleece, picking at the fleece here and there a few times prior to the show. This is what the judge will do, so best that the alpaca is prepared.

, Be sure to pack the following:

Alpaca’s lead and halter – black. This is neat, often regulation and it is easy to find.
Food, e.g., hay, pellets, hay bag
Water and container (buckets)
Floor mats (if wished)
Promotional materials for your farm/stock
Clothes for you
Blanket for alpaca
Any medical requirements
Grooming needs

, You will be required to show these at many shows but it pays to find out what requirements your state, province or national show board has in place so that you bring along the correct documentation. It is recommended that you have your alpaca microchipped.

, If not, you will likely forfeit your chance. There is no re-run. Moreover, not being at the show at least an hour or so ahead means that your alpaca is being taken straight from the trailer onto the showing area without a rest or settling period and this is not good for the alpaca’s nerves nor for yours.

, Let the judge perform his or her job unhindered by a running commentary. By all means respond to questions put to you but do not upset the moment by cracking jokes or boasting.

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