I thank Lulu Oliver of Lusi Alpacas for inviting me and for organising a real professional event with a great atmosphere that will only get better as it settles I to its new home. I thank Liz Barlow for her work as chief steward, my wife Shirley for show secretary and Jo Bridge of Windy Ridge and Viv Cook of Oakton Alpacas who combined a day each as my apprentice with the alternate day as Ring steward. This worked real well and I was very impressed with both my apprentices and wish them well as they go onto gather more experience before certification. I feel if they go to approach their learning with the confidence they showed this weekend they will go on to make a real contribution in years to come.
A huge thanks to all those white coated stewards who hustled and bustled to keep the wheels running and didn't get in the limelight. We know who you are and what you do and we thank you all.
The Alpacas were superb throughout and the competition fierce in coloureds as well as whites. The supreme champion Huacaya went to an intermediate white Huacaya from Ashwood Alpacas who has a handle like melted white chocolate on an extremely bright, dense well organised fleece exhibiting a good uniformity throughout the blanket and between primary and secondary fibres.
However there were signs that a change might now be blowing through the alpaca shed with a couple of signature fleeces emerging on two of the juniors that may be signalling the next stage of development.
The judges choice went to a young Junior White from Houghton Hall alpacas which was as bright as a lighthouse, extremely well organised in a floppy style with density to die for in its staples whose amplitude was seriously impressive. It was very close but the young lady took it on the day however this boy will be one to watch if he grows to his full potential. Likewise there was a small light junior alpaca from Furze Park Alpacas in the ring which exhibited similar qualities but unfortunately it needed to eat more pies to get in contention.
It's going to get very exciting in years to come if we see this amount of luxury emerging and unbelievable if we can manage to get it to stay that way for ten years. Scnuzzle? You'll want to Scnuzzle , Wuzzle and stroke your alpacas all day long if we get that good. that's of course if Scnuzzling is still legal by then!
Thanks for inviting me to judge, thanks for entering, thanks for your patience and humour and I hope you all have a wonderful birthing season that lives up to your expectations...you wish! Have a great summer! The judge.