Tuesday, 21 October 2014

Alpaca fence time ...

Bit of a job on this week adding another 15 acres to Toft Alpacas. Makes you tired just looking at it.

Monday, 20 October 2014

All done and dusted and the girl done great...

95 alpaca fleeces and 180 alpacas later all the cups and rosettes are on their way to someone's farm and the judge is now all done and dusted. 
Shirley did a great job. For a first 'full on' halter show in a foreign country where she was working with four different translators through her oral reasons she loved it, as I always knew she would. She seemed to enjoy every second of ring time and worked with great commitment, accuracy and dedication. Thanks to all who invited us to take part and to all the exhibitors and organisers . 
And a very special thanks to Uta, big Pete, Daniel  and Annakris who organised the fleece show. 

And a massive congratulations to Jorge and Annett of Alpakahof am Czorneboh for organising such a splendid event and to the incredible lady on the microphone throughout whose name now completely evades me- you were terrific, now no speaking for a week! xxx a few action shots of the judge to finish - enjoy.

Sunday, 19 October 2014

Ideal retirement package...

What else could an old boy need? His beloved vintage restoration project all geared up with a wee grass cutting blade so he can fill the hours and earn a crust. His bed on wheels behind just big enough to house his dog or his wife whichever suits and no more clutter in his new found freedom.
 For all those driven souls who hanker after the supposed simple life this is as simple as it gets.
Imagine if it caught on? Our roads would slow down to a pace where we could smell the new cut grass, the countryside would be immaculately manicured.  Our old people would be active and useful as they trundled up and down our roads until they found their final resting place.  Downside? Our children and the  driven souls would be creating so much noise peeping their horns in despair that the idyll would be drowned in a cacophony of cursing and unnecessary noise.
These four old boys who were having a wonderful time at the Alpaka Show this weekend ferrying children and families on their beloved tractors up and down the show ground are probably stone deaf and immune to anything that would spoil their pleasure. God Bless them all!

And the Best in Show was...?

A light fawn Suri...owned by Alpacas of Density. The Suris made a spectacular short run as usual at the end of the two days competition with a late but colourful dash up the  inside lane and snatched the overall Show Champion away from a young fawn Huacaya. Hey, that's show business! Congratulations to all who took part in 6 Alpaka Show Ost.

Loneliness of the long distance Ring Steward...

Andi Reidi from Switzerland performed the role of Ring Steward this weekend at the Alpaka Show Ost in Burgstadt and performed the role with real flair. 
Here he is in contemplative mood ready to kick off the first halter class of day two, knowing there are 120 alpacas to get through before 6 pm with a raffle, lunch break and a fashion show in the way. All was done and dusted bang on time which was a credit to all involved in making this a great alpaca showcase. Thanks Andi, safe trip home and see you soon.

Call country character and select Falconer direct for one of these...

And you will get something so right like this Dude, straight out of  the Falconer casting agency to authenticate your country event. No stone unturned to entertain the crowds at the Alpaka Show Ost in Burgstadt this weekend. Every Alpaca Show should have one.

Every alpaca show needs one of these....

Camel rides all round at the Alpaka Show Ost...there were two of these Mamas to entertain the crowds and they had passengers all day long. Every alpaca halter show should have one.

Saturday, 18 October 2014

What an Alpaka Showcase....Alpaka Show Ost

Jorg and his merry men did a fantastic job on the equestrian ring overnight to totally transform it into an alpaca wonderland with a handmade wooden ring centre stage. They have created a magnificent stage on which to celebrate the German alpaca industry. Congratulations!
Will you look at the wall of bling to be given out over the two days. Here we are in the expectant hall waiting for the first class to start. More later on Alpaka Show Ost.
J we are in the transformed hall just about to start 

There really is no getting away from the fibre business...

The hotel we are staying in in Burgstadt whilst Shirley judges the Alpaka Show Ost is a converted textile spinning  mill. The fibre business chases you everywhere...The machines are no longer running but the place is packed tonight  with German Alpaca breeders, celebrating their annual show, all of whom wish they knew just a smidgeon of what has been forgotten here.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Oh Lordy ....alpaca judging just got a lot more colourful

 I suspect my good friend Cameron Holt has not yet visited.

The garden gnomes in Burgstadt are as big as me...

How about this bad boy? I. Met this dude hanging around in someone's garden in Burgstadt with a load of others of similar scale. (We are over here for the weekend while Shirley judges fleece and halter at the Alpaka Show Ost for Association e.v ) You don't find many of these mothers  in Dunchurch. 
You don't find many in the UK at all probably because your jocular Friday night youth would take him walkabout. I know I'd be tempted!  Imagine waking up on Sunday morning with this bad boy on your doorstep.

The glamour of Alpaca fleece judging... Alpaka show Ost

All an alpaca fleece judge needs is a big warm room, nice high table, detailed preparation, good organisation, a good scribe. Throw her a bun regular  and she can keep herself amused for hours. Does she care that we are in the beautiful town of Burgstadt in Germany? Not a jot. The world could end at noon and she'd not notice until the last fleece is scored and done.
Saturday and Sunday in the halter classes will be a different matter entirely Mrs Toft Alpaca Judge has 180 alpacas to judge in one and a half days. She is already behind before she starts at midday tomorrow but there's no rescheduling the ancillary events. It turns out she is also sharing the ring with a fashion show, fleece talks and various other presentations and alpaca attractions. The girl will have to get her skates on early doors to ensure the prizes are not awarded under floodlights on Sunday.
Nice big hall for the halter- the hut in the middle is the association office. It arrived first and the rest is set up around it. Nice scorecards too with the show branding. If the alpacas are as nice as the people it should be a great weekend.There is a lot more alpaca show here than I thought there was going to be and the enthusiasm and commitment is tangible - love it. Can't wait for the alpacas to arrive and the show to start. Somewhere on site this weekend there will be camel riding- what me? No I don't think so. I'll look like a bad version of Oliver Reed in Gladiator.

Thursday, 16 October 2014

Mrs Toft Alpaca Judge is getting about a bit....

She's now in Burgstadt Germany where today and tomorrow she is judging fleeces and Saturday and Sunday Halter. Her ever faithful companion animal is dutifully carrying the bags...bless his cotton socks!

Monday, 13 October 2014

Alpaca unpacker ... Everyone should have one..

At 2 years old Lord Eddie knows how to get stuck in when we've a job on. He insisted on helping us unpack the van this morning after the TOFT ladies returned from Ally Pally. He's not in pain that's him smiling on request. He might be the star of Edwards Menagerie but he's not averse to rolling his sleeves  up and working on the shop floor.

Saturday, 11 October 2014

And the winners were....

Supreme Champion Yorkshire Alpaca Group Show 2014 (pictured left) was Fallowfield Octavian congratulations to Mike & Melanie at Fallowfield Alpacas.
Reserve Champion went to Barnacre Thor of Barnacre Alpacas- congratulations to Debbie and Paul of Barnacre Alpacas.
Best bred Yorkshire alpaca (pictured right) went to Livanti Nadine owned by Heather Callander of North Star Alpacas. 
A great show, great turn out and a great alpaca day out. Thanks to all who organised and entered.

Alpaca Fancy Dress...

Large entry and big crowd gathers for the alpaca fancy dress class at the Yorkshire Alpaca Group Show. There were two Little Bo Peeps, one Madagascar theme, 1 double sister act called Cops and Robbers, a Demon and his fiery horse, one Pirate and treasure chest and a conceptual Red Bull has Wings! Winners all. A fantastic entry which added great charm to the day.
The crowd choose the winner and the winner went to the cops and robbers theme. Cute wins over content? Young handlers always woo the crowd. It's A great event organised by Julia of astonishing alpacas and again it stole the show. Congratulations all round to organisers and exhibitors.

Alpaca Judge all scrubbed up and ready for action...

Looking her best and ready to go . Here is 'Mrs Judge' at the Golden Fleece Hotel in Thirsk. Shirley is busy strutting her stuff today judging  in the Alpaca Showring at the Yorkshire Alpaca Group Halter Show in Thirsk. 
We shall be at the Thirsk livestock Auction Centre all day today-Shirley in the ring and me playing companion animal. Next week it's back to Germany. Who said farming was boring?

Thursday, 9 October 2014

Caught you...

Not easy to get a photo of our camera shy herdswoman Linda. This oft unsung hero runs a mile and a half whenever she senses a camera. So I took advantage the other evening  as she was going way beyond the call of duty yet again whilst we were working with the vet. That's Linda on the right all shock and surprise.
It's the only way believe me. Here she is in all her glory with Rebecca from Towcester vets working with one of our pet males. She couldn't get away. No doubt she will moan like a banshee but she can't remain invisible forever. Gotcha!

Wednesday, 8 October 2014