Show Wins – 11/20/10

We just received ribbons in the mail won by Ima Joy (1st Place), Effie Mae (1st Place) and Pirate’s Treasure (2nd Place) at the Virginia Alpaca Breeders and Owners Association (VAOBA) Alpaca Expo Spin-Off.  We are very proud of them.  Ima and Effie are adding to their already impressive show winnings, and Treasure did very well in a class of 7 at her first show.  (You can see pictures of all three girls by going to our alpacas page.)

 There are three types of alpaca shows.   Halter shows entail leading the alpaca around a showring before a judge.  The alpacas are judged on their conformation as well as their fiber.  Since we raise alpacas specifically for their fiber, the fiber judging constitutes 50-60% of the score.  Conformation is judged by watching the alpaca in motion as well as a hands-on inspection of the alpacas body from teeth to tail.

A Fleece Show looks only at the fleece.  After shearing each year, we choose our ‘Show Fleeces’ that will be entered in various alpaca shows around the country.  We carefully ‘skirt’ the fleece with the goal of leaving a uniform blanket where the fiber has the same length and consistency throughout.  These fleeces are gently bagged and mailed or hand carried to alpaca shows around the country where they are judge solely on the quality of the fiber.

A Spin-Off judges the spinability of the fiber. We pull a 2 oz section of the fleece and place it in a zip lock.  This sample is inspected by a judge who then spins some of into yarn, scoring it on a number of characteristics that are important to making yarn from alpaca fiber.  The sample is returned with a score card that gives us numerical and verbal feedback on each of these characteristics.

We enter alpaca shows not only for the competition of comparing our alpacas to others in the industry, but primarily for this feedback on the individual alpacas that represent our breeding program.  They help us see if we are acheiving our goals.

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