Well what a show! Many thanks and congratulations to the organisers - they came up trumps with this one. It was a real showcase for the British Alpaca Industry.  Huge congratulations to Houghton Hall who swept the board and to everyone else on their success. And a big thank you to our superb Judges Peter Kennedy (AUS) and Wade Geese (USA) who's oral reasoning and Judging style and efficiency made us feel so fairly and thoroughly Judged on the most significant traits. I just loved those leather trousers - I wonder where he got them!

It was great to meet so many visitors from overseas, and what could be more fun than being immersed in all things alpaca for a whole weekend with like-minded folk. (Well for the alpaca obsessed anyway!)

We had a brilliant show - I'm still so thrilled with my little team. We took 9 and 8 of them were placed. First in the ring with Wade was our Sorcerer female Mystique who won her class and then went on to win Champion Grey Female, she was also Champion at the BAS Nationals a couple of weeks earlier so a double for her and a fantastic start to our show. Next in Peters ring our black boy Roll the Dice by Snowmass Roll of Honor - very pleasing 3rd.  Then our other Sorcerer entry Meon Valley Athos, a brown junior who came first in his class of 12 - great comments and we were chuffed to bits.

Rebecca with Mystique
Brown Junior Males - Athos not standing still for a second!
Black Junior Males
We had decided to not to enter The Sorcerer this time and take more juniors instead,  at the last minute I wished I had entered him, but it was too late. However we still had my favourite cria from last year Greyjoy, to take into the grey male classes. Now I have always loved this chap from the moment he was born - from our grey girl Strawberry Shortcake, by our fawn Snowmass male Puna Sky. He was a bit strange looking for the first few days with his huge bendy legs, but he very quickly straightened up and I just loved his personality. His fleece didn't really start to get me excited until he was about 5 months old and then I just couldn't stop peeking at it, on an almost daily basis!!  He was 3rd at the Nationals - nice comments but just not flashy enough for that show, but Peter Kennedy just loved him and his praise on his fleece attributes was music to my ears. He put us in first and then he gave us Champion - wow you should have heard me inside - YES!!

Double trouble
Balereon was 5th in the same brown class as Athos, Baratheon 5th in the fawns, Joffrey 4th in the lights, and Charisma 6th in the whites. Very pleasing results. Only little Arianne didn't get placed - but never mind she has her 2nd rosette from the Nationals.

Greyjoy being swamped by fleece explorers - it needs a good rest now!
So next show for us is the South of England - I hope it's a bit more Spring like by then, can't wait!


Nothing much to report here, just winter routine of feeding, haying and cleaning out the shelters. The fields are looking a bit tired now, not much grass left and far too many mole hills - the mole man is coming out later today. It always amazes me how much soil a little mole can move in one night - little B's. Our flock of Redwings have visited us numerous times since Christmas, they're early this year, the elder bushes have begun to come into leaf and the snowdrops are out - Spring is truly on its way.

I've been halter training our 17 weanlings, 10 of them are now walking quite nicely, some better than others, and it's time to make a start on the rest.  They don't need long, just a few minutes at a time once a day, or maybe twice if I get the chance and it's dry, and after a few sessions or so they're done.  I spend more time cuddling them actually. I should be out there now training a couple, but I have the house to myself and I'm enjoying a second cup of coffee with a chocolate biscuit or two and no-one here to make me feel guilty - don't tell!

Our stable cat Marmalade has been in the wars, he must have been hit by a car, poor chap has had to have his tail amputated and he's on cage rest in our kitchen, getting thoroughly spoiled and used to central heating - he's definitely going to need his fleece filled box to sleep in when he goes out again. I've told him he's got to pay his way now and catch a few moles to make up for the Vets bill!

Anyway I must go and work off those biscuits so I'll leave you with a few pics...
Roll the Dice - loves to walk
The River Meon looking 'moody'
Greyjoy - one of my favorites
Athos with Rebecca - one of her favourites and a rare moment when he's standing still!
Balereon - one of the best walkers
Rebecca helping me with the cuddling sessions 
The girls one frosty morning
Halter training makes more sense to them if you walk towards some ladies!


I took the camera out with me on my rounds this afternoon - I love this stage of Autumn when the trees have just a sprinkling of colour left on their branches revealing the views normally hidden from sight.

They were almost dry and the sun lasted just long enough to get some nice pics ... enjoy.



I'm keeping a couple of crias in with their mums for a few days, they both have a bit of 'Trench Foot' - where the skin between their toes gets sore and scabby from being constantly wet. Even on dry days the long grass stays wet. A few days in the dry, LA antibiotic and terramycin spray usually sorts them out quite quickly.


Dice and Baleron in the background
Jobs for the weekend - toenails and spit offs. I have been gradually working through one group doing their nails on my own, I just tie them up and most of them cooperate - I leave the more fidgety ones for when I have help. We use Bonami for spit-offs he doesn't care what they do but just keeps pursuing - perfect but he's incredibly strong!  I hope we'll have around 20 crias next season. Some of our girls have gone to their new homes in Belgium, so we won't have as many crias next year as I originally planned, but I'm sure we'll have enough! I can't wait - only 6 months to go...

Mystique and Baratheon - he loves the camera!

Bliss and Baleron


It's a good felling when we've given everyone on the farm a manicure and their Autumn wormer.  The crias had their first AD&E injection this morning and the mated females another spit off, we can now rest on our laurels with the husbandry other than feeding them and our usual regular condition scoring. The weather has been amazing lately, so warm with heavy dews, so the grass has been growing like mad - perfect for our resting fields which Peter harrowed hard to spread any poo left behind and get rid of the dead thatch. I even let him top a couple of the fields there was so much grass - he was as happy as .... he loves to cut grass!

Our export to Belgium was completed this week as six of our females left with Els & Gunther from Alpaca Tumulus. Marah has already been sold and is now settling with her new owners - the others will stay at Alpaca Tumulus where Els & Gunther will promote and sell them on our behalf. It seems a bit strange without them here, but I know they are in good hands.

And just so you know - little Munchie now weights 14.2 kg!

Ready to go on the morning of Export

Loaded up ready for their long journey

Add caption

The next morning in their paddock in Belgium


It's been some time since my last confession... seriously it always feels weird writing a blog, because it's a bit like a diary and I know there's a chance someone might read it - what to put in, what to leave out? I have no excuse other than I just haven't got round to blogging lately what with one thing and another, I haven't had the time.

So a very quick catch up because I know you really just want the pictures, and actually I must get on with my Romsey Show Entries before they close and there's no room for my lot!

So births done and matings by the end of July. Final tally 18 crias - 9 boys and 9 girls, so can't complain at that and we have some very cute ones and a quite a few that I'm really excited about. Our new Snowmass fawns have done us proud, as has The Sorcerer and already I'm looking forward to next years crias!  Munchie, our special needs cria, is doing really rather well and has gained weight little by little to reach the heady heights of 12.2 kilos!

At the beginning of August Rebecca and I bathed in the sun and sea of Halkidiki for 10 days, which I have to say was just wonderful.  It's amazing how quickly one adjusts to a new routine - walk, breakfast, sunshine, swim, lunch, sunshine, swim, ice cream, cocktail, sunset, dinner, walk, swim!!! I do miss those sunsets. We made some lovely new friends and actually we're off to Paris for another little jaunt soon to visit them.

Back home and suddenly we have lots of enquiries which is great, and some sales, even better.  Summer only lasted a few more days and it now seems to be Autumn and even though its a bit chilly the forecast was dry for the next few days, so we had a few of the crias sheared - they look so cute.

Next was the Open Day, yesterday in fact, always a very busy time getting ready for it, but as always it was well worth the effort just to see everyone enjoy the animals and their afternoon amongst them. I have no idea how many people came, but I'm guessing around 450 judging by the cars in the field and the amount of cake and tea consumed!! Thank heavens for our volunteers, it was a bit manic at times, especially when Aglaia got her head stuck through the stock wire - amazingly she just stood there with visitors stroking her head and her cria looking on in amusement!

Now for the exciting news - our friends in Belgium, alpaca breeders Els & Gunther Willems of Alpaca Tumulus are going to be joining forces with us and so I've been busy getting organised with the paperwork ready for them to take their first consignment of Meon Valley females to place on their farm for sale, quite a big step and a great opportunity for both of us.

So, now to those pictures :)

Greyjoy - this chap just reminds me of one of my big dutch warmblood foals that I bought - just loose! 

Roll the Dice - now what can he be thinking?



And one for every colour group...


So our little premie girl is doing OK. We haven't named her officially, just in case - but she's affectionally known as Munchkin or Munchie ... and she's a real character. She no longer wants a bottle and is even beginning to put on a little weight. But the best bit is that she is playing with the other crias now. Each time we go out to her paddock she runs up to great us and then happily follows us to her mum for a suckle, she's very crafty and as Calico only stands for a limited time for her to feed, she tops herself up tvia the backdoor - that's a bit hazardous at times as you can imagine, often done whilst Calico at the poo pile!

Munchie on the run

Come to say hello

Come on this way to Mum ...

Now theres your mum!

 And for some other crias ...
Andromeda with her Snowmass Roll of Honor female
Cotton Candy with Roll the Dice by Snowmass Roll of Honor 
Bonita with Baratheon her Snowmass Golden Legend boy

Athos from The Sorcerer - just love this little chap

Joffrey - a Snowmass Roll of Honor


I seem to be very behind with my posting, but it's not for the lack of news, just the lack of time to sit and write it. Some of my Face Book friends will have seen all this before - so sorry if I'm repeating myself!

I know most of you just like the pictures anyway, so I'll keep it short, we've had a couple of little problems which are mostly sorted now, and as far as the results of our breeding is concerned we are thrilled to bits so far. We've had 11 cria and 6 of them are female, with another 8 to go all due now - come on girls!

Athos by The Sorcerer out of Aglaia - love him he's so chunky with a  very promising fleece

Here he is again with his mum - her first cria and she loves him

Then came our little special needs girl from Calico and Snowmass Golden Legend and whilst being just over 11.5 months gestation was very dysmature with inside out ears and membranes attached - listing to the right, too crooked and weak to stand for long enough to suckle.  She was also unable to wee or poo on her own so had to be promoted - like a puppy. We bottle fed colostrum and gave her plasma too and gradually over the next few day she grew straighter and stronger. She follows us everywhere and is still being topped up by the bottle and is suckling from her mum too. We're calling her Munchkin at the moment!

Then came Bozedown Jumpers cria - Joffrey a strapping big boy,
 a light fawn/beige by Snowmass Roll of Honor
Agrippina and Arya
Next we have Arya from Agrippina and Snowmass Puna Sky, gorgeous little girl
with ears that need taping when I get round to it!

Then Yasmina, a Snowmass Royal Vision daughter, had this stunning little female which we have called Ygrette from Snowmass Puna Sky - a really special fleece and can't wait to see how she develops

Next a another little problem - cria Melisandra from Puna Sky perfect, but her dam Medusa a big fatty with virtually no milk. Bottle fed a litre of wonderful local cows colostrum over the first 12 hours and now bottle feeding with some difficulty as she would rather have just the little that Medusa offers - we will persevere! 

Then it was one-eyed Candy's turn - she's also a daughter of Snowmass Royal Vision out of The Sorcerer's grandmother,  a dark grey. and we had bred her to Snowmass Roll of Honor in the hope we might get something dark - look what we got! We called him Roll the Dice.

Here we have Missy with her female cria Mystique by The Sorcerer,
we're very pleased with her as you can imagine!

Bliss, of bottle feeding fame of three years ago, has given us this handsome little chap. He spends a lot of his time on day one sleeping and I keep having to see if he's ok, and he's fine. His sire is Snowmass Roll of Honor and his grandsire Snowmass Royal Vision - beautiful fleece
 So, now you've caught up and it's time to do the bottle feeding again!