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!