2022/2023 Alpaca Owners Guide

An Introduction to Showing Alpacas

Y ou think you have some quality alpacas? One way to find out is to take them into the show ring during an AOA competition. What does this do for you? It draws attention to you and your breeding program. It gives you a really good idea of where your alpacas stand relative to other quality alpacas (on that certain day, under that judge, during that specific competition). If you win ribbons, it gives you bragging and advertising rights to let the alpaca world know about it. Additionally, you meet a lot of breeders you might not otherwise meet. For a new breeder, the idea of getting up in public and handling an alpaca in front of the judge, the apprentice judge, the ring steward, and an audience of breeders might seem daunting,

you’ll want to do this prior to a show in which you want to participate. Even if you are just mucking out pens and watching what your mentor does, you are getting good experience and most owners would appreciate your help and interest. Go to the AOA website and check out the shows that would best suit your needs and budget. Go to the individual websites for these shows and get more information on location, cost, the judges, and any special requirements for that show. It is a good idea to read the AOA Show System Handbook. Rules are being enforced and you should be familiar with what you are allowed to do to prepare your alpaca for the show. “Pasture clean” is good enough and is appreciated by the judges. If alpacas roll in mud (or worse) immediately prior to the show, they can be sprayed with clean water and air-dried. At the show, you can pick off the straw, hay, and debris from the fiber without destroying the fiber structure. Judges appreciate that you clean any dung from the tail area. You can legitimately clip and trim the fiber under the tail to remove encrusted dung. Create a show budget. This is really important and keeps you on track with what you are comfortable with in terms of cost. Let’s look at what it might cost to attend a show within driving distance, where you transport two alpacas in the back of your van. Here are what some out-of-pocket expenses might be (not including the show banquet cost or seminar costs):

but in fact it is a sympathetic and friendly environment. Besides, everyone’s focus is not on you but on the alpaca.

If you have not shown before, make it a point to find a breeder who will let you participate in getting his or her alpacas ready for the show ring. It goes without saying that

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