Sunday 12 June 2016

Royal Bath & West Show 2016

Apple Vale Fortune with his hat-trick of first-place rosettes.
We committed five days to the Bath & West this year - starting on the tuesday, I (Dave) helped to erect the two marquees that the South West Alpaca Group (SWAG) bought last year, after the Show stopped providing the enormous canvas marquees that enabled us to hold the entire show undercover for so many years. With the site set up, I could return to work for a couple of days, whle Joy helped the fleece and fibre part of our show, by demonstrating her felting techniques, along with the shearing, spinning and fleece judging. After a dry set-up day, the next couple of days were damp and grey, but when the halter competition took place on the friday and saturday, the weather improved, and the crowds swelled. Our site set-up this year, provided an avenue of alpaca pens, and the showring, all within easy reach of the public
On the friday, Apple Vale Florina, our brown female gained 3rd place in her class, with her soft handling, fine, fleece, and she will be mated soon to a male that can add some density and character - she has a lovely calm temperament, popular with visitors, which she continues from her mum, Bramley. The show was judged by Rob Bettinson, assisted by Apprentice Judge, Julia Corrigan-Stuart, who both did a great job of informative judging, complimented by the informative show commentator, Shirley Bettinson.

In the evening, our chairman, Mark Steele, hosted a barbeque for the group members, on a fine evening, a chance to relax and chat, after the intensity of showing, before the final day.
Saturday arrived, and we were looking forward to the Intermediate White Male class - Apple Vale Fortune had gained two firsts so far this year, and second at the National Show. With five entered in the class, there was just a bit of apprehension whether he could sustain his success
But, we were chuffed when he was awarded first place, making it a hat-trick of firsts in the West Country shows. We then lined up for the championship against the Junior and Adult class winners and runners-up. Again, he was beaten by the Junior and Adult - I have thought since the show, that the Internediate male is in the 'twilight zone' - the Junior is judged on his first fleece (and conformation), and the potential that he has, subject to some speculation on the judges part - the Adults and Seniors are judged on their fleece that has endured more than two years of provenance of sustained quality - the Intermediate Male is like a teenager, full of potential, yet none proven, and it seems, may have to show a disproportionate  level of quality over his rivals. Nevertheless, we were heartened by the many compliments paid to us afterwards regarding his quality, by other, respected breeders, and we look forward to more shows.
Finally, the award of Supreme Champion went to the Fawn Senior Male, Green Park Neptune, now owned by Alpha Alpacas.
Apple Vale Fortune with his hat-trick of first-place rosettes.
Now, we look forward to the birth of cria any day, shearing and hay-making.....

1 comment:

  1. A busy five days then! Well done on Fortune's success. Shirley & Robbie