Sunday, August 9, 2009

Show fatigue...

I think we may have overdone it... Nine shows this year and we're not half way though, four down and five to go.

This week saw the team at Murray Bridge for the South Australian Colour Classic, a two day 'colourbration' event where supremes are awarded across colour lines.

Murray Bridge isn't that far from us and most of our mob, apart from one white girl, weren't due on until day two, so I stayed home on Saturday to look after things here in the morning intending to join the team later for the dinner and to prepare for the big day on Sunday.

It all went horribly wrong. They whipped through the whites like they were going for a speed record (James' Fifi got a first in class - our first win for a white) and started on the browns next. Sarah phoned, but I got there just too late and missed all the fun and fun there was.

There are 8 classes in each colour - junior, intermediate, adult and senior, split by male and female. We had three of our top browns entered, Gypsy, Lulu (both from Golden Flame) and Puck (a Warrior boy). They each win their class, so we have three in the supreme line up and just James and Sarah to handle. A call for help and Rosalie from Andean Gold takes Puck - the reasoning goes like this: Gypsy is frontrunner as far as we're concerned, she already has three best brown ribbons this year so James took her, Lulu is pregnant, it's her last show as she increasingly turns into psycho-paca and likes nothing more than to kick judges and this is only Puckster's second blue - he's the obvious choice to give to someone else. You can guess what happens - the stars all line up, the wind is in the right direction, the Puckster's fleece peaks at the best I've seen it and he takes the big one! Poor Rosalie is embarrassed to be taking the trophy for an animal she doesn't even know the name of and the judge is puzzled about why the stewards and half the breeders around the ring are suddenly laughing their heads off at his decision.

Probably the best show we've had with a first for Goldie in the fawns as well. Icing on the cake was another surprise - Supreme coloured suri for Colin in the Fleece competition.

After the bad news earlier in the week this was a real boost to us all.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

A sad day...

Today is that day that we knew had to come sometime...

After nearly three years, we lost our first Alpaca.

Choco was only just two years old, an occasional member of the show team (second place ribbons in three shows) and only recently certified and DNA tested for stud work.

Monday he was fine, right as rain, playing in the boys' paddock with the others. Tuesday morning, he was on his own, couldn't get up and really lethargic. We called the vet out, he clearly had a heart problem and we moved him up to the house. Tuesday night, before I went to bed I sat with him for a while, he was very quiet but had his head up and seemed to be showing signs of recovery but sadly, he was gone by morning.

It had to happen sometime, but this was really unexpected, we've nursed a few animals back now that were touch and go for a while, but this was so sudden with no clue that there was a problem.

Unfortunately it's the reality of any type of livestock raising, but it's still pretty miserable....