Sunday, 1 March 2009

Success for the Mighty Patou!!

The mighty herd has now returned to sleepy Wiltshire after three great days at the 2009 Futurity.

Let me tell you something folks, there were 350 alpacas in a very large building. We are talking about a seriously tough competition.

We arrived on Thursday evening and dug ourselves in ready to do battle in the ring.

The little show team of four was surrounded on all sides by the big guys. EP Cambridge to the left, Langaton to the right, Wessex to the fore, The Alpaca Stud not far away, Classical Mile End, Inca, Moonsbrook and Bozedown seemingly everywhere!

We looked them all squarely in the eye (from afar obviously) without a tremble and plotted our campaign against them. The team were buzzing. They were up for it, I've never seen them so pumped.

First up mid morning on Friday was little Alacazam. In a very tough class he walked in like Darth Vader in a determined mood. We were pulled forward into fourth place. Fantastic I thought, rosette time! Only to be told that there were only rosettes for the first three. Drat, never mind, he was fourth, a good start.
We retreated to the pen and talked tactics. We had been close. We could now smell the shiney round rosettes, we needed to feel one. We needed to wear one.

Next up was little Amelie in the junior brown female class. She looks as cute as a button but is actually highly skilled in the martial arts. She's deadly. There were twelve in the class and some pretty fine looking animals. I was following her in with Poppy in the intermediates so our good friend Ginny Cobb took Amelie into the ring as I watched nervously from the holding pen.
Fourth place and a lovely green rosette! Fantastic! We were in the game, the mighty Patou had struck and we could all feel good knowing Amelie had done the business.

Next it was Poppy time. Poppy was really up for it, she couldn't stand still. In the holding pen she was like a whirling dervish. She couldn't wait to get some action. She was the leader of the little team and wanted to lead by example. I am sure I could hear her humming the theme tune from Apocolypse Now. All of a sudden and we were in the ring under the bright lights, a large crowd watched as Poppy skipped majestically around the ring.

We were in position and then the judge was upon us. I warned the steward, 'She kicks like a mule' I said, 'She doesn't like being touched' I continued.

Then something very strange happened. Poppy focussed. She had her showgame head on and stood motionless. I gasped and my mouth fell open uncontrollably. Poppy was in the zone, she was staring into the distance in a Zen like trance, she didn't move a muscle......even when the judge looked at her privates............not a twitch!

The judge then moved on and we stood as one awaiting the verdict.
The first placed alpaca was called forward, one of the big guns.
Then..................second place for Poppy!!!!!
I know it isn't very manly but I had a small tear in my eye and a lump in my throat like a cricket ball. Second place!!.
The judge, Amanda Van den Bosch immediately became my favourite judge in the whole wide world. I wanted to kiss her. The mighty Patou herd had made its mark, we had cast our dice, played our hand, struck our gong (what?) we had attacked the show at the brown female stage and had secured two rosettes. We retreated to the pen, got drunk and sang bawdy songs all night. Sorry, got carried away there, we went back to the pen and ate some hay.

We managed to get little Barney into the ring for the junior fawn class but he was up against it, there were two classes of eighteen. Thirty six little fawn boys, he never stood a chance.

Overall we had a splendid time and are very proud of our little show team. Considering we only own sixteen alpacas we couldn't have hoped for much more.

We met and talked with a lot of people, I will only mention a few. It was good to see Nigel and Eve, mystery blog readers, but Rosemary where were you?

It was lovely to welcome Ginny into the Patou herd as an honorary member and it was good to catch up with the Debbie and Paul from Barnacre and to meet Felicia from Popham. It was also lovely to hear from our leader and his lovely wife about their move to Yorkshire (Sue did turn up on Friday, she does exist, one day you will meet her, I promise) and great to see Olav and Connie from Norway with pictures of the cria born to a girl we sold them. It was also good to see Roger and Mary from Snowshill and see how well little Minna has grown.

Last but not least it was, as always, a pleasure and privilege to be amongst the Inca tribe.

Roll on the SWAG spring show because the mighty Patou is up and running!


Rolf Barbakken said...

Congrats on the results!

We really wish we could be there, and had planned to, but we're a bit anxious about a couple of winter births.

Lucy said...

Many, many congratulatons! I have to say, we were on tenter hooks for you here at the mighty Coire HQ. We have also heard that Oaklyn Papa Joe, a cria of our lovely Groove, won fourth in the junior fawn males! So the mighty Coire had a small success by proxy! Well done Patou!!!!!

Lucy said...

ooops, I meant fifth, not fourth!

Gary said...

Well done to the Patou herd, but remember it may not be so easy when Popham turn up!!!!!!

No seriously, thats a good result in those surroundings.

Rosemary said...

Fantastic! We are really pleased for you. We were there on Saturday - we were the ones drooling on the outside looking in - we couldn't get to you! They looked fantastic from a distanceand I bet they were even better close up! We were only able to stay a few hours as it took ages to get there and then we had to get back to ours. One day we will be part of the 'in crowd' with our own pen but at the moment we are just dreaming!!

Zanzibah Alpacas said...


You have returned Glorious !!....with tales to tell, I always had confidence that you would come back....with ribbon(s).... the plural....

I do hope the Mighty Patou will continue to associate with the distant admirers in Scotland !..Im quite envious of your experience at the a nice way of course......Jayne

Perry Wheeler said...


Isn't it a great feeling when you score one against the big guys!

Lorna Penfold said...

Well done Mark and Sue, it was a great weekend, and lovely to see you both again! xxx