Saturday, 18 July 2009

Time for a rant

First of all a couple of pictures of the new boy. He has now dried out and fluffed up and looks very handsome indeed.

His name is almost decided on, the front runner being Samson, although George Alexander Fry is also a contender!

Now that's out of the way onto what I wanted to write about.
Every now and again I have to let off steam.
I am pretty calm, in a very juvenile way, for the most part but all the time the internal pressure is building and building. So that I don't go completely bonkers this pressure must be released. Sometimes I just shout for a bit. This I find can be done most effectively whilst I am in the Patouwagon driving along when nobody is watching or more importantly, listening.

Sometimes, embarrassingly, I explode at home. There is usually some shouting, some kicking of inanimate objects and a bit of storming around. It's all over in a flash, pressure released, job done. I know it's not nice, I know it's not clever and I'm not proud of myself but it seems that it has to happen, bottling it up is not good.
Anyway, today is time for releasing some internal pressure about alpaca showing. I have been thinking about the subject for a while and want to get it off my chest once and for all.
I ranted about it in a previous blog when someone wrote in the SWAG (South West Alpaca Group) newsletter about the fact that it wasn't fair that the big alpaca breeders were allowed to take their alpacas to shows and win all the rosettes. That small breeders had no chance and something should be done about it. There was a suggestion that there should be shows just for 'small' breeders or that the big breeders should be restricted as to how many alpacas they could enter. What a load of drivel, it had me fuming.
Recently I heard that there had been a discussion about holding separate classes at shows for 'small' breeders with the first and second placings being allowed to enter into the main show with the big breeders. In other words a 'qualifying round'.
I'm afraid I couldn't be more against this if I tried, I think it stinks. Not only do I find it belittling and patronising but I really believe that it is totally wrong.
What is the point of taking your alpacas to a show if you are not prepared to have your animals judged against the best animals at the show? No point as far as I am concerned. To have to enter into a 'qualifying round' because you only have 10 females is insulting.
The big breeders have the best chance of breeding the best show animals for sure. They have more chances to get it right, they have the experience, the know how and the resources but that doesn't mean they always win, no siree mister not at all. I want to take them on, I don't care if I win or not. I have always been of the opinion that it is not the winning that counts it's the taking part. I just want to be given the opportunity.
If I am required to qualify to get the chance to stand amongst the big breeders you can shove it. Patou Alpacas will not be there.
Right, rant over, I feel much better now.


Amiryck said...

Ha - I'm with you on that one and wrote a letter to SWAG to that effect. I want my animals to be compared to the rest of the industry as a whole.

Amiryck said...

oh and the cria looks lovely as well - see you made me start to rant as well and forget what I was saying!!

Trevor said...

Mark -
I couldn't agree more. I think introducing a qualifying system would make it harder for small breeders, not easier (if that was the intention). I wonder if the big breeders would actually welcome such a change to give them an even better chance in the show ring!
In any event, I'm with you - I think everyone should be showing their animals on a level playing field and the results speak for themselves - there are many proud small breeders out there with the rosettes to show for it.

Tracey Hey said...

Absolutely! We couldn't agree with you more- perhaps the emphasis should be on purchasing / using quality alpacas & herdsires rather than creating a two tier show system. Patou and Amiryck certainly use this philosophy and see the rewards in the show ring!

Don't think the SWAG newsletter has been sent yet - perhaps you should send your blog entry to the editor so it can be included!

P.S. Cracking little cria!

Lucy said...

What a handsome lad. I knew you'd go for Samson. He is a beautiful colour. I love the fawns. On the subject of showing, I simply would not go in to a show on those grounds. That is frankly pathetic. How patronising. What about those who are small because they are concentrating on quality. We could have gone out and bought numerous any old alpacas and not bred them up, but we didn't - we stuck to a breeding plan and tried to improve them. I am sure most small breeders are doing the same. To miss them out would be to the detriment of the whole industry and extremely shortsighted. How about having a qualifying round for all the large breeders so that theirs are narrowed down to a suitable number that can then compete with the smaller ones? :)

Mark said...

Thanks for the great comments guys, I knew you would all feel the same.

How about a comment from a big breeder?

Come on, we know you're out there, it would be good to hear what you think!

Katie said...

George or Alexander would do - you wouldn't have to add the Fry bit at the end! Samson is OK though.

Debbie said...

I'm with you too, you don't have to be a big breeder to breed the best, you have to to carefully consider your breeding program and stick to it.

Lovely little man too; I'm talking about the cria before you get any ideas!

Gerry said...

Well it's not often I'm tempted out into the open to make a comment but this has to be worthy of one. I think whoever it is - SWAG or the BAS? - is on a hiding to nothing with such a hare brained scheme as this. The last thing they want to do is alienate small breeders. The last thing big breeders want to do is alienate small breeders - who'll buy their animals and their stud services if they do? Get a grip SWAG/BAS/whoever - we're all in this industry together.

Samson looks a right little dude btw.