Monday, 23 May 2011

Devon and beyond!

A thousand apologies for the delay in posting about the Devon County Show. I know you have all been sitting, staring, forlornly and exhaustedly at your computer screens, your little fingers pressing the 'refresh page' button every few seconds or so and each time it has failed to bring up my latest offering it has plunged you further into the deep dark abyss of despair that you sink into between my meagre postings. Well fear not my little fluffy bunnies for I have returned from the miserable day job and have forgone nearly all my chores to sit here tapping away in order to brighten your otherwise unfulfilled days. The time for my report on the show has come. Sadly the photographs are not up to scratch due to me having to fly solo at the show, I did take some but couldn't figure out how to take some of myself in the ring without arranging some sort of remotely controlled camera on a wire. Not only that but I just clean forgot to ask anyone else to take any of me and the Mighty show team.
Yes, I spent three wonderful days at the Devon County Show, a 4am start on Thursday meant I was there nice and early to bag a splendid outside pen in the sunshine to dry off some rather wet dewy alpacas.
The whole show team was to enter the ring on Thursday, coloured alpacas day. We were in business and with well over 200 alpacas entered we were in for a fight for those rosettes.

First up for us was The Mighty, the Gorgeous, the thunderthigh, walnut cracking Patou Ruby May in the black Intermediate female class. Ruby turned 12 months old a couple of weeks ago and as a result moved up an age group. As usual with any black class she was up against two girls from the Incredible Inca Tribe. Inca Blah blah and Inca Doodle doo (their names have been changed for security reasons) narrowly took first and second and Ruby snatched the third place rosette. We were up and running.
Next up was little (but Mighty) Patou Rico, our smallest alpaca, by some margin. He was up against it in the junior black male class and he followed Ruby's lead by snaffling third place. We had two rosettes but we were hungry for more.
Next up was the utterly beautiful Patou Reeya in the junior brown class. I had high hopes as she was looking magnificent. Unfortunately our judge, the emminent Val Fullerlove didn't see it my way and Reeya was unplaced, a dissapointment but I am a firm believer in the saying 'The judge is always right', we didn't cry, sure I was a bit like a stunned mullet for a few seconds but we moved on. I am not a judge and Val is a very good one, and that's that.
All this time the big boy was calmly getting himself ready in the far corner of the Alpaca tent. He was looking good, he was ready to take on the competition. It was soon to be my favourite time in the whole wide world of alpacas IT WAS QJORI TIME!!!!

Whenever I lead that big boy anywhere I get goose bumps, seriously, I actually get goose bumps. Goosebumps and I also get strangely emotional. I simply can not tell you how much I think of the big brown fella. What was absolutely lovely at the show was that Diane Hey was over from Tasmania and she was able to see her boy for the first time in about 18 months. I think she was impressed with him, I hope she was.

Anyway Qjori time was approaching and I was puffing my chest out as he did his little bouncy trot at my side. We went in, he was judged and he was awarded first place in the adult brown male class. Nice. Our judge commented that he was a 'really super male'. That will do it for me! Now just as I am writing this I have received two photographs of the moment from good old Timo! I did have to pester him a bit but they arrived in the nick of time. Thanks mate!

How good does he look! I am biaised of course but it's my blog etc etc........... And now for one with his rosette! This is my impression of someone looking very cool by the way.

So a first place meant that me and the big boy were in the Championship on the Saturday. Yikes!
In the meantime we had a couple of days to talk alpaca with the great british public and relax in the evenings (I'm good at that).
Here are the Mighty Show Team sunbathing outside with a group of people that I wheeled in for the photograph, no seriously I had just had a double expresso and was 'buzzing' a bit (I have told you how caffeine affects me haven't I?) so I grabbed agroup of show visitors and got them to pose at the outside pen. Thank you people whoever you are!

Fabulous setting for an alpaca show by the way, we looked down on the whole showground. Alpacas on top of the world, sounds pretty good to me!

So there we have it, a great show, well organised by Gary and Peter and enjoyed by all and sundry.

What? What's that? What happened in the Championship on Saturday? Oh I almost forgot.
Right, first up I was in with a lovely grey female called Inca Dubonnet in the grey female championship. She nailed it, Champion!
Next up I was in with an absolutely gorgeous Inca Anais in the black female championship, she nailed it too, champion!
Then I took little Amiryck Elmer into the ring for the black male championship, nice little boy but my luck had run out.
Finally it was the brown male championship and that meant it was goosebump time again. It was close. It was very close. It was very, very close. But the Championsip went to Classical Mile End Prometheus and Qjori picked up the Reserve. He beat us at SWAG too, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!

Right, let me tell you something now. All is not lost, reserve champion is good and we have one more shot at the big one. In eight days time we will be heading off for The Royal Bath and West Show, an absolute behemoth of a show spread over four days. We will be there. I will be there with Qjori and my goosebumps. Qjori still only has 8 months fleece growth on him, he hasn't peaked yet, he is getting better and better. He will do battle once more. We don't give up, ever, we'll be back!


Debbie, Barnacre Alpacas said...

Result; well done and good luck in 8 days time Qjori

Trevor said...

Hi Mark,
What an honor to lead in a grey!!
Thanks for picking up my champion,s sash,unfortunately had to do the day job.

Congratulations to you and Sue on Qjori success. He really is impressive.


Amiryck said...

Entertaining as always! Qjori was looking super! I hope my little boy was well behaved for you. Thank you for taking him in.

Barbara@beckbrowalpacas said...

Congratulations Mark and the Patou team...especially Qjori. You were spot on we have been waiting...and you have been teasing...again:))

Rosemary said...

Congratulations Mark! Qjori is looking good!

Cotswold Vale Alpacas said...

Well done, it sounds like you really enjoyed yourself and came home with a handfull of rosettes.

Congratulations, I am hoping to go to spectate at Bath & West so may pop in and say hello


Bev said...

Great news, great blog, what a cliffhanger.. great photo I thought, worth waiting for. Good luck Qjori at Bath.

Perry Wheeler said...

well done and fingers crossed for your continued success next week.