On the way home from the Romsey show yesterday Gus asked me what had been my favourite moment of the day. Without much hesitation I said that it had been watching him in the ring with Woody.
I then turned the tables and asked him the same question. I was expecting him to say that it had been taking part in the sumo wrestling organised by the local rugby club, or that the giant slide was tops, even rolling around in the giant bubble or buying sweets and ice creams would be the highlight. But no, Gus's highlight was the same as mine. His favourite part of the day was taking his alpaca, Woody, into the ring. Junior handler or big show I asked? Big show was the answer. That's my boy, that's the future.
So we took three alpacas to the show and we came away with four rosettes for which we must be pleased. We did really well last year with two reserve Champions but this year things had changed. The big boys were here. Not just big boys but the very big boys were here. The Alpaca Stud was here, Bozedown were here, Inca were here and these guys don't turn up with a load of donkeys in their trailers, no they don't. It doesn't make things any easier for someone with just 38 alpacas. It doesn't make things any easier at all but that's fine, if you aren't prepared to stand shoulder to shoulder with the big boys you shouldn't be there.
So what happened, the details? Well Sue and Gus took Sultan and Woody into a class of 9 intermediate brown males (it seems browns are everywhere now!). Woody and Gus picked up fourth and Sue and Sultan grabbed fifth. Disappointed? Unfortunately due to my highly competitive nature yes I am. We must try harder.
Next up was Roger Resilient in a class of two. Beautifully handled by Sue Roger was awarded second place. I went and looked at the winner. I don't think I could have separated them so fair enough. You win some you lose some. Three animals in, three rosettes. Nice one, lunch time.
During the lunch break we had the junior handler classes. Gus was in the second class of four, the younger class. It's always a tough one to judge this one, and to a certain extent it is a bit of fun. Gus doesn't care what colour rosette he gets, which is great as it doesn't really matter, to him. But it does to me and fourth place had me muttering into my sandwiches.
Gus, handling Woody like a seasoned pro.
Gus, with Woody, standing motionless facing the right way whilst one of the alpacas was spooked by a dog.
Do you ever get the impression that it all means a bit too much to me sometimes? I can't help it you know, I'll compete at anything with anyone over anything, anywhere. Sometimes I'm competing with someone when they don't even know it, it's daft.
Anyway Mrs Steele took me to one side and had a few words in my ear, 'get a grip' 'sort yourself out' and something about perspective was mentioned and I stopped frowning at everyone.
Another highlight for me was when I was asked to take Lillyfield Jack of Spades of Inca into the ring. He is a walking, humming orgling legend in my books and it was great to handle him and pick up the first place rosette. He is a really special male.
Here are the brown boys relaxing after lunch.
So a great show, well organised by Karen and Nicki, well done.
One thing was a bit annoying and I know it was something that was out of the organisers hands, so I am going to whinge at society in general about this one. The public were not allowed into the marquee (some came in anyway, you know what they're like) and I assume that this was for some health and safety (or arse and bum as I like to think of it) rule? Or maybe an insurance (or 'mamby pamby nanny state nonsense' as I like to think of it) regulations? Anyway it was silly whatever it was.
Today we have been spitting off with Qjori, excellent results as we had 18 spitting and four (who we expected to) sitters. So Qjori had a lengthy threesome whilst we drank coffee. One girl always spits off in spectacular fashion. No sooner had I walked into the field with Mr Q, than Millie was tail out and puffed up with a real 'come near me and I'll kill you!' look.
She kept running up to him and spitting at him then stropping off with little Tsar in tow. Wonderful stuff.
Right that's it I'm off to find someone to arm wrestle with.