Last weekend was completely and utterly mad.
Between 7am on Saturday morning and midnight on Sunday I managed to fit in The Ellingham Show (Saturday), The Chicksgrove Country Show (Sunday) and two 10 hour shifts at the day job (late evenings). But I tell you what, it was worth every minute of sleep that I missed!
First up was The Ellingham Show. The inaugural alpaca show within a really nice agricultural show in a great location near Ringwood. It was brilliant. The weather was fantastic, the show itself was very well organised (Viv and Rosemary, very many thanks for your hard work!) and I do believe a rather splendid day was had by all!
We took a small but perfectly formed show team of three Qjori boys, a brown one (Talisker), a black one (Thor, God of Thunder) and a rose grey one (Todd).
First up was little Toddy, who I happen to think is an absolutely cracking looking rose grey male. He took the first place rosette in the intermediate grey class but was pipped to the grey championship by Meon Valley The Sorcerer who looked great and has plenty of wins under his belt already. We don't mind losing to quality such as The Sorcerer.
However I was very proud of our boy. Here he is photographed this morning with his rather nice rosette.
Thor was a little out of his depth in the black classes which I think might have been the biggest classes, and came away with a third, c'est la vie!
Then we were into the browns and it was the turn of Talisker. His mother is one of our best browns, Reeya, a beautiful Jack of Spades girl.
I like Talisker a lot, he has an incredibly soft buttery fleece with great character, just like his dad, Qjori.
Talisker bagged first place in the intermediate brown class and then we were back in the ring for the brown male championship.
Now, many of you may have seen Sue, me or Angus in the ring winning championships before because we have handled some pretty wonderful animals in the past. But, none of the championship winning animals have been ours. I know, hard to believe isn't it?
We have won plenty of reserve champion ribbons, Qjori himself, although a multiple champion in Australia has been reserve colour champion twice (losing both times narrowly to CME Prometheus, damn you Prometheus!) and he was also reserve Adult male at the Royal Bath and West Show 2 years ago. With Patou girls also winning a few reserve champions over the years we have a few but we have never won a championship ribbon with one of our home-bred Patou warriors.
Well last weekend at The Ellingham Show that step up was made. Patou Talisker took the brown male championship and I was as proud as punch. In fact it nearly all ended in tears but I managed to man up just in time.
Here is our first home-bred Championship winning alpaca, Patou Talisker, son of Qjori.
Now if I can just get his brother into the ring................