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|MaPaca - Eastern Alpaca Jubilee, April 25-27, 2003|
|In April 2003,
Thistledown Alpacas joined almost 300 alpaca breeders at the Pennsylvania
Farm Complex in Harrisburg, PA for MaPaca 2003 - the largest alpaca show
in the nation and one of the largest in the world, with over 1500 entries.
To say we were delighted to walk out of every halter and performance class we entered with a ribbon in hand would be an understatement! The judge commented that Fiona, our multi-color girl was "well-deserving" of her blue ribbon in the composite class (fleece and halter judged separately, then scores combined), and was particularly complimentary about the quality of her fleece. Angus and Brianna both placed in halter against some of the toughest competition in the country, and our daughters won ribbons in all their performance classes, some of which had as many as 25 entries. Eight ribbons out of eight entries - that will be tough to beat next year, but we'll certainly try!
|Fiona, MaPaca 2003|
Best friends with their first ribbon of the show!
|Usually we attend
just two shows a year - the Virginia Classic and MaPaca. After the fun
the kids had at this show, we are beginning to think about doing some more
in the Fall!
Fiona, our multicolor girl out of Peruvian Black Jack Jax and our herd leader Clara, won a blue ribbon in the composite class, where the alpaca is judged in the ring for conformation, the fleece is judged separately, and the two scores combined for final placement. The judge was particularly complimentary about Fiona's fleece, and commented that she was "well-deserving" of her first place position.
First time in the ring, and they even walked out with a "medal".
Tension mounts in the showring during judging of the PR class.
|Angus, who was
only 10 days over the minimum age limit to show, placed fifth in an
extremely competitive dark brown juvenile halter class. The class included
entries from some of the largest and most prestigious alpaca breeders in
the country, so we were proud to place with our young "bred and
Brianna also placed fifth in her light silver grey juvenile halter class, which was a little disappointing as she is a real beauty, but didn't behave as well in the ring as we would have liked. The competition was also excellent - two of the best greys from Alpacas de la Patagonia and two of Fleecy Dale's finest! The judge did comment that Brianna was a great breeding female, and we plan to breed her with our multiple award-winning grey herdsire Ben MacDhui in due course.
A sense of pride after placing 3rd in a tough PR class.
|The girls had a great show, meeting up with all the other 'paca kids again. Our eldest, who started showing this year at 8 years of age, placed third in youth PR, 4th in youth obstacle, 4th in showmanship and 4th in costume. At 5 years of age in her first show ever, our middle daughter won a 4th place "medal" in costume, while our youngest watched and waited in the wings for her opportunity to shine!||
Waiting in the wings....
|Taliesin's Tricks Make the Front Page, June 2003|
Photo Courtesy of the Goochland Courier, June 2003
June 2003, Taliesin and his young friends Angus and Demelza took a trip to
our local county preschool for a carnival to celebrate the end of the
school year. Our eldest daughter put Tali through his paces over and over
again - he walked backwards, sideways and through a hoop, jumped over
obstacles, lifted one foot on command and bowed at the end of each
performance! Tali was extremely well-behaved, despite the heat and being
surrounded by many young, and sometimes noisy(!) children. He even let
some of the 3 and 4 year old preschoolers take him for a walk.
The following week, we were surprised and delighted to see this lovely picture in glorious color, on the front page of our local paper, the Goochland Courier!