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in the snow, March 2009

15th Annual Virginia Classic, Lexington, VA - March 14-15, 2009.   None of our juvi's were old enough to show in March, so we attended this event as a vendor to catch up with all our breeder friends! Magnus won another blue ribbon out of 6 yearling fawn entries in the SpinOff competition.

April Shearing Tour: March 31 - April 23, 2009. This year we organised shearing for over 1500 alpacas at 43 farms in Virginia. This is the eighth year we have scheduled the shearing route  in this area. If you need help with shearing in 2010, please email us before Thanksgiving 2009. Thanks!

13th Annual MAPACA Jubilee, Harrisburg, PA - April 22-26, 2009.
At the largest alpaca show in the US, our alpacas won a first (Iris) and two seconds (Brigit and Lady) out of 256 entries in the SpinOff. Iris and Brigit won first and second place against all the male and female dark brown yearlings in the competition, and our pinto male, Cedrych, placed third in the fleece show. We exhibited as a vendor again this year, selling yarn and socks made in the US from US alpaca, plus needlefelting kits and rovings. For more information about this huge alpaca event, visit www.mapaca.org and don't forget to check out those cute little girls in hula skirts on the "Past Results" Show page!

Meri showing off his performance skills

36th Annual Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival, West Friendship, MD - May 2-3, 2009. We enjoy exhibiting at the Maryland fiber festival every year, offering our colored french angora rabbits for sale, and selling natural fiber yarns, rovings and craft kits made from our own fiber animals. For more information about the largest fiber festival in the U.S., please visit www.sheepandwool.org 

PAOBA Breeder's Showcase, York, PA - May 8-10, 2009. We attended PAOBA as a vendor again this year, and if you were there, you may have met our eldest daughter helping out with the shearing throughout the weekend! For more information, visit www.paoba.org.

National Alpaca Farm Day at the State Fair of Virginia, The Meadow Event Park, (next to King's Dominion), Doswell, Virginia: 
Saturday 26 September, 2009, 10.00 a.m. - 6.00 p.m.
We brought our show-quality alpacas to the State Fair of Virginia to celebrate National Alpaca Farm Day and joined with local 4-H groups at the new State Fair location in Doswell, VA, to demonstrate some of the performance and showmanship skills our children and alpacas have learned together this year. Visitors experienced the luxury of natural alpaca fiber and had the opportunity to purchase craft kits, socks, yarn and rovings for display and sale, all made from fiber grown and processed right here in the U.S. 

Meri, Reserve Champion VAOBA 2009 at only 11 months old.

22nd Annual Fall Fiber Festival of Virginia, Montpelier, VA - October 3-4, 2009. What a perfect weekend at the Virginia Fiber Festival this year! Sunny and mild with a gentle breeze - we really enjoyed meeting so many of you. We brought our daughter's show alpacas Meri, Cali and Meliora, plus a selection of our natural fiber products, all grown and processed entirely here in the U.S. For more information, please visit www.fallfiberfestival.org

4th Annual VAOBA Expo, Lexington, VA - October 16-18, 2009.
We were proud to Sponsor this show for the third year and had a really great weekend! Meriadoc won a Reserve Championship banner in halter at only 11 months of age, our eldest daughter won Youth Champion in the performance classes, all 5 of the alpacas we took to the show ribboned in their large halter classes (Meri 1st and Reserve Champion, Prince 2nd, Cali and Raspberry 4th, Meli 6th), and our children all earned a ribbon in every performance class they entered with their alpacas. For more information about the largest alpaca show in Virginia, please visit www.vaobaexpo.com.

3rd Annual Thistledown Alpacas "Champion Production Sale" - began October 16, 2009 and ended December 31, 2009. 
Check out our "Sales" page today to see the alpacas available this year. Scroll through our "Sold" page, if you can bear to see what you missed! This sale was so successful last year, we took Holly off our sales list to keep her Spring 2009 Nikos cria, Heather, who won many ribbons her first show season and was chosen to be in the Breeder's Edge Auction at Double "O" Good Alpacas, August 27-29, 2010. Thanks so much to all our customers - we truly appreciate your confidence in our breeding program over the past 9 years and remain committed to breeding quality, colored alpacas for the future. Check back soon for updates to our sales list!

Thistledown Halloween Open House, November 7-8, 2009

3rd Annual Thistledown Alpacas Open House, Manakin Sabot, VA:
Saturday 7 November, 2009 - 12.00 p.m. until 5.00 p.m.
Sunday 8, November, 2009    - 12.00 p.m. until 5.00 p.m.
Thanks to everyone who came our Halloween Open house, and our November rain date to get "up close and personal" with our beautiful, friendly alpacas here on the farm. We really enjoyed your company! It was a great opportunity to make an early start on your Christmas shopping - we offered craft kits, socks, yarn and rovings made from our own alpacas, which make unique and environmentally- friendly gifts, each for under $20! We also have a selection of fiber males available - $500 each, two for $800 or three for $1,000 - as well as show-quality colored alpacas for your breeding herd. As always, you are welcome to call and arrange a personal farm visit at any time to learn more about alpacas. NO DOGS PLEASE. They scare the alpacas, plus we have working Great Pyrenees livestock guard dogs, who live with and protect our alpacas 24X7 and do NOT welcome other dogs! 

Our neighbors at Brookview Farm, 5 miles west of Thistledown, also celebrated their Fall Open House on Saturday 7, November, from 9 a.m. - 1 p.m., with hay rides, pony rides and sustainably produced food and farm products. Visitors were able to enjoy some healthy outdoor activities at two Goochland farms this beautiful Fall weekend! Visit www.brookviewfarm.com for more information and directions to their farm.


Alpaca pirates, a.k.a. Cali and Meri, VAOBA 2009

OABA AlpacaFest Spin-Off, Columbus, OH - November 7-8, 2009. 
Our 2 entries, Meli and Kieran placed second and third in this huge competition.

LA Deep South Alpaca Show, November 14-15, 2009.  
Raspberry and Meli, our only two entries in this competition, placed first and second!

Alpaca Holiday Celebration and Pen Sale
Saturday 12, December, 2009 - 9.00 a.m. - 5.00 p.m.
We got together with our alpaca breeder friends in Elberon - Windswept Farm, Endless Farms, Courthouse Pastures, Cornerstone Farm and more - for a unique holiday celebration. Thanks to everyone who came to take their picture with an alpaca and purchase one-of-a-kind alpaca yarns, scarves, socks and toys from local farms, for those special people on your Christmas list! Door prizes and raffles added to the fun at this pen sale and Christmas open house. We all offered alpacas for sale at wonderful tax-effective, year end prices, from fiber quality males, all the way up to top-ranked, award-winning breeding stock.