Wow! We just got home from a trip to the US where we attended their national show, held in Louisville, Kentucky. Think of the biggest show you have ever been to and multiply it by about 6! We actually found another 2 sheds full of alpacas after the first day. After 2 days at looking at animals in their pens, we parked ourselves next to the show rings (males for me, females for Russell) and watched the judging. The depth of quality, particularly in the coloured classes was outstanding. Many of those animals ‘shown the gate’ (or excused from the ring) were ones that would have been a top herdsire in Australia or New Zealand. To give you an idea of numbers – in the male suris, there were 12 Senior Juvenile True Blacks, 11 Junior Juvenile True Blacks and 10 Juvenile Bay Blacks (all would be in our Junior Black class), there were 18 Dark Brown, 14 Medium Brown and 10 Light Brown Juniors (imagine even having 10 brown suris in a class at our Nationals). And in the whites, there were 64 Junior males.
We followed up the AOBA Show with visits to a number of breeders in Ohio. We looked at many animals, but were particularly looking for animals with Baron, Torbio and Ramilo lines. We were particularly impressed with a Pperuvian import dam who had sired a number of herdsires and wanted some of her genetics in there too. Although we were looking for colour, as well as white, we were not able to purchase the black male we wanted and we did not find a fawn male that met all of our criteria. We are still looking and may take another trip in the future (if our ET program doesn’t produce one first!). We did come home with 2 stunning white males who we hope will have a significant impact on our and Australia’s suri herd.
We finished off our trip with a visit to the Frank Lloyd Wright homes in Pennsylania – Falling Water and Kentuck Knob and a Bruce Springsteen Concert in Washington – another two of my obsessions, I mean, interests!