Good Morning again from Fallengrund Farm.
It’s been a little over a week since our adventure to MOPACA and our first show. What an AMAZING experience! I have never been so at ease and felt so welcomed or educated as I did after leaving the show.
I should backtrack a bit. Mom and Dad had left the Thursday before to go to Carol’s so they could load up and leave early Friday morning. Pete ( my son) and I left the farm around noon on Friday since he and his sister had school till 11:30. Maddie went with her other grandma to spend the weekend with her dad, and Pete and I hit the road.
The drive was uneventful, though we went straight to the arena to meet the rest of our herd ( people and alpacas) I would love to say I was nervous, or worried, but honestly I was more excited than anything.
When we pulled into the the parking area for the exhibitors and met my dad he said to me ” You will be floored when you see how big this is.” Holy wow he was right. I have NEVER seen so many Alpacas in one place before. We walked to our stalls, all the while my dad explaining the meet and greet, the classes, the seminars and so on. My mind, admittedly, was on our Alpacas. How were they going to react in such a big place, how would they do with all the people. Where did I put my cell phone? Did I lock the Hummer? I hope I brought the right shoes. ( This is my wonderful ADHD kicking in 😉 )
After getting to the stall, seeing our Mousse and Ace, as well as Carol’s Cowboy and Sundance, we went to check out the rest of the arena. I had to stop several times at stall because I was just amazed at the other Alpacas as well. I had never seen a Suri and was amazed at how small they were, not to mention they look like their fiber would be course due to the way it hangs, but they are amazingly soft! Who knew?!
We all took seats in the bleachers, discussing the drive, the alpacas, the farms, the products, and then we were greeted by the Judges and explained the pattern of each ring, as well as being introduced to the two judges and a judge apprentice.
Mom and Dad asked me several times if i was nervous, truly I wasn’t. We were then told that those of us who had never shown before would be given a class and taught how to walk, handle, stand, all of it. Years ago I had shown Standard Poodles, and as I found out, this wasn’t to different. Sara Jane Maclennan was an amazing instructor and very clear on the do’s and don’ts of the ring. She ended up asking me to come forward and help with the demonstration which I did ( as you can see in the picture)
I discovered afterwards, that this stunning male I am holding is our Bridget’s sire, Zamboni. How Cool!!!!!
After meeting several other people, and feeding our Alpaca herd we all piled in vehicles and went to feed the people herd.
Bright and early on Saturday, we headed to the area, taking with me my clothes to change into for the ring. Still, I wasn’t nervous. At this point I was ready to get in the ring and have a go. What else could be done at that point except my job. During the process of the morning, Carol asked me to show her Cowboy, who was in the ring earlier than the rest. NOW I was excited. I told Carol yes, and we got him out and walked him to get him more at ease with all the people. Now I should say, Cowboy is Carol’s talker. LOL. I love it! He hums all the time, and did as we were on deck for the ring. It was the funniest thing for me, till on of the other handlers heard me chuckle as Cowboy put his head on my chest and hummed and said ” watch this” She hugged her Alpaca who then made the most hysterical thing i have ever heard, a cross between a startled sound and excitement came from the Alpaca she hugged. She said to me ” Every time I have to hold him, he makes this sound”
Dad became my ring side wrangler as it were. Standing with me and Cowboy as we waited. reminding me what I was to do, later his being ringside would be invaluable.
Cowboy and I entered the ring, all be it a bit hesitant, we made it to our position and through the judging, taking a 5th place ribbon out of 6, and humming the entire time. Success! First time in the ring down in the books for me! We exited the ring and went back to our stalls to clean them up, as well as walk Moosie and Ace since they would be the next two to show. Carol, Mom, and Dad were keeping track of who would need to be where at what time. Mom was also keeping track of Pete and I, as well as networking ( she has an amazing way with people and is just one of those people you wanna talk to) and Pete and I…we wandered.
It came to our attention that I would be in the ring with Mousse and Ace would need to be on deck. Mousse class was small, and the class before Ace was slightly bigger. We needed a plan in case Ace needed to enter before I would out with Mousse. We all re positioned ourselves, preparing for Dad to being on deck with Ace, while I was in the ring with Mousse, Mom, Carol and Pete would be in the stands listening to the judges and watching. If all went smoothly, I would get out of the ring with Mousse in time to hand her off to Carol, and relieve dad on deck.
Mousse and I walked for several minuets, getting her comfortable with the floor, the people, the lights, the other Alpacas. Out of no where, it was time for her and I to be on deck. To our surprise, another female that Mousse made friends with across the pen, was set up to walk the ring after us. The two Alpacas seemed to gravitate to each other, necking and nuzzling each other as they did. I was asked by the other females handler, if I could hold her while she found her handler. Of course I could!
I stood there with these two girls watching them as well as watching the male class before Ace’s mill around on deck. After a few minutes,the handler came and took his girl, and we lined up. I was 2nd into the ring, and though Mousse had been walked for a bit to relax her, she was still a bit hesitant, but she moved beautifully. While in the ring she stood amazing, she was at ease ( so was I) and she was perfectly fine with the judge…..judging.
As the judge moved down to the 3rd, and then 4th Alpacas, I took a glance to the male ring. Ace was now on deck, though not all of his class was there. NOW I was nervous a bit. Turning my attention quickly back to the judge as she placed us all, I smiled taking 3rd position and listened to the judge as she explained her placement.
Once we were done with congratulating one another, We exited the ring, where I met Carol and handed Mousse off to her and sprinted ( yes I sprinted in cowboy boots) around the male ring to the line up, slipped my number for Mousse off, slid Ace’s on and hopped the fence to take Ace in the ring. Again we were in second position to walk the ring. I was standing there waiting patiently, while Ace necked me, kissed me and in general was so sweet, which brought the attention of the woman standing in the first position place. We began talking and I realized there were 8 in this class and that THIS would be a bit more nerve wracking since they only give out 6 ribbons. It turned out, the woman I was speaking with was Cindy, from Stargazer Ranch. I knew *OF* her because mom had been watching their barn cam for over a year, and would tell me with great excitement about the Cria born. I told her what farm I was with, and she Immediately knew my mom. We were both excited and she called her husband over and we all began chatting.
Soon we were in the ring again, Ace was AMAZING. He moved perfectly, stood wonderfully and behaved beautifully. The judging was tough, the judge and apprentice coming back to Ace twice, standing back and looking between ALL of the Alpacas. Ace and I stood in the Judge’s line of sight, giving him full view of Ace as he continues down the line.
This seemed to last forever, and it was then that I got a little nervous. I looked to the stand and saw Mom, Dad, Carol, John ( Carol’s husband) and Pete all sitting in the stand watching. Mom and Carol looked nervous. I got a hand signal from dad and re positioned Ace, trying to get his legs right. What seemed like a life time later, we were put in final positions. Ace was put in 3rd! 3rd out of 8!??!?! YES! I looked to the stands to see everyone relieved and so very happy. We all listened to the judge as he explained his placing and then congratulating one another we excited the ring and I was in BLISS! Ace was in Bliss!
What an amazing experience! I should also add that while we were showing that day, all of our phone were going on about a snow storm heading towards Kansas City, and was projected to put 8 inches of snow on the ground in KC,….12 on the ground at Carol’s……and 16-18 on the ground at my house. So when we were done in the ring with Ace, we began to pack up.
Aside from the “Epic Snow Storm” as Pete put it, which had us stuck in Missouri for 2 days.( We ended up having 20 inches at my house when we arrived) It was awesome and wonderful. I have never been so at ease and relaxed in a show ring, nor have I EVER been surrounded by so many people showing, who were so helpful and kind. This was a far cry from showing dogs, and it really is a community.
I am looking forward to our next show. More so, I am looking forward to getting everything done at Fallengrund so that we can have our amazing ( Ribboned 😉 ) Alpacas home with us. Keep checking back for more posts on the progress!
(Ace 3rd place MOPACA)
(Mousse 3rd place MOPACA)