Tuesday, March 31, 2009

MOPACA Invitational Alpaca Show 2009

The MOPACA show was March 28 – 29. Before I get to the details, I’d like to say thank you to my coworker, Robyn, who very kindly let me borrow her Explorer Sport. Normally, I borrow it to haul alpacas, but this time I used it to transport the sponsor gifts to the show (It was like Christmas!) and spin off samples back to another farm on the way home.

Big River Alpacas ensured that Marie (and Ulysses) made it safely to the show.

I’d also like to thank my friend, Ellen, without whom the weekend would have been very stressful. Ellen came along to learn about alpacas, help out a little and just get away for the weekend. She ended up learning how to color check, show animals, gate steward, and process the spin-off samples. She contributed a lot to the show and they can’t wait for her to come back and volunteer in 2010. In fact, Ellen got to show more animals than I did and her first time in the ring she took first place!

I’d also like to thank my family for taking time to stop by - especially with the icy, snowy weather. Sharp Bros. Seed, my dad’s business, sponsored our Meet & Greet and hopefully picked up a few new customers. My cousins brought my Grandma V down to the American Royal Sunday afternoon to see the animals. Janae, my second cousin, enjoyed leading the alpacas around so much she asked me if it was okay for her to ‘borrow’ one.

Marie, being the photogenic alpaca that she is, made Friday's Kansas City Star before the show even started. She's the one in the middle and this is the 2nd time she's made the paper in less than a year.

Marie took 1st place in her halter class (hooray!). However, it was a class of one. This does not necessarily mean that you’ll get first place, though. If the alpaca doesn’t meet the correct conformational and fleece standards, they’ll award a 2nd place ribbon instead. In one case, there was a class of one and the alpaca was so unruly that she and her owner were dismissed from the ring with no ribbon whatsoever. The judge was very pleased with Marie’s conformation and especially the density of her fleece. She said it was a shame that I didn’t have any competition in the class.

Marie and Ulysses were both entered in the spin-off competition. This is where 2 ounces of fiber is sent in ahead of time. It is then handspun into yarn and judged. This is a great way to get feed back on the fleece and to see how well it converts into yarn. Both of them received 4th place ribbons and I’m very happy with my little handspun yarn samples.

I picked up these little alpaca pins for my store and these wonderful pastel alpaca socks from Alpacas Midwest for myself. The socks come in assortment of Easter Egg shades just in time for spring.

We returned home late Sunday and I was quite happy to see the kitties, Magic (thank you Amber & Kate) and sleep in my own bed.


  1. Sounds like a successful weekend all the way around. Marie looked absolutely "marvelous." I wish I could have been there. Ellen did great!
    Marie Hixson

  2. Deborah,
    You and Ellen were life savers. Thanks for all the help with the Spin-Off! I think it was the best show ever!
    Congratulations on the ribbons!
    Sycamore Creek Farm