In April 2018, about a year after the arrival of our first 5 alpacas, we decided to attend The Scottish Alpaca Group Show. They had invited us to join the group and having met members at the AGM we thought a day out at the show would be a great idea.
George the Alpaca Whisperer
Hubby couldn’t come and help due to work commitments, so it fell yet again to my dad - Geordie Bap aka The Alpaca Whisperer. My dad was a baker and ran our family bakery as I grew up. In my part of the world, bread buns are known as baps, hence his name. He was great at holding my pony when I was little, so obviously this meant he would be fully competent at showing alpacas too – in my head.
I rang dad and asked if he & mum would come up for the weekend and help at the show, which was held in Lanark. It was decided they would arrive the night before, ready to get a good start the following morning. That’s the next bit in this tale. From the description so far it would be reasonable to assume we’d set off around 6.30-7am right? Nope. I needed to have the alpacas ready for check-in at the show ground at 7.30am. With a 3 hour drive ahead of us, not to mention loading up, that meant getting up very early at 2.30am. Oops.
So, I rang dad and did that thing when you make everything sound much better than it really is, suggesting he needn’t get up at the same time as me. Dad simply said – ‘nae problem Bella’. Bella is what he has called me all my life, even though my name is Lynne. True to form, when I crept downstairs at 2.30am, Mum was busy making our packed lunch and dad was waiting to load the alpacas with the trailer open, ready to go.
On arrival at the show ground we had no idea as to what to do, where to go, nor the protocol around such an event. No need to worry, the other group member and entrants were just fantastic, looking after us and helping us get organised.
We took two alpacas – Graffiti our light alpaca and Sam our grey. Sam was up first – his class number was 13 – a baker’s dozen. It was fate and I suggested Dad show Sam in the ring. ‘Nae problem Bella’ was his reply, despite neither of us having any clue whatsoever as to how to show an alpaca. Again, we were looked after by the show team and shown what was what.
The event was live streamed on Facebook, so back home my two children & mum were glued to the screen. I can’t tell you how nervous I was as dad & Sam entered the ring. As they walked around the ring and stood for the Judge, dad was a true pro. He talked to Sam the whole time and there and then a rosette came out. They were placed second. Dad was delighted! He attached the rosette to his white show coat pocket and did the final parade around the ring. Nobody minded that the rosette was meant to be attached to Sam’s headcollar! I was so proud and so emotional, I stood on the ringside bubbling away at what dad & Sam had just achieved.
A few classes later it was my turn. Off I went, with George telling me what to do as I entered the ring. Graffiti was great and we also got a rosette and placed 5th. We couldn’t believe what success we’d had, but of course George the Alpaca Whisperer had beaten me, as he reminds me to this day.
We had a fantastic day, not just because of the success we had but because of the time we spent together. So now it's our thing. 2020 & 2021 shows have been cancelled due to the virus but 2022 will be our next one. A rare chance to spend some time together. Nobody makes sandwiches quite like mum’s and obviously as the family alpaca expert, George needs to defend his title ‘The Alpaca Whisperer’. Watch out George, I’m coming for you next time!