Time to start thinking about which llamas you will show this year, which classes you will  enter them into and what training you will need to conduct to prepare them.

The afternoon of November 10th (Thursday) will be a busy one with judging of Conformation and Progeny classes, followed by the Junior Handler class. Entering your llama into the Conformation class can tell you a lot about your llama, if you are a llama breeder your results here can give you an indication of the direction of your breeding program.

The Stewards will direct you and your llama to the holding area and then call you into the judging ring where you will be instructed to lead your llama a certain pattern, basically you need to follow the llama in front of you. Show Ring protocol requires you to maintain a distance of 2 meters from the llama ahead of you, not to talk to other exhibitors and only address the judge in response to a direct question from him/her. If it is essential, you may get the Stewards attention and ask a question. Be careful not to position yourself between the judge and your llama.

The judge will appraise your llama as you walk in a circle around him/her. The balance and proportions, the straight back and high tail set, correctness of the legs, etc. The judge will then have the Stewards line up the llamas and have each llama walk toward him/her and return. The purpose of this is for the judge to determine if the legs are straight from a front/back view and that the llama walks close to the centre line.  To assist your llama you must lead in a straight line at a suitable speed – too slow and the llama starts to wander, too quick and the llama moves into a trot. And at some point the judge may approach and request permission to touch your llama so do your best to keep your llama calm and still for this.

Suri classes are first, followed by the other fleece types grouped together and lastly by the geldings. There will be Champion and Reserve Champion :

  • suri female;
  • suri males;
  • other female;
  • other male;
  • geldings.

From these the judge will select a Supreme Champion, also known as Best of Breed, which will go forward to represent all Llamas in the Best of Show determination.

At the completion of Class 8835 exhibitors may advise the Stewards which progeny they wish to put forward for the Dam and Sire Progeny classes. There are to be 2 progeny for the Dam class and 3 progeny for the Sire Class. The progeny may be of either sex or gelded and may be from different owners. Progeny for the Dam Class may also be shown in the Sire Class. The Dam and Sire must be booked on the Show Entry form but will not be shown themselves in these classes. This is a very important class to assess the quality of your Dams and Sires and the Judge will be looking to see positive traits of the parents expressed clearly in the progeny. These traits can be conformation, fleece, balance, proportion, colour, etc.  With the first place ribbon also goes the Champion Dam/Sire Progeny status to the Dam or Sire.

And the day will complete with the Junior Handler Class which is quickly becoming a very popular class.  This class is open to handlers under the age of 16 on the day. Each of them will lead a llama into the judging ring where they will follow the instructions of the Judge to perform a number of basic tasks with their llama.  These may include, for example, stepping over a low obstacle, walking in a straight line back and forth, walking in a tight circle, etc. In this class the handler is being assessed – how he/she leads, controls, prompts, guides etc plus how he/she may deal with a problem (if it arises).

 For those who have not shown previously at the Christchurch Show.

  1. It is standard practice for the handlers in each class to wear their entry number on their left upper arm;
  2. All handlers are requested to wear white shirts with no logos unless an approved NZLA one;
  3. If the weather turns nasty, the Stewards will advise if rain gear or other appropriate steps can be taken;
  4. Open shoes,  sandals, etc must not be worn;
  5. You may be marked down by the Judge if you allow your llama to misbehave or have a negative effect on other llamas;
  6. You should not offer treats to your llama while it is undergoing judging;
  7. You may not use an aid of any type to lead or guide your llama while undergoing judging;
  8. Any behavior which the Judge considers to be potentially dangerous will result in disqualification from that class.

Your llama will be penned in the Llama Compound for the Show, although you may take your llama home each night if you chose to do so. The Compound is locked at night and members of the NZLA sleep in site to ensure care for the llamas there.

 The Show schedule is now available on line at www.theshow.co.nz and please note that all entries must be in by Sept 23rd.

And allow me a quick introduction of our Conformation and Performance Judge this year, Mr Alistair MacDonald. Alistair has been involved with llamas since the arrival of the first large shipment from South America back in the late 1980’s. He remained very active with llamas until about 2005 when family and work commitments obliged him differently. A very keen trekker, Alistair has trained many llamas for all different objectives and we are very pleased he has agreed to help us out this year.

  Next week we will look at the Performance Classes, I have got a feeling these will be the subject of some very interesting competition this year.  It will be a great show!

 Please give me a call should you have any questions

03 319 8522     thepaynegang@mac.com