It was a brave decision to hold an alpaca show in mid March in eastern Bavaria. The snow lay half a metre thick and during the previous 24 hours there had been about 30 cms of snow fall throughout the eastern part of Germany which had provided the autobahn drivers with some challenging conditions. However the huge enthusiasm of AZVD members was sufficient to battle through and there were about 100 entries for the show classes.
Jill McCleod from Canada was judging, the first time she had judged in a foreign language, but being from Alberta the severe winter conditions ensured she felt quite at home. The show is fully enclosed in an impressive equitation facility so the outside temperature of about 0 degrees did not really interfere with the whole day.
Breeders had come from throughout the length and breadth of Germany and from as far away as Belgium and Austria. In addition there were trade stands from Great Britain and from Switzerland as well as many more local ones, selling anything from high-class alpaca garments to hand spinning and processing equipment. Alpacas of Wessex were there with their trade stand which was very popular with many of the well established German breeders.
There is tremendous enthusiasm for alpacas in Germany and this was demonstrated very clearly by the huge turnout, not only in the show ring but also by many hundreds of others who just came to watch. This show takes place in a very rural and relatively remote part of Germany not very far from the border with the Czech Republic. It is not particularly easy to get to and is not close to any large centre of population. However despite the snow and wintry conditions the crowds continued to flow in through the gates until well into the afternoon.
On display in the show ring the alpacas exhibited a wide variety of quality, ranging from the ordinary through to the very special. All colours were represented and in addition to the strong Huacaya entries there was a good number of Suris. With 100 entries judging lasted the entire day and during the lunch break there was an auction of stud services from four of the country’s leading males, which raised a considerable amount of money for the breed society.
At the conclusion of the judging top honours went to Hartwig Kraft von Wedel of Zauberland Alpacas for Grand Champion Male Huacaya with ‘Commander’ and for Grand Champion Suri with ‘Glamour Girl’ and to Dr Ilona Gunser for Grand Champion female Huacaya with ‘Hera’.
This was only the second national show for the AZVD and once again they had arranged a remarkably professional show which attracted a high standard of entries and provided the public with a really impressive display of the German alpaca industry.