The first weekend in October saw alpaca and llama owners gathering in the beautiful spa town of Vichy for this year’s ‘Concours Européen de Lamas et Alpagas’ organised by the Association Française des Petits Camélidés with the German Alpaca and Llama Show Association (AELAS) responsible for logistics. Excellent facilities for the animals, their owners and spectators were provided at the equestrian Stade du Sichon, just a few minutes walk from the centre of Vichy.
The rain and generally wet conditions did not dampen the enthusiasm of breeders who came from all areas of France, and as far a field as Germany, Italy and Austria, entering over 100 llamas and alpacas in the show. The show also attracted a good crowd of onlookers, many of whom were very keen to talk to breeders to find out more about alpacas and the developing alpaca business in France. Breeders and spectators alike were also able to see the end products of fibre processing, both spun and felted, in the trade stands which were selling a variety of products from high-class garments to children’s toys.
The programme ran smoothly from start to finish over the two full days of the event keeping the two international judges, one American and one German, fully occupied throughout. As well as the usual show classes, there were also trekking classes for llamas and agility competitions for llamas and alpacas. Although the ‘Best of Show Alpaca’ this time was a British imported stud, the high overall standard of alpacas displayed in the show classes is indicative of the increasing quality of ‘home bred’ alpacas that can now be found in France.
On Saturday evening the participants enjoyed an excellent meal at a local hotel which was preceded by a TV film of trekking with llamas over some of France’s most beautiful mountains. In addition, there was a presentation of the work of the charity ‘Babines des Bidonvilles’, which works with disadvantaged children in Peru.
SOME RESULTS OF THE ALPACA SHOW CLASSES
Best of Show Alpaca
Great House Everard owned by Myra Black (France)
Unshorn male alpacas
Grand Champion: GSA Castro owned by Gerhard & Maria Wohlfarth (Germany)
Shorn male alpacas
First place: Donald du Domaine de Béteille owned by Renée Raigneau-Combescot (France)
First Place: Great House Everard owned by Myra Black (France)
Shorn female alpacas
First place: Calypso Pearl de la Glacière owned by Gillian Evieux (France)
First place: Bianca du Leman owned by B. Vaerman (France)