Saturday, April 25, 2009

2009 Heartland Classic Llama Show (the virtual version!)

Today we went to our first llama show - not to show our own llamas, but to watch and learn from others. What a great time! Most of the llamas today were mini llamas, which were awfully cute! I took a lot of pictures, so this post is a bit picture heavy, but I want to bring the show to you as if you were there!!

First, we watched some of the show classes. I can't tell you which ones these are - there were many! But, all the llamas were beautiful. The judge was from Kentucky and she was very helpful in explaining her choices and saying what she was looking for. There were a number of different shearing patterns (or unsheared looks). I took photographs of some of my favorite llamas. I loved the colour of this one! It has the regular "barrel cut" shearing like ours do.

This cute little llama has a sort of barrel cut "plus" shearing, with a pom pom on its rear end for the tail area!Then this one isn't sheared at all!

We were interested to see a nun with her llama who was participating in the show. The nun's llama placed but I can't remember what the placing was.

After the regular classes, the obstacle course showing began! I didn't know they had obstacle courses for llamas, but it was great fun to watch and we could see that some llamas were much more adept at the sort of training required for obstacles than others.

The first obstacle was a jump. Many llamas, like the beautiful appaloosa below, just kicked the beam down and walked through. Oops!
The best jumper was the nun's llama - what a leap (of faith?)!

After the jump there was a ramp up and down, and then some pool noodles hanging from a frame. The llama had to walk under the frame and let the pool noodles just touch its back. Most of them did that without difficulty. You can see the ramp in this picture but since we were sitting in front of the pool noodle thing, I didn't take ramp pictures because you couldn't really see it well.

The next obstacle was a large tire. The llama was supposed to put its front feet inside the middle of the tire, and keep its back feet outside the tire. The person leading them was supposed to make them go all the way around the tire, so that their back legs would do the moving while the front feet would just sort of pivot within the inside of the tire.
This llama wasn't nearly as cooperative.
The nun's llama would not do the tire trick, even though she was very encouraging with it.

Then the llamas had to back up along an L-shaped set up of logs, turning the corner at the bottom of the "L" while staying in a backward position. This llama did it very well. You can see the judge taking notes in the background.
Then there was a section with two logs placed in a wide V-shape at the corner of the arena. The llamas were supposed to face the audience and move sideways along the first log, and then shift slightly and move sideways along the next log, all the while keeping their front feet on one side of the log, and their back feet on the other side. The llama below did it best.
Then there is a jump through a hoop - there were some beautiful jumpers!

After the hoop jump there was a staircase, which they had to go up, walk across the top flat area, and then go down the other side.
Many jumped from the top and sort of skipped the down steps. I had a nice action shot of this one!
Some llamas didn't like the steps at all, and this one in particular had quite enough of them, so he just lay down in the middle, much to the crowd's amusement.
The final obstacle was a fairly shallow water tray, with a few bits of foam stuff floating in it. The llamas were supposed to go through the water - it would have been only just over their feet. Many of the llamas refused to go through it, even the nun's llama. If any of the llamas should have been comfortable walking on water, shouldn't it have been the nun's?

After watching the obstacle course, we went into the barns to check out some of the llamas who were waiting their turn in the show ring. There were so many beautiful animals, and I could not photograph them all, but here are some that caught my eye.

This one just oozed "Llama Diva" to me.

This llama had a very heavy shearing including its whole neck. It had a blanket AND a human sweatshirt on it. Today was a bit chilly compared to yesterday's beautiful day. I couldn't help but laugh at this poor llama
Most of the llamas had these nice mats to lie on to keep them warm. Look at that cute little one in the back! So adorable!
A very handsome llama with a nice groom and cut.
And probably my favourite llama - what a sweet face!
Well, I hope you enjoyed your virtual tour of the Heartland Classic llama show. Oh, and the most amazing thing about the show....we didn't come home with any new llamas!


Christy said...

What a great show! I can't believe a nun was showing a llama. How fun. That was a lot of obstacles they had to do.

blackcatcreekfarm said...

Claire!! I'm bummed I missed you at Heartland! We supply the obstacles and were there alllll day. That little girl in the last pic with the cute face? You've seen her before! That's my little Black Cat's Wish Upon a Starr :)

Mom L said...

I can't believe I'm first, but I just saw your post on FB as my last check for the night. I know you had a grand time - the llamas are beautiful. I had no idea they competed in show trials. The most amazing thing, though, Claire, is that you and Kelly didn't take 1 or 2 home with you!!!


IsobelleGoLightly said...

How beautiful those llamas are! I like the photograph of the nun and her llama talking about going into that tire! They really look like a team. I can't wait to see your llamas at a show Claire! Goat kisses from Isobelle!

Claire said...

BlackCatCreekFarm - I'm so sad we didn't see you! I should get your email address because I said to Kelly last week that I should ask if you guys were going or not, and then I got busy & forgot. I didn't read all the little tiny name tags on the stall doors - otherwise I would have realized those were yours!! She really was my fave! In a way I wish we had gone today because it's the full size llamas today, but we are going to the Stuart exotic animal auction today.

Melissa ~ Wife to 1, Mom to 5 said...

I seriously must be living under a rock as I had NO IDEA there were mini Llamas in exsistence. OH THE CUTENESS!! I want one!! Or two!

Terri and Randy Carlson said...

My llama Salem is so stubborn, she would never do any of those things! What a fun show. Thanks for the pics.

AKColleen said...

Thanks for sharing all the pictures and comments! It's like a combination of dog agility and horse obstacles! The dogs do the ramp, and jumping through the hoop, and the horses do the sidepassing over a log and turns on the forehand (the tire obstacle). Very cool!

Mare said...

This was fascinating! Thanks for sharing!!! Nuns with Llamas...who'd a thunk it??!!!

d/iowa said...

i am SO SAD i missed this! i would have loved to take pics of the nun and her llama. awesome!

Pricilla said...

I love llamas. To me they they have an expressions that says they own the world - just watch out until they marshall the llama army.

Great photos.

J and J Acres said...

I didn't know llamas could do all that!! That looks a lot like a DOG show!

Llamas are so neat, you took great pictures. I love the one sitting on the steps. And the nun's llama looking at the tire like 'You want me to do WHAT?"

Apifera Farm said...

wow, a nun showing a llama, that is pretty cool. You sure had fun!

Farm Chick Paula said...

I love all the great pictures! I especially loved the one with the nun trying to get her llama to do the tire trick... the llama was looking like "Heck no, I ain't goin in there!"
Hmm... a nun with a llama... isn't there a joke somewhere about that? LOL

Lola Nova said...

Wow! I think that sums it up.

I am very impressed with your restraint, no new llamas for you.

So, a nun and a llama walk into a bar...

d/iowa said...

i still cant believe the nun scam!
hope you're enjoying the break from school :)