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!