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Best of British at Show

Mark Steele reports on The SWAG Halter show at The Royal Bath and West Show.

On Tuesday the 29th of May, as the storm clouds gathered on the near horizon and with a sharp breeze making things difficult, the SWAG halter show set up team wound themselves up into a flurry of action at The Royal Bath and West showground. The two marquees (just in case it rained) were erected in what was a new record time as lessons from previous years were for once, not forgotten.

A slightly depleted Wednesday and Thursday team magnificently held the fort whilst the mighty show teams of the South West Alpaca Group gathered themselves quietly in the storm torn West Country.

FRIDAY

Friday and show time was upon us. Having had to close entries early due to getting the highest number of entries for several years and with less space to put everyone, Di Davies and her ever changing pen plan finally triumphed at the seventh draft. It was tight but the show must go on!

Last year we had seen something unique, a double black Supreme Championship with the Champion Huacaya coming from Inca Alpaca and Champion Suri from Snowshill Alpacas. Could this remarkable feat be repeated?
Both teams were present and both were heavily loaded with black alpacas. The remarkable feat of a double double was on the cards.

With the show underway and huge crowds expected we began to grind through the gears with judge Liz Barlow, together with her apprentice Julia Corrigan-Stuart, steadily assessing each class.

Sometime during day one something untoward came along. The usually unflappable and seriously professional Roger Mount, stalwart of just about every alpaca show in the UK, made a mistake. Undoubtedly distracted by thinking about a chilled glass of Montrachet and a Cuban cigar Roger released his alpaca whilst in the collecting ring. The newly set free Suri ran towards the crowd looking resplendent in its two years of gloriously flowing locks as Roger, showing a surprising turn of speed for a man of his age, fled after it. The glorious beast was soon captured by quick witted fellow breeders and the drama was over. I must point out at this stage that I only bring this easily forgiven aberration to your notice because there was more drama of a similar nature to come.

Undoubtedly distracted by thinking about a chilled glass of Montrachet and a Cuban cigar Roger released his  alpaca whilst in the collecting ring. The newly set free Suri ran towards the crowd looking resplendent in its two years of gloriously flowing locks as Roger, showing a surprising turn of speed for a man of his age, fled after it.

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Photos by Regpengellyphotography.co.uk