Croft Ambrey tells us about the Builth Wells showground
Last diary, Brodgar told you about our trip to the North Somerset Show. We paraded in the ring and I was really pleased to be awarded a lovely blue rosette for a first place in the gelding competition.
Last weekend, Stenness and I again took Rollright and Moai to a show at a place called Builth Wells. We stayed overnight and though there was no competition for us there were loads of two legs to look at. What is nice about shows is that we don’t have to move and people are paraded past us endlessly for us to judge which ones we like best. Really, this is pretty easy. We like the nice people who say we are handsome and who stand and generally admire our noble faces, and we’re a bit more undecided on the dotheyspit gaggle who tell us we spit, who are disappointed when we don’t and who let their wild dogs jump at us. Some two-legs have less intelligence than they might like to admit.
Builth was great. Sten, Roly, Mo and I were in the trailer very early in the morning and our people arrived at the ground in good time. We were taken out of the trailer and put in our ready prepared pen. Usually at shows we stand out doors on grass, but this was different; we were in a big building and stood on a hard stone floor. Now, we don’t minds stone – it keeps out toes in trim, and there was straw for us to stand on if we liked. Straw is not as tasty as hay.
We saw lots of people and ours talked about how we like to take guests llama trekking. Being a farmers’ show, people were interested to hear that we can be used as guardian animals. You know it’s in our character to protect lesser animals in our fields – sheep, or goats or hens – and a nice two-leg from Canada told us how on her sister’s huge farm, two llamas are used as guard llamas to protect large flocks of sheep. They don’t lose any lambs to coyotes.
Some people were keen to find out more about llamas because they are tired of mowing their grass. Llamas make very good lawn mowers. We are also known an good hedge trimmers. Now, the important thing with hedges is that llama hedges need to be farm type hedges. We don’t like some plants from the garden, and some plants that you people like to circle your garden with are downright dangerous. So don’t put us anywhere near yew, or azaleas, or laburnum. Hawthorn and rose and blackthorn and maple and rose and hazel are delicious hedges.
We bedded down for the night and our people stayed with us till we were asleep.
Next morning, everyone was up bright and early. A very quick trip out took us to the back of the showground where there were some hazel and maple bushes. These needed pruning, and we were only too happy to oblige. If you bite off a hazel twig, more leaves grow back in its place and these will be good for eating later in the year.
Back in the pen we were ready when the show opened. Stenness is an old hand at shows and acted very calmly and sensibly all day. Rollright and Moai were so pleased to have the older chap there. An older, sensible, calm llama is so helpful to young animals and the four of us spent much of the afternoon kushed up against each other. Shows are jolly tiring and by the close of the day we were really ready to go home. Our people had talked incessantly for two days about llama matters. She put on a spinning display and spun lots of my mother Maes Howe’s lovely white fleece for people to see. By the end of the show, our female person had enough fibre spun to complete a rug. She loves spinning and weaving rugs from our fibre, and I have to admit we do produce a lovely range of colours on the farm from white through fawns to mid and dark brown plus three shades of grey including my splendid mid grey.
At the end of two days we were tired and pleased to be taken home.
We’ve had good weather for trekking recently and our people have taken several of us out this week with parties of enthusiastic trekkers. Delightful sunshine, good walking, and a few llama treats at the end of a trek – what could be better?
More news from Golden Valley Llamas soon