Hetty Pegler at the North Somerset Show
We’ve been to a Show again. Let me tell you what happened. The rosettes in the picture alongside might give you a hint.
About ten days ago our people told us that we were going to the North Somerset Agricultural Show again this year. Brodgar was to be in charge and Stanton Drew, Marden and I would go and see the world.
So, for ten days, the four of us spent time together in lovely Lake Field where the ducklings and goslings are splashing around and we were often called up to the yard by our people where they gave us tasty mix. We would be haltered – easy; fed some cereal – very easy; be groomed – easy; and be told we were a ‘Good girl’ or ‘Good boy’ – seriously easy.
After grooming, our people would take us for a walk. Now, Brodgar is an old hand at this and he explained that walking in a circle in the yard is no great shakes. He stepped out and walked nicely. Stanton Drew followed and when he is close to his uncle he does this very well. Then Marden and I took a circuit of the yard – ‘Hetty Pegler, walk on’ over a step – ‘Step’, through our trailer – ‘Step’ and ‘Step’, around the yard again and into the middle for ‘And Stand’ where we lined up side by side. We stood for absolutely ages, but after 8 seconds we thought that was quite long enough and started to fidget about a bit. Back to the pen (‘Walk on’), release from our ropes and halters, half a mouthful of mix and off we mooched back to the lake.
During the ten days we were called up to the yard four or five times and each time we’d end up walking around in a circle. I found it quite easy and each of our people walked with me at different times. My sister Marden is a year younger than me – she’s ten months old – and she was a bit uncertain about walking around at first, but really I think she did very well. It’s hard being a youngster and not knowing what to do, but she learned quickly and whilst she was wary of things like the trailer and the need to stand still, she understood nothing nasty was going to happen to her. I mean, I’m not yet two years old and there’s so much I don’t know, but I think copying a sensible older llama like Brodgar is the right thing to do.
On Sunday evening we were called up into the yard and shut in overnight which isn’t rare – our people like to surprise us with different moves. One thing was different – the trailer was in the outer yard. ‘Hmmm’ said Brodgar…..
Bright and early yesterday morning our people came out to see us and after they’d fed us we were haltered and the four of us led straight out to the trailer. ‘Step’, so we did, and in we went. Doors shut and off we rolled. Now, I’ve been on a journey in the trailer before. Around the same time last year I remembered going to a show so I was interested when the doors opened again after simply ages to see that we were back in Somerset. We didn’t need any bidding – ropes on and we led our people to our pen in the corner of the big show ring. Very exciting!!! Into pen, ropes off, but halters left on for the day.
Then VERY EXCITING, two pens away another herd of llamas were introduced. There was a gorgeous boy and I thought I’d go and introduce myself, so I popped myself over the rail to say ‘Hello’. Unfortunately, I popped my front legs over the rail but forgot about my back legs so ended up straddling the thing. I’ve always been told, if you get into difficulty and there are people around, lie still and let them help – Silbury and Ringsbury still laugh at the time Avebury wrapped a rope tightly round his ankles so he could no longer stand, teetered and fell over. Our male person was on hand to unwrap the woolly parcel and send him on his way. So, I knew the thing to do was not to panic. Perhaps I was overly accepting of the two legs help, because with me astride the railing, it must have been pretty heavy. But eventually with the help of some nice people called Tom, Dick and Harry, I was released and placed firmly back in my pen.
I looked up hopefully to my new Beau, but he looked straight through me, and that was the end of a budding relationship. Oh well.
The show got going pretty quickly and the judging classes started. First up were the male classes, and people from other farms walked around the ring with their llamas. There were some handsome fellows there. After they had walked a few circuits, the llamas then walked up and down the ring so the judge could see them from the front and back. Standing still in the middle of the ring so the judge could check on the llama’s body and fibre all came into it and then the best bit, the judge handed out rosettes – blue for first place, red for second and yellow for third. Lots of colour and lots of happy people.
After a few rounds of boys it was the turn of the girls, and little Marden went out into the ring with our female person. Oo she stepped along beautifully. Gosh she was good. The judge talked to our person and asked Marden if she could smile, so our female person helped Marden show the judge her teeth. Her back was felt and then the llamas all walked around the ring again. When they were asked to line up for final judging we were all so proud of the little girl for being awarded a big blue rosette for first place in her class. Ahhh.
Next up was me and I also walked around the ring. My male person asked me to smile for the judge and explained I am about 21 months old. Walking around the ring was a doddle and even though there were big bold males on one side and pens full of pigs close by on the other side I stepped out well. Gosh, I was surprised when the judge came to me first and gave my person a big blue rosette which I immediately tried to chew. Not tasty.
Soon Stanton Drew and Brodgar competed in the gelding class and Marden and I watched from our pen. We weren’t surprised Brodgar was awarded first place – he’s coming up to seven this month and is an experienced llama trekker and he meets lots of people. Our people think very highly of him. Our brother Stanton Drew was awarded a lovely yellow rosette so well done to him.
It was all going by in a bit of a rush and our people hadn’t planned who was going to walk with whom in the large class of ‘Best Fibre on the Hoof’ – I mean four llamas, two people, even I can see they were two people short, so they asked some friends if they would don the white coats and walk around with Brodgar and me. I liked Annie a lot – very calm and sensible and Jutta did a lovely job walking with Brodgar. We stood and when the judge had a look at my fibre I didn’t resist.
Wow! Another First place. Cor! Second place for Stanton Drew. Blimey! Third for Brodgar, and Amazing! A Sixth for Marden. Well, this was proving a colourful day!
All back to our pens and then the six class winners from the male and female classes competed for the Llama Championship. Again, we walked in a circle and our feet cut through the long, lush grass. Soon, the lovely judge called us in to line up, and you could have knocked me down with a feather – I was Supreme Champion Llama at the North Somerset Show 2011!! Big WOW.
And do you know who was Reserve Champion? Marden. What a little superstar.
In the afternoon Brodgar and Stanton Drew competed in the Agility competition, and Brodgar was very pleased to have a lovely red rosette for coming second.
Well, sort of pleased. The way he tells it is that our female person led him around very well – under the low wire, over the mat, showing him how to step in the water jump and sand pit, before lifting his foot and placing it in a tyre lying on the ground. She got tired and in falling over the line he lost interest and decided to knock the last hurdle over with a contemptuous snort. Brodgar is pretty good at contemptuous snorts.
The very lovely judge visited all the pens and thanked everyone for supporting the show, shook the hands of our people and then we llamas could do what we really wanted to do – eat. We could relax and the grass in our pen was worth a nibble, but best was the hay our people brought from home. We were ravenous and ate for half an hour before lying down and resting.
After many hours of yakking on about llama this and llama that it was time for our people to pack up. We stepped smartly into the trailer and were driven off and when we arrived home at Old King Street Farm we legged it off to our field where we ate a little more, before lying down to sleep for the night.
Shows are interesting – lots of llamas and llama fans. Not a bad place to spend a day.
More from Golden Valley Llamas soon.