Long Meg tells us about Loupin Stanes winning the Championship at the Newbury Show
Hello Two Legs,
I’m eleven years old. I was just 2 when I last went to a County Show. It’s not been possible for me to visit one for so long as I’ve always been either pregnant or had a baby cria who couldn’t travel. So, this year I was allowed to go, and I was given a position of real responsibility. Our people decided I should be herd leader for the weekend and act as great auntie to the young ‘uns.
I talked to our people about this and it was agreed that I’d travel with young Loupin Stanes, whilst Stonehenge and Kilpeck Castle would have their own compartment in the carriage.
It’s a very long way to the show which is in a place called Newbury. It took simply ages to get there. I was pleased when we’d arrived, so I could stretch my legs. We girls were penned together and the two lads were just next to us.
Soon, llamas from all over the country began to arrive, and they were all put into their own special pens. Do you know who I saw? It was my old beau Pharaoh!!! He’s the dad to the three youngsters I had with me. I really couldn’t make up my mind whether I was pleased to see him or not, and when he walked past me, my conversation went something along the lines of:
Eyelid flutter (I love you)
Spit (I hate you)
Eyelid flutter (I love you)
Spit (I hate you)
Being a bit of a gent, he didn’t spit back. Our people had been wondering whether I’d like more crias and I guess they now know pretty emphatically that I would!!!
Competition started with all the female classes. These beauty pageants are all very well, but the judge isn’t just looking for the prettiest gel or handsomest fella, but is checking we look as a llama really should – good proportions, strong bones, the right degree of flexibility in the leg and a correctly aligned jaw. Coat of good texture and lustre, a bright eye and a pleasing demeanour are also important. We’re really talking about a healthy llama who has caught the judge’s eye and who ticks all the boxes.
And in those female classes I’m very proud to say both Loupin Stanes and I were awarded first places in our respective divisions.
Males classes followed and young Kilpeck Castle looked terrific as he walked neatly around the parade ring. His flowing locks have such a sheen I really wasn’t surprised when later on he would be awarded the prize for Best Fibre on the Hoof. He was awarded first place in the young male class and this meant that three of the Golden Valley Llamas herd would appear in the Championship. Hurrah!!!
Loupin Stanes had already caught the eye of the judge. ‘Just lovely’ were her words, and whilst Loopy Lou is not my daughter I have to agree that she is quite lovely (most of the time). Loupin Stanes was awarded the British Llama Society Championship, and we were all delighted when two year old Golden Valley Mulfra Quoit who now lives in Somerset was awarded the Reserve Championship. Didn’t we do well?
The Gelding class is always the most keenly contested with the most llamas entered in it. Stonehenge impressed us all and looked very assured as he walked in the parade ring and stood for inspection and the all-important hands-on sections of the judging. The judge was pleased to award him first place.
The Championship, three first places and the Gelding Cup. Our people were pretty pleased I can tell you.
Too much two-legged celebration that night meant our people handed over Sunday class responsibilities to a team of willing helpers. These are the fun classes and the four of us competed in best turned out, prettiest, and handsomest classes before the egg and spoon and Llama Agility race. This is always great fun. I was paired in all these competitions with another senior called John. John is very competitive. He and I had a little test run when no-one else was looking, and Loupin sneakily stuck her leg out and tripped him up. Loupin’s handler had a good chortle at that one. John and I had a chat in which I explained I wouldn’t be any good at jumping so our tactic was to simply run straight through all the fences as fast as we could, take the time faults and hope. Fences flew, but so did we. It worked. Bravo us! Whilst other pairs dawdled over ‘should I jump, or should I step?’ our unusual pell-mell approach meant I was awarded a very large shield which will have my name on it! Cor!!
Llama shows are great fun and we enjoyed meeting all the two-legged fans of the llama. There is a lot to chat about as people really do want to know all about us. We’re pretty interesting really.
Love, Long Meg…
More news from the Golden Valley Llamas herd soon