Royal Three Counties Fleece Show

West Shires Alpaca Group would like to thank all the entrants to the Royal Three Counties Fleece Show which was judged at the weekend – this year we had a fantastic entry.

A huge thanks goes to Roger Clarke for his meticulous and professional approach to working his way through over 150 fleeces, taking time also to educate the fleece stewards along the way, making the long days both fun and educational.

Thanks to our ‘crack’ team of fleece stewards who worked hard to make sure everything ran so smoothly – no mean feat!

Our sincere thanks must go to Julia and Adam Berry for hosting the show (allowing fleece to take over their house!), and for feeding judges and stewards so well – an army marches on its stomach so they say!

In summary, a great show that ran well – we really hope to see your entries again next year!!

Results will be released very shortly.

Royal Three Counties Fleece Show

Just a quick note to say thank you for all the entries for West Shires Alpaca Group fleece show.  We’ve got just over 150 entries – we’re going to make Roger Clarke sweat whilst working his way through them!

We’ll keep you posted with the results – good luck everybody and thanks once again!

The Art and Science of Breeding

We had a very informative and interesting Saturday afternoon talking about how to decide on which stud male to use for your dams.  Jay covered some of the theory, talking about the various parameters that you need to consider such as your aims for breeding, fibre quality of the stud and dam, colour, the qualities the stud gives to his offspring, the pedigree and colour ancestry of the stud and dam, conformation of the stud and dam, etc.  There is a lot to consider and a good breeder can help with their detailed knowledge of their studs and the attributes they can influence over your dam and hopefully improve in the cria.

Roger then introduced some of his studs and talked about their fleece qualities.  We moved on to look at some groups of very cute cria sired by the studs we had already seen.  Knowing the dams the cria were from, Roger explained how some of the studs didn’t massively improve on fleece stats for dams that didn’t have particularly good fleece themselves but were able to sire very good cria from good dams – often given the term ‘polishers’.  Other studs were able to improve fleece quality for most of their offspring compared to their dams – known as ‘improvers’.

Thank you to Roger for hosting the event and to Roger and Jay for sharing their knowledge and experience.

Annual General Meeting

We had another great attendance at the West Shires Alpaca Group Annual General Meeting.

 We began the meeting with a fantastic buffet lunch followed by the formalities of the day, which were then closely followed by a very interesting and informative talk on seed mixes and pasture management from Sam Lane of Cotswold Seeds.

We really hope everyone found the day both useful and enjoyable and it was good to meet a few new faces and catch up with old friends! 

We’re putting together the 2020 calendar of events, so if there is anything you are particularly interested in that’s not on the list, just let us know and we’ll see what we can do! 🦙

AGM & Pasture Management

WSAG AGM ‪23rd February, 1pm (lunch) 1.30 AGM start, at Stoke Bliss & Kyre Village Hall WR15 8RR, followed by a talk by Cotswold Seeds on Pasture Management, with any questions welcomed from the floor – really useful for new and experienced owners. If there is anything specific you’d like them to cover let us know in advance!

We’re putting on lunch, just let us know if you have any dietary requirements.

Now for the formal bit!

The AGM is an important meeting for the group, it’s where members get the chance to openly discuss how the group operates, provide ideas for events or activities, elect committee members and see how group funds have been spent across the year.

Hopefully we’ve bribed you enough with a useful external speaker and the promise of a good lunch (we don’t skimp!) but on a serious note, it would be great if we could see as many of you there as possible!

Please confirm attendance at info@WSAG.org.uk along with any allergies/dietary requirements and we will make sure we accommodate!🦙😊🥪🥗🍰🥦🍍🥕!

Winter Social 🎄

It was really great to see so many of you at the WSAG winter social. We certainly managed to fill the pub and both the food and the company were excellent! 🍾🥘🍻

We know that many of you travelled some distance to be there, so thank you! We hope the event was a success and that you enjoyed the evening.

As we head into the festive season we would like to wish you all a very🎄Merry Christmas🎄 and all the very best for 2020🔔

Don’t forget, the next event is the AGM and talk on Pasture Management in February, preceded by our now traditional veritable feast, hope to see you there!

Midlands Championship Halter Show

West Shires Alpaca Group would like to thank everyone who attended the Midlands Championship Halter Show yesterday.

Thank you to all the exhibitors, sponsors, volunteers and the supporting cast of ‘non-judging judges’ in the audience! 😁

A huge thanks goes to Liz Barlow and Shirley Bettinson for their excellent judging, working their way calmly and professionally through over 120 alpacas and keeping up their good humour, despite being kicked hard several times, throughout what was a long day.

We hope you enjoyed your day, and look forward to doing it all again next year!

PS. Don’t forget West Shires will be ‘back in action’ next June for the Royal Three Counties Show, why not enter!

Basic Husbandry

Thank you to everyone that joined us at Abberley Alpacas on Saturday (19th October) and a special thanks to Jay, Hilary and Ginnie for sharing their knowledge and experience for a very informative and valuable Alpaca Husbandry session. We hope everyone took away something useful from this afternoon. 

See you next at the Midlands Championship on the 9th November…..if anyone is available on the Friday 8th and would like to help we do still need some manpower for setup, all offers gratefully received!

Fleece – what does it all mean?

We all had a great day yesterday at Pure Alpacas courtesy of Hilary and Jay.

People brought their fleece with show result cards and histograms and Jay meticulously explained what it all meant – along with various history lesson opportunities along the way!

When we were done with looking at fleece it was time for a delicious barbecue – it was noted that lots of people went back for seconds…..and thirds… 😊

In summary – great weather, great company, a great learning experience and a fantastic spread to round it all off! 

West Shires Alpaca Group Craft Show 2019

The inaugural West Shires Alpaca Group craft show was held at the Royal Three Counties Show.  We wanted to showcase alpaca fibre, giving the public the full picture starting with the animals in the halter show, then the shorn fleeces in the fleece show, how the best fibre can be used as demonstrated by members of the Worcestershire Guild of Weavers, Spinners and Dyers who were spinning and weaving and finally a display of the huge variety of items that can be made with alpaca fibre in the craft show. 

We were very pleased with the 50 entries we received in the four categories and our judges had a tough time deciding on the winners of each class and the best entry in each category.  The public showed a lot of interest and admiration of the display of craft show entries and the demonstrations by the guild members, many being inspired to start a new craft and make use of alpaca fibre.

Our congratulations go to all the entrants, the results are here but special congratulations go to the winners of each category:

Spinning                             Julia Berry              

Weaving                             Anne Cheston

Knitting/Crochet            Julia Berry

Felting                                 Nicola McDowell