A Taste of Life at Windrush Alpacas

January 25, 2008

Those Pesky Forms!

The extended entry deadline for the TxOLAN Alpaca Spectacular is today.   This means that online registration through the TxOLAN website will be closed at midnight tonight and any paperwork relating to an entry to the show has to be postmarked with today’s date.

The show deadline was extended from January 15 to January 25 due to the website being down for a couple of days, but what is amazing to me is the number of entries that have been submitted since the original entry deadline.  There were a lot of people either waiting until the last minute to register for the show or who decided to come to the show at the last minute.  Now, alpaca breeders are notorious at being late at submitting their entries, but I think this is the biggest last minute rush I have seen so far!

Submitting entry forms to an alpaca show should be an easy thing, and once you have entered a couple of shows you get the hang of it quite easily.  To someone new to alpaca shows though it can be daunting.  I can still remember looking at the forms for the first show we entered and wondering what on earth I was supposed to do with them.

As the alpaca show system has become more refined, so it seems that there is more required on each form and more to be done to ensure entry to the show.

At the first show we entered we basically needed to know our animals name, date of birth, color and their ARI (Alpaca Registry Inc.) number.   You then had to figure out which class to enter and put that information on your form too.  At that time it was not unusual to be showing your alpaca in a class of one, which meant that you got a blue ribbon, but there wasn’t much worth behind it, as you didn’t have any competition.

These days all of that information is required, but also needed is the alpacas parentage information, the alpacas shearing date, copies (note the use of the plural) of the alpacas ARI certificate and a disclaimer statement regarding any business you may have done with a show judge.  Then there is the health paperwork too – proof of BVDV testing, a record of the alpaca’s microchip number, a Certificate of Veterinary Inspection, any health test results required by the state you are traveling too – the list just keeps growing!

Along the way there have been the forms that have been discarded, such as the one that had a veterinarian declare that the male alpacas had two testicles, the female alpaca only four teats and that none of the alpacas had umbilical hernias.

The paperwork is so much for shows that I now have a special folder in which I keep all of the paperwork for the show that we are next traveling too.  From the day that I register for the show, this is the folder where everything goes, from copies of the show forms and health papers to hotel reservations.  The folder is invaluable, but heaven help me the day I accidentally leave it at home!

I can truly sympathize with the alpaca breeder who is attending their first show.  There is a lot to remember to do in preparation for the show, and a lot to do at the show.  Fortunately alpaca breeders are a friendly bunch and are usually more than ready to help each other out, especially when they discover it is someone’s first show.

As show superintendents for the TxOLAN Alpaca Spectacular, Ric and I are responsible (amongst other things) for checking the correct paperwork is received, creating a database of the show entries, sorting the entries into their appropriate groups and also creating a class schedule.  I will give you three guesses what Ric and I are going to be doing this weekend (and most likely into the beginning of next week) – processing all of those entry forms!


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