Cria Time 2014: Round 2

Well, while we were in Vermillion County, Illinois, the ladies back on the farm were hard at work adding to the show strings of 2015.  As we were packing to leave on Saturday, June 28th, word came in that LUA Destiny Status gave birth to a 32.5lb girl, sired by Solid Rock’s Milestone, named Milestone’s Lluminous Moonstone.  Mooney is SO starkly white with just the lightest patch of tan on her left cheek.  It should prove to be fun to keep her clean.

Milestone's Lluminous Moonstone @ 5 days.

Milestone’s Lluminous Moonstone @ 5 days.

So, after we got home from Illinois late Saturday night / early Sunday morning, the fun continued on Sunday June 29th.  The bald man (Steve) happened to look out at the barn at noon to see East Fork Oksana in process of giving birth to our largest cria to date.  Oksana gave birth to a beautiful light rose gray female sired by Solid Rock’s Milestone.  The new young lady, named Milestone’s Lluminous Stardust is big, leggy and full of energy.

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Milestone’s Lluminous Stardust just one hour old.

But that’s not all.  Not to be outdone, Hope Floats gave birth just hours later to a nice sized dark rose gray boy.  Sired by Solid Rock’s Milestone, Milestone’s Lluminous Jupiter was named after the Roman god of Sky and Thunder, not to mention the largest planet in our solar system.  We are hoping our luck of self fulfilling prophecies when it comes to naming will work in our favor this time.

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Milestone’s Lluminous Jupiter at one hour old.

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2014 Vermillion County (Illinois) Fair

We made our annual trip to Danville, IL for the Vermillion County Fair.  This year they hosted a ALSA/ILR-SD double show all in one day.  Boy the two judges could not have been more different.

The first half of the day was ALSA halter and ILR-SD performance.  Their were 14 of us that made the trip and boy did we keep the humans running!  The ALSA judge, Rick Neal, just didn’t like our movement and only seemed to have eyes for one farm.

In ALSA halter we only had one highlight:

  • Dazee (ARR Bedazzl’s 3 Daze Grayce) took Reserve Grand Champion in Light Wool Females

However, in ILR-SD Halter, the judge had much different ideas.  Our highlights during the afternoon judging were many:

  • Tracker (PVL Fast Track): Grand Champion Suri Male
  • Stormie (Timone’s Raynestorm): Reserve Grand Champion Suri Male
  • Pyxie (Bravado’s Simple Pyxis): Grand Champion Silky Female
  • Dazee (ARR Bedazzl’s 3 Dayze Grayce): Reserve Grand Champion Silky Female
  • Stella (ALL Cassius’ Final Constellation): Reserve Grand Champion Light Wool Female
  • Dazz (Bedazzl): Grand Champion Heavy Wool Male
  • Celee (LUA Celebrity Status): Grand Champion Non-Breeder

In ILR-SD Senior Youth Performance, Celee and Aspen took Grand Champion.

In ALSA Senior Youth Performance, Celled found his kryptonite.  Two young calves stalled next to the course kept his attention and he did not perform well.  He and Aspen placed 3rd overall.  Quite a difference from his performance before the calves showed up.

All in all, it was another successful trip to Vermillion County, Illinois.

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Cria Time 2014: Round 1

On May 28th, the first round of spring babies got underway with MBL Lady Gaga giving birth to a nice sized double-coated female sired by PVL Lock-n-Luster.  The new kid, Lock’s Lluminous Halley’s Comet, is mostly white with a tan saddle evenly draped on both sides.

Halley

Lock’s Lluminous Halley’s Comet at 1 day old,

 

One week later, On June 6th, GHLC Tommi gave birth to a big suri girl sired by PVL Lock-n-Luster named Lock’s Lluminous Andromeda.  Andi has a lot of her Father’s colors including browns, blacks and grays with just those two white legs to give a hint of her mother’s pure whiteness.

Lock's Lluminous Andromeda at 3 days old.

Lock’s Lluminous Andromeda at 3 days old.

 

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The Gathering 2014

Not the best show for us.  We definitely ran into a judge that does not like our style.  Our two highlights of the show:

  • Celee (LUA Celebrity Status) with  Aspen Auld: Grand Champion Senior Youth Performance!
  • Dazz (Bedazzl): 1st place Medium Wool Adult Male

We had lots of fun seeing old friends and making new ones.  The humans even brought home a new girl, CTW Night Music, from the LFA Sale to add to their already impressive string of young females.  The barn is full of fine young ladies to become a great foundation for us or someone wise enough to buy them.

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New Year, New Show Season: Heartland 2014

Well, April 25th, 2014 was the official start to show season for us llamas!  After watching the humans packing the trailer for 2 weeks, it was time to load the llamas.

I don’t know what they were thinking, but they rounded up 4 of us show veterans and TEN (10) rookies!  With 4 of us over 2 years old and 10 kids under a year, it was a crowded trailer, but we still had a little room.  Anyway, we rolled into Webster City, Iowa along with 152 other llamas from 42 farms, unloaded, got groomed and made our way to the show ring.

The show started on Saturday and some things took on familiar looks and some things were very different.  First of all, Aspen and Dazz (Bedazzl) went out and won Senior Youth Showmanship.  Nothing different there for the 2013 ILR-SD Points Champs.  But then, in Adult Showmanship, the bald man (Steve) and his mate (Sandy) BOTH competed.  Steve worked with Celee (LUA Celebrity Status) and Sandy took a relative rookie, Bug (A. Lluminous Lightning Bug) in as her teammate.  In a big class of 11 with 9 other very experienced showman, their expectations were low.  Well, imagine their surprise when Steve took 2nd and Sandy 4th!  That gave us some indication this may be a very different year.

In other results…

  • Celee (LUA Celebrity Status) took 1st in Senior Youth Freestyle Obstacle and Senior Youth Companion/PR, 2nd in Senior Youth Pack and an overall Grand Champion for Aspen in Senior Youth Performance.  He also took Reserve Grand Champion in Non-Breeder.
  • Bedazzl took 1st in Adult Medium Wool Male.
  • Beast (Heatwave’s Beasty Hope) took 1st in Light Wool Two Year Old Male
  • Dazee (ARR Bedazzl’s 3 Dayze Grace) took 2nd in Juvenile Silky Female to the eventual Best of Show winner in her very first show out.
  • Celeste (Milestones Lluminous Celestial Skye) took 3rd in the largest class of the day (Medium Wool Juvenile Female) in her first show.

Others did well for their first time out as well, but the competition was as tough as ever.  Several farms from Wisconsin, known for their national dominance, were there and brought in some amazing animals.  We don’t know what they are feeding them up there, but they sure are big for In the end, the humans were happy with the general outcome.

If that wasn’t enough, we picked a new kid at the show.  Aspen brought home her purchase from the March Llama Madness auction.  Tracker (PVL Fast Track) is a good looking silky male with awesome bone and solid conformation.  He will make a great addition to the show string, but adding one more to the trailer on the way home (now 15) was about all that trailer could handle.  Good thing the kids are still small.

It was a great start to the 2014 season.  Can’t wait for what’s next. Sounds like the next few weekend are very busy with human activities.  Aspen is some sort of human conformation show (pageant) next weekend, then we will be doing public relations for the Cedar Rapids K9 fund raiser, then Aspen graduates from high school, THEN we may be going to Badgerland Llama Show in Wisconsin.

Stay tuned!

 

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Winter 2013/2014 Recap

Just a short recap of the winter that we thought would never end.  The severity of winter started right after the first of the new year.  Temperatures on January 5th, 2014 dropped to -20* with wind chills of -45*.  This pattern locked in for all of January and February.  Where we usually see a thaw in January and February, one never materialized this year.  The humans worked hard shuttling llamas in and out of the heated nursery to warm up.  And, where we llamas would normally be able to battle through a normal winter even if we had some other health issue, this winter really took it’s toll on any llama that had any other weakness.

We lost 5 good llamas this winter, and many other farms had losses equal to and beyond ours.  While the weather experts said it was the worst winter in 3 decades, the local farmers and ranchers said it was the worst they had EVER seen.

We hope you all made it through the winter well and we look forward to seeing you on the show circuit.

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2013 Recap

So, to put a lid on the 2013 season I have some llama statistics for you:

  • Shows: 13
  • States: 9
  • Miles: @8,000
  • Grand Champions: 32
  • Reserve Grand Champions: 18
  • Weary Llamas: 6

On top of that some national awards were achieved along the way:

  • Lulu (LUA Hallelujah Status)
    • Finished her ALSA Halter Championship
    • Placed 2nd in 2013 ILR-SD Halter Points
  • Celee (LUA Celebrity Status)
    • Finished his ILR-SD UAP Halter Championship
    • Finished his ILR-SD Halter Championship
    • Won the 2013 ILR-SD Points Championship for Non-Breeder Adult, nearly tripling his nearest competitor.
    • Helped Aspen win the 2013 ILR-SD National Points Championship in Senior Youth Performance.
  • Bedazzl
    • Won the ILR-SD National Points Championship for Adult Male, doubling the second place llama.
    • Helped Aspen win the 2013 ILR-SD National Points Championship for Senior Youth Showmanship.
  • Quaker (Four Hawke’s Earthquake)
    • Finished his ILR-SD UAP Halter Championship.
  • Beast (Heatwave’s Beastly Hope)
    • National Champion Light Wool Male at the ILR Gathering.
    • Finished his ILR-SD UAP Halter Championship
  • Aspen & Quaker
    • National Runners-Up Senior Youth Performance at the ILR Gathering.
  • The Girl (Aspen)
    • ILR-SD National Points Championship in Senior Youth Performance.
    • ILR-SD National Points Championship for Senior Youth Showmanship.

All in all a FANTASTIC year and one we could never dream of duplicating.  But we will give it our best shot each and every time in the ring.

Hope to see you in the ring in 2014!

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2013 Wrap Up

Sorry for the delay in updating this blog, but it’s hard to type with frozen pads.  Brrrrrr!  This has been one brutal winter.  Anyway, I’ve decided to go ahead and wrap up the 2013 season in this posting so we can get to the business of 2014.

The Iowa State Fair was largely a boys only show for us with the usual concentration on performance.  Quaker took a Grand in Silky Male.  Celee and the girl won Grand in Senior Youth Performance and Celee also won Grand in Non-Breeder.

The Nebraska State Fair was next.  That was our first time to Grand Island and it was a nice trip.  The usual boys went along with Lulu and Lluna.  The judge there really liked us!  Celee and the girl (Aspen) took grand in Senior Youth Performance with a near perfect run score of 99/100.  That score plus his 93/100 and 96/100 really set the bar.  Then the girl and Quaker took Grand in Open Novice Performance with scores of 73, 76 and 78 out of 80.  High marks indeed.  Celee won Grand Champion Non-Breeder, Quaker was Grand Champion Medium Wool Male and the old pro Lulu took Grand in Medium Wool Females with the Reserve going to Lluna.  Don’t worry Lluna, it’s never bad to lose to the old pro.  That grand also completed Lulu’s ALSA Halter Championship.  The old gal has won about everything a llama can in halter.  She even helped the bald man win the Open Showmanship class.  Now it’s time for her to pass that incredible lineage on.  The boys are lined up to have a date with her.  In all, we entered 5 divisions and won Grands in all with a Reserve kicker.  Not a bad weekend at all.

September was quiet since the LFA is now in conjunction with the Gathering, so our next event was Lama Market in Menomonee, WI.  We took a few different faces on this trip.  Pixie and the new boy Peeta joined the fun.  Peeta’s mom Destiny came along for the ride to make sure the kid didn’t get too stressed and even stepped into the ring.  Coda came along to work with the girl’s boyfriend so it was a fuller trailer than most of the year.  Celee and the girl took Reserve in Senior Youth Performance; Celee took Grand in Non-Breeder; Quaker took Grand in Silky Male, Dazz took Reserve in Medium Heavy Male and Pixie took Grand in Silky Female.

The end of October we set off for Shawnee, OK for the ALSA National Show.  Just the 4 boys again.  No performance as the girl had lots of school activities going on as usual.  They really need to hold this show at a different time of year if they want the youth to participate. Anyway, Razz and Celee took 2nd place in their classes (Med Adult Male and Adult Non-Breeder) while Quaker took 3rd in Med 2 yr old Male and Beast took 4th in the same.  Not the show we had hoped for, but when your at the national championships, 2nd, 3rd, and 4th aren’t too bad.  Heck, most llamas don’t even qualify to get here.

12 shows down, 1 to go!

We closed the season the second weekend of November in Louisville, KY.  The North American International Livestock Expo is a show we have wanted to attend but never could make it.  After another long drive across those dang Indiana roads, which cost us a tire this time, and 10 hours later we were there.  This show was the boys, Pixie, Peeta, and two newbies, Bug and Stella.  Things started pretty good with Peta and Pixie both earning 1st place in their silky classes.  Bug earned a first in Heavy Juvenile Female and Stella was second in Medium Juvenile Female.  Although the judge said she would have done better if she stood still.  No performance this time either as the girl was in something called “a musical” back at school.  She would have liked to be here though as one of the only two kids to beat her all year was here.  We know she wanted another chance.  Anyway.. the rest of the show was not as productive as hoped but Celee again came through in the end.  This was a two day show, ILR on Saturday and ALSA on Sunday.  Both days we were without a Grand or Reserve with the final division to go.  Not a position we had been in all year.  On Saturday, in a class of 21 non-breeder adults, Celee placed 2nd and then took Reserve.  Sunday, in largely the same group, Celee took first and Grand switching places with the llama that beat him on Saturday.  Thanks Celee, you saved our llama bacon!

Up Next: The summary!

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Three-Peat: Vermillion County Illinois Fair

This is something we’ve never done before, three weekends in a row on the road in the bouncy box (trailer).  Granted, the last two weekends were shows close to home, but we have never gone to shows this often.  So, for the third time in three weeks in the month of June, off we go.

Some of us have been to this show before.  Just two years ago we made our first trip over to Vermillion County.  It’s a small county fair near the east central Illinois border town of Danville.  We have logged a few miles on I-80 and I-74 already this year so no surprises on this trip.  The bald man, who was by himself this trip, learned his lesson on our first trip through here in April and avoided the construction delays on the east side of Peoria, so 4.5 hours later we were ready to unload.  Friday night was a little steamy as we settled into our stalls and the humans talked of rain overnight and Saturday.  Baldy got us all set up and went into the bouncy box for the night.

The rain held off Friday night, but Saturday morning it started to rain as the grooming torture began.  It was not bad at first, the rain that is, but it got heavier and the stalls the girls were set up in started to flood.  Baldy had to stop grooming and move the girls’ stall panels, mat, hay and water to another location farther inside the open barn to keep them dry.  Luckily, us guys had a stall that didn’t allow the rain water to creep in.  Our friends from Kentucky and Georgia showed up Saturday morning too.  It’s always nice to see our friends from around the country.

This was a one day show, but it was a double show.  We had two judges; one judging ALSA in the morning and the other for ILR-SD in the afternoon.  Since baldy was here on his own, there was no performance for Celee, Dazz or Quaker.  In fact, Quaker didn’t even make the trip.  So we started with ALSA suri males which meant the young guy Coda (The Code Master) was up first.  Coda placed 1st place in the yearling class and took Reserve Grand Champion Suri Male.  Since ALSA does not have a silky division we were on hold for the Light Wool division.  Next up was Beast (Heatwave’s Beastly Hope) in the yearling class.  He placed first in his class and then took Grand Champion honors.  The kid is hot!  That makes 4 Grands and 1 Reserve in his last 4 shows!

The medium wool girls were next which meant the old pro Lulu (LUA Hallelujah Status).  She was given 2nd in her class which had many of the other handlers in shock.  Rumor had it the judge was a friend of the owner of the 1st place llama.  From our view it didn’t look like the right choice, but the decision was done.  Lulu did receive the Reserve Grand Champion ribbon which was still a slap in the face to her, but she didn’t let it bother her too much like the old pro she is.  The medium wool boys were next which meant Dazz (Bedazzl).  He placed first in the adult class and then Grand Champion.  We bought along a young heavy wool girl Lluna and she was up.  She placed 3rd in her class.  Our last ALSA class was the Non-Breeders which meant it was Celee’s (LUA Celebrity Status) turn.  He took first place in the adult class and Reserve Grand Champion in the division.  That made our ALSA show results 2 Grands and 3 Reserves.  Not bad for a morning’s work!

After a short lunch break and some touch up grooming, it was back into the ring for ILR-SD.  It was a new judge this time around so no knowing what these results would be.  Coda was first again in the suri males.  He placed 1st in his juvenile class again but this time he took Grand Champion.  Ata boy, way to get the ball rolling!  Beast was up next in light wool, but this judge thought he was more medium than light so he got bumped up.  Bring on the medium wool ladies next.  Lulu was ready to show everyone the morning results were a fluke and she strutted in the ring like she owned the place.  It worked!  A 1st place and a Grand Championship were her reward for rockin’ the ring.  Several other handlers commented “That’s how it should have been this morning.”  We thought so too.  Anyway…

Having been bumped to medium wool, Beast placed 3rd in the yearling class and Dazz took first again in the adult class and then repeated his morning feat of Grand Champion.  Dazz IS a stud in more ways than one.  Lluna took to the ring for heavy wool and placed 2nd this time.  Good job girl, work your way up.  Now it was Celee’s turn to wrap up the day in Non-Breeder.  He again took 1st in adult and in a closely contested division, where the judge stopped and started checking wool between Celee and the two year-old, the judge gave Celee the Reserve Grand Champion.  When the judge went to the wool, we knew we were in in trouble as the boy who won had amazing looking wool.  Looked like a well-deserved win to us.  We’ll take the reserve and be happy.

A solid show all around if we do say so ourselves.  ILR totals: 3 Grands and 1 Reserve.  Overall: 5 Grand Champions and 4 Reserve Grand Champions.  A day like that always makes the late night drive home much easier.

Another 640 miles on the road for 2013 and rumor has it we are getting some time off after the 5 shows in 3 weeks.  It’s about time!

Next Up:  State Fair Time!

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Iowa Double Dip: Youth and Summer Llama Fest

What’s better than a show close to home?  A second weekend in a row with an in-state show close to home.  And not just one show, but two shows in one weekend.

The weekend of June 22nd & 23rd was the Iowa Youth Llama Fest on Saturday and the Iowa Summer Llama Fest on Sunday both held in Eldora, Iowa, a nice 80 mile trip from home.  And, since the Saturday show was performance only and didn’t start until noon, we were loaded onto the trailer on Saturday morning allowing us to have a full night’s sleep at home instead of on the road.

As Saturday was a performance only day and consisted of mostly 4H exhibitors from central Iowa, the girl (Aspen) brought along a new kid to play with in the performance ring.  Coda (The Code Master), not yet a year old, was getting his first shot at the performance game.  We all had a lot of fun on Saturday and took things lightly.  Coda did well, but nothing to write home about, but the girl and Dazz (Bedazzl) did go into Senior Youth Showmanship and placed 1st.

Sunday was back to business for us in the halter ring for the Iowa Summer Llama Fest.  The girl and Dazz again went into the Senior Youth Showmanship class and took 1st place, they are quite a team.  Next up was the light/medium wool male division.  Beast (Heatwave’s Beastly Hope) and Dazz each took 1st place in their respective age classes.  In the division, Beast took Reserve Grand Champion to get things really rolling.  Celee (LUA Celebrity Status) was up next in his Non-Breeder division.  Getting back to his winning ways, Celee won 1st place and Grand Champion Non-Breeder, making this his first Non-Breeder Grand and a sign of things to come.

As usual it was a pretty easy going and light hearted weekend close to home for us.  It’s always a nice show to take a break from the rigors of the bigger shows, but we look forward to hanging out with our local friends very much.

Next Up: ALSA Fun in Eastern Illinois

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