First Open Alpaca Fleece Show at Crookwell

THE Crookwell AP&H Show dates back to 1878 and has a proud history attracting local, state and interstate exhibitors and participants to this annual event.

The Crookwell Show has remained an important tradition of the Crookwell community. The historic dome pavilion construction was completed for the 1900 Crookwell Show and was moved in its entirety in 1925 along with other buildings to a new site.  The sheep pavilion and dome pavilion still remain on the current site.

The Crookwell Show has seen changes to events over the years that included horse drawn ploughing competitions in 1892; the introduction of competition wood chopping in 1903; trotting using a saddle rather than the modern day gigs 1910-11; shearing competition by blade rather than machines; heavy horse section and horse showing; working dog competitions and of course the livestock showing of beef, dairy and sheep that have gone on to win broad ribbons at the Royal Easter Show in Sydney.

The 2014 Crookwell AP&H Show will be held on the weekend of 8-9th February, 2014.  In keeping with farming change, the Crookwell Show is including a first ever Open Alpaca Fleece section, that will allow small to large studs and hobby farmers to participate in an open event where their fleeces can be judged. 

The organiser of the event, Susan Reynolds stated, “We really want to encourage a more open exhibition that demonstrates the variety of this extraordinary fibre. By opening up the event to anyone who has Alpaca, we believe it will be an exciting opportunity for local and interstate Alpaca owners and breeders to participate. I would encourage Alpaca owners who have not previously exhibited, to get cracking and prepare your fleece for showing, particularly if they have coloured Alpaca.” 

In the past, the Crookwell AP&H Alpaca Fleece Show was only open to current members of the Australian Alpaca Association.  This excluded a number of Alpaca owners who have an interest in and passion for Alpaca.

The Open Alpaca Fleece Show will accept entries representing the two Alpaca breeds, Huacaya and Suri, across all colours and ages with awards and prizes for the best white and coloured fibre entered.  Entry forms for fleeces entering the Show need to be received by January 23, 2014 and are located on the Crookwell Show web site.

International Alpaca judge, Karen Caldwell, will be judging the Alpaca event on Friday 7th February.  Karen Caldwell has judged Alpaca across Australia and internationally for many years and Crookwell AP&H consider it a privilege to have a renowned judge for this inaugural event.

Susan added, “It is also a great opportunity to allow the public to appreciate the quality, diverse colour and fineness being harvested from these wonderful animals, who originated from South America. Thanks to the hard work conducted by Australian breeders over the years, we can be very proud of locally produced Alpaca fibre.”

It is estimated that the Alpaca industry has over 75,000 registered animals across Australia, increasing annually.  As a result of selective breeding over the past 30 years, the industry has realized considerable improvements to fibre quality and quantity being harvested.  By leveraging the experience and knowledge gained from the wool industry, the average Alpaca micron has improved over the last decade. Australian Alpaca farmers are considered valuable fibre contributors.

Alpaca continues to be a sort after natural fibre due to its reported softness, extraordinary warmth, sustainability, hypoallergenic qualities and versatility.  Australian Alpaca fibre is in demand across the world for its consistent fine micron and quality.

Huacaya Alpaca are curious and intelligent

Huacaya Alpaca are curious and intelligent