Glen Innes became alpaca central this weekend, as breeders and visitors came to the inaugural Glen Innes New England Alpaca Show at the Showground.
Both fluffy Huacayas and curly-haired Suris – 130 animals from nearly 40 studs – were on show this weekend.
Getting up close and personal with an alpaca was a highlight for many of the 400 visitors who came to the open day on Sunday.
“It's quite an experience for people to actually touch an alpaca,” Suzanne Boyle (Humminghills Alpacas), one of the fleece show conveners, said.
“While I was waiting to enter the ring, I would walk whoever I was showing at the time, and let them pat the alpaca. ‘Ooh! I've never been close to an alpaca before! This is wonderful!’ ‘Ah, they're soft!’”
66 fleeces were judged in a closed session on Saturday.
The Supreme Champion Suri was Amethyst Baymax, exhibited by Amethyst Alpacas. Supreme Champion Huacaya was Malakai In the Groove, exhibited by Incamon Alpacas.
The show, organised by the Australian Alpaca Association, has been held in previous years at Uralla, but was brought this year to Glen Innes – and it won’t be the last time.
“It was such a success we're coming back,” Suzanne said. “All the feedback from visitors and the alpaca people particularly said it's a great venue, and we'll do it again.”