The AAA offers a national network of halter and fleece shows which enable breeders to compete and compare their achievements with other herds within a balanced and discerning framework.
Alpaca shows are an integral segment of the industry that play an important role in keeping our industry strong and thriving. They provide an avenue for breeders to showcase the best of their breeding programs. Not only is it an opportunity to market stock, but the show ring also fosters social interaction. The shows are run to strict AAA rules which adhere to the accepted worldwide standards for showing alpacas and fleece.
In alpaca halter classes, the show entries are divided by breed (huacaya and suri), gender, age and colour category in order to set the classes. A judge will assess both conformation and fleece characteristics on each alpaca. Conformation takes into account the phenotype (physical appearance) and soundness of the alpaca. In general, the judge looks for evidence of positive traits and the absence of negative traits. Through visual and hands-on examination, a judge ranks a class on conformation traits and applies a 40% weight to this assessment.
As fibre bearing animals, the fleece producing capabilities of the alpaca is given priority in judgement. Whilst an alpaca must show general conformational soundness for the purpose of reproduction and longevity, It must also exhibit strength and merit as a fleece producer. With both huacaya and suri fleece, a judge is looking for the same general characteristics. Fineness (low micron), density, character (crimp in huacaya and lock structure in suri), brightness/lustre and lack of guard hair must all be expressed as evenly as possible across the alpaca. Merit of the fleece is given a score weight of 60% at which time the judge takes into account both conformation and fleece for the final class placements.
First and second place winners in each class move up to further compete in their respective colour classes at the championship level.
A shorn alpaca fleece may also be entered at a fleece show. Each fleece is scored on a variety of criteria such as fineness and handle, brightness/lustre, crimp in huacaya and lock structure in suri, density, lack of guard hair, consistency across the whole fleece, and the weight of the shorn fleece. Each characteristic is given a score and then the fleeces are ranked.
Results of AAA shows can be found on eAlpaca