LANA NEWS Spring 2015
Llama Association of North America
Included In Thisquotes, Issue “Customer A Halter Judge’s are called “pull quotes,”
an excellent way to Splish Splash….. demonstrate your suc RMP cess andChillout— put emphasis
super cool llama
on your values. They Spotlight on Wild Oak also add visual interest
to your newsletter...”
2015 Hobo Classic Superintendents: Chene & Andrea
Kids & Camelids Youth Show—2015
Who’s Your Fiber Daddy? - Kim Abercrombie
Message From The President
Chene Mogler, Mogler’s Madness
Dear LANA Members, It’s a new year and I would like to take a brief moment to readdress the LANA mission. As your president, my goal is to help LANA continue to grow, both in memberships and events. To that end, your Board of Directors has been hard at work planning new activities that everyone can participate in. Last year we sent out a questionnaire, asking what is it that you as members want from LANA. At the top of the list were education, youth activities and great shows. This year, we took the LANA Hobo Classic Show back to its roots and saw an increase in participation and energy, with many new members showing at a LANA event for the first time. We have also scheduled a new youth show, combining showing and education by offering a performance clinic along with the competition. We are also proud to have the opportunity to provide a hands-on workshop being taught by some of the most respected veterinarians in the camelid community. We are excited to be bringing LANA to the Vacaville Fiesta Days Parade in May and everyone is welcome. We also hope to offer a fun, easy and informative real-life hiking in the mountains experience. We are planning many other projects for this year and the years to come. LANA’s other function is to provide an avenue for llama rescue. LANA Lama Lifeline directs its funds to llamas and alpacas who are in need of rescue, veterinary care, transportation, etc. There are many people involved and they donate much of their time and their own money to these activities. I would like to thank all of those people for their generosity. As LANA members, we have a chance to make LANA a vibrant and viable club which stands for the good values we all hold dear. LANA, like other clubs nationwide, is feeling the economic times we are in. But we can be a club that we are proud to be part of. I hope I have started us down that path and look forward to all of us having a wonderful time exploring it together. Thank you for your support and membership in LANA. 2
Your President, Chene Mogler
LLAMA LLAMA LLAMA Quote from the movie, I’ll Be There:
Seems like llamas show up everywhere these days. People are finding out what we’ve known all along…..llamas rock.
“It’s a llama. They’re a prestigious animal, you know.”
Have you seen a fun llama reference that you want to share? Send it to lanaquestions@gmail .com and we’ll put it in the next newsletter.
Contents Message from the President…………………………………………………………………………. Pg 2 Judging Halter Classes……………………………………………………………………………….. Pg 5 Splish Splash I was Taking a Bath………………………………………………………………….. Pg 16, 17, 18 RMP Chillout………………………………………………………………………………………..…. Pg 12, 13, 14 Spotlight on Wild Oak Llamas……………………………………………………………………….
Pg 19, 20, 21, 22
Selecting a Herdsire from a Fiber Perspectives…………………………………………….…….
Pg 6, 7, 8
LANA Annual Award Recipients…………………………………………………………………….
2016 to be Year of the Llama?.................................................................................................. Pg 25 LANA Youth Essay & Art Contest Winners 2014………………………………………………….
Pg 26, 27
2015 LANA Show Pictures…………………………………………………………………...….…..
Pg 34 through 41
Margaret Drew of Stonehenge Llamas
Pamela Mogler of Mogler’s Madness
Margaret does it all. She’s a judge, an exhibitor, a performance course designer and show superintendent, a sponsor and a vendor at shows. LANA is proud to honor her with the 2014 HummmDinger Award. Thank you, Margaret, for everything you do for the llama community.
Pamela is a constant exhibitor and volunteer at many llama shows each year. She is involved in FFA while participating in several school sports and maintaining an excellent grade point average. LANA is proud to honor Pam with the 2014 Youth FollowMe Award. Congratulations Pama!
First, I would like to say that I am very honored to have been asked to write a short summary of what I look for and like when judging Llama Halter classes. I have had a fairly extensive judging career within the sheep industry and am now enjoying starting off into a new specie. Let's start with the handler. I appreciate an exhibitor who is dressed appropriately for the occasion and environment. To be honest, unless the class is showmanship, I will pay very little attention to the handler. I can say that many times, I have seen exhibitors dress like they are headed for a Ball, big hats, shawls, suits, bangles, high heels, etc. Folks, we are at livestock event.... chances are good there will be dust, mud, wind, uneven terrain, llamas spooking from all of the wild attire. Save the formal wear for the party afterwards. This is not to say, however, that you should wear your barn clothes and worn out shoes. Look, feel and be appropriate. Now for the reason you came to the show. I begin my thought process with my first impression as each animal steps into the ring. First one in â€“ wow, love it ( will see if it can or can't walk) , second one comes in, ehh , kind of plain, sure the owners love it , 2 nd place so far, third one in â€“ gosh, hope it does real well in performance.... and so it goes. As I watch these in their movement around the ring I can pretty much visualize what they are going to look like standing still. Those with short choppy strides will generally be a little post legged, those that travel narrow will most likely stand close up front and/or behind, those that drop their neck could be ewe necked, etc. I will admit that there have been times when an amount of fiber has been deceitful and I must adjust my impression. My ideal animal is one that has balance, strength, correctness and beauty. Balance= This is hard to define, but for me, all of the parts fit together to make sort of a square. Off that square comes the neck which is at least as long as half the size of the square. Strength= In keeping with one of the original purposes of these animals in South America as a beast of burden, I am a big proponent of strong pasterns and toplines. Along with skeletal strength , I also like to see the llamas having some muscle shape and flesh on their frames. Correctness = Starting at the ground, strong pasterns, straight adequate bone, smooth shoulders, adequate width of chest, smooth blending neck that comes off the top of shoulder, straight spine, deep ribbed, straight hipped, high tail set, properly angulated hocks, width between hocks equal to that of front legs and back down to another set of strong pasterns. When this animal is set into motion, it takes a long smooth stride, it's topline does not sway and it's neck remains vertical. Beauty = The eye of the beholder... To wrap this up, it is close to impossible to describe the perfect llama. First off, who can define perfect? In my opinion, it doesn't exist. Secondly, what is good for me and ten others, is only second rate for another ten folks, and vice versa. To me, we must focus on and appreciate the fact that there is a multitude of functions for these animals and within each specific function, there is a form that is more appropriate. If you are happy with your function and form, and yet perhaps do not place well at a show I judge, stay your ground. It was only my opinion on that given day.
SELECTING A Herdsire FROM A FIBER Perspective By Fran Soukup First of all and right up front, I want to emphasize physical and reproductive soundness and correct conformation as the top priority before fiber becomes a consideration. Style, presence and disposition are also important traits for the llama. Given these traits, the breeder can then refine their Herdsire search by also considering the potential herdsires fleece. Setting Yourself Up For Success Before shopping for a herd sire from a fiber perspective, you need to do your homework and be able to answer the following questions: • Can you effectively evaluate fiber when you see and feel it? Do you know what to look for and how to assess it? Are you qualified to select an animal based on the quality of its fiber? What fiber characteristics do you currently have in your herd? What are the prioritized fiber characteristics you are looking for in a stud? Quality Fiber ... How Do You Know It When You See It! /Feel It? Read about it; attend wool seminars and workshops; learn about other fiber producing animals; talk to people; attend shows, sales and auctions; and visit farms and ranches. Get your hands into as many fleeces as you can to help your sense of touch distinguish different features. Fiber Characteristics Fineness: A comparison of different diameters of fiber within the fleece. The finest fibers are soft and sensuous, while the coarse fibers are prickly and stiff. Fineness in a suri feels cool and slick.
Density: The number of fibers per lock or per handful (influences fleece weight and the yield of individual animals). The thickness of the fleece or the lock can be felt or a shorn fleece can be weighed.
Luster: Sheen, gloss or brightness – the ability of fleece to reflect light.
Hand: The tactile feel of the fleece to the hand. Hand evaluates the feel of the whole fleece.
Guard Hair: The stiff, straight hair like fiber within the fleece, which protects it from debris. In working, pack llamas, this is a desirable trait. However, in finished products, it will feel prickly.
Crimp: The curliness or waviness of the individual wool-like fibers which distinguishes them from the straight hair-like fibers within a fleece. Crimp affects the elasticity, bounce and loft of the finished product.
The most important fiber characteristics are fineness, hand, density, luster, and production. The only way you can learn to recognize these features when you see and feel them is to handle as many fleeces as possible - and continuously hone your skills. Get your hands into that fleece! What Fiber Characteristics Do You Currently Have In Your Herd Study the offspring of your dams. What are they producing with different combinations? Some family “niches” creates certain qualities - i.e. fineness, luster, dense fleece. Have you identified these in your existing herd? The better the fiber of the females, the faster you will make progress. Otherwise, it can take four or more generations to achieve your goal.
Prioritize Your Goals and Stick to Them! You need to select the characteristic that is most important to you and stick to it. This is important because some traits work against each other. Once a characteristic is ‘fixed’, then you can focus on a second characteristic - i.e. fineness and crimp.” There isn’t much data available regarding what traits reproduce more readily than others. All we have is antidotal information.... Best guess: Every aspect of fiber is quantitatively inherited. Characteristics such as density and length are much clearer cut than other aspects, such as color. It takes generations (often many years) to “fix” particular characteristics. Try to stay away from trends and avoid the temptation to take short-cuts. If you consistently breed for the characteristics you are aiming for, the animal will sell themselves to people looking for these same traits. Narrowing the Field of Breeders and Pedigrees Once you have prioritized your “fiber goals,” look for llamas that reflect the traits you are looking for. Peruse every llama sales catalog you can lay your hands on. Look at websites. Which breeders are doing well in fleece shows? Futurities? Study their bloodlines, going back as many generations as possible. Look for prepotency and consistency in throwing desirable traits from one generation to the next (taking the dams into consideration). Along the way you will find breeders whose animals are producing what you desire. Obtain a herd list from the International Llama Registry for each of these breeders to study their breeding programs. What bloodlines are contributing to their success? What combinations or “niches” do they repeatedly go back to? What offspring are they retaining for their own breeding programs? Do these bloodlines compliment your own? But, please remember, conformation comes first. Looking For Potential Males and Narrowing Down the List Buying off the farm is by far the best approach, as it provides the opportunity to view and evaluate other animals related to the stud prospect, especially offspring! If you are considering purchasing a male at a sale or auction, find out as much about him as possible before the sale. If possible, take someone with you whose judgment on fiber you respect. Together, check handle, uniformity, color, evenness, density, and overall coverage of fiber. If the male’s offspring are on the farm/ranch, ask to see them. Ask for shorn fleece weight information, if available. Some breeders keep fleece show records, including score cards and fiber samples, of the fleeces they have entered in shows. Once you have found a potential herd sire with the fiber characteristics you desire, assess the odds of reproducing these traits in his crias. Can he reproduce himself, or is he a fluke? If he is a proven stud, look at his production record, evaluate his offspring and their dams. What combinations have produced good results? How effectively did he pass on his fiber? Can he produce animals with fiber the same or better than his? Get your hand into that fleece! What does it feel like? Once you have found a potential herd sire with the fiber characteristics you desire, assess the odds of reproducing these traits in his crias. A look at an animal’s progeny is the only way to determine if he is capable of breeding true. Of course, this requires the same critical look at the dams of these offspring.” Can he reproduce himself, or is he a fluke? If he is a proven stud, look at his production record, evaluate his offspring and their dams. What combinations have produced good results? How effectively did he pass on his fiber? Can he produce animals with fiber better than his? Or, what are his siblings producing? Measuring the Results of a New Sire The offspring of two animals with certain characteristics can actually exceed those characteristics of their parents. Frequency of production is critical. What percent of his crias are better than he is in the traits you are focusing on? Ideally, this is what you would like to achieve with your new male. It is very difficult to predict what a male will produce without looking at progeny of both the dam and sire. Some males are dominant over all females they are bred to and some females completely dominate the stud. The proof is in the offspring, and they should be evaluated over a period of time to assess their development as they mature.
Some Random Thoughts If you are a new breeder, seek assistance from an experienced breeder in identifying a potential herd sire for your herd - particularly if your chief concern is for fiber quality.
Whenever you are raising or evaluating animals for their fiber, do not forget to factor in the importance of good nutrition. A quality nutritional program will enhance the fiber of any animal- just as a poor nutritional program will also deplete its quality and quantity.
You cannot make progress in a breeding program if you sell the llamas that meet your criteria! While some may say it is important to sell your best animals to establish a reputation for quality, these animals are also the key to your future.
An outstanding llama, whether it is North or South American, fine-fibered or not, will always sell for good money.
Changing to a “ropey” look or an “in” color, or breed type, may take longer than the trend itself lasts. If these are traits you want, start with foundation stock that has these traits in its background, and go from there.
Focusing on fiber is not a fad, it is a necessity. It doesn’t take an “expert” to produce quality fiber animals, but the more you know, the better your choices and decisions will be. A successful breeding program is based on a clear vision and prioritized focus on what traits to go after first. A Final Thought All llamas are fiber animals and can be promoted as such - with an emphasis on specific applications related to the kind of fiber they are producing. Most fiber can effectively be used for something, providing it hasn’t been trashed or damaged on the animal. Even coarse fiber or fiber with a great deal of guard hair can be used for wall hangings, floor coverings, and often incorporated in felting projects. Many llamas’ downy undercoats can be effectively brushed out for use, leaving the guard hairs on the animal. The quality of this fiber will often amaze you!
From the beginning, it's always been Chill Out- RMP Chill Out. By Eileen Ditsler, Icehouse Llamas
I grew up wanting a horse, I got my first one when I was 14. For the next 16 years, I felt that I would always have horses in my life. Then one day by accident I discovered llamas and hiking with llamas. Within a month I had two llamas, in another year I had 5 llamas and no more horses. Now it's been nearly 20 years and I can't imagine not having llamas in my life. Mostly, that's because of my Chill Out. He was my mentor, friend and most challenging llama I have ever trained.
Chill Out was the first of two llamas I bought. Others have come and gone, but Chill will always be number one. He was a very high strung individual. And little did I know when I bought him, he was also extremely intelligent. So, a rookie llama owner and a high strung, too smart for his own good llama - sounds like a recipe for disaster? Well, Chill and I had our ups and downs. I went to every training seminar I could and took lessons from experienced llama trainers. Chill and I along with the rest of my llamas soon began showing every chance we could. It wasn't very pretty in the beginning. But I knew Chill had talent. We just kept working at it, paying our dues, always learning new things. Chilly respected me, but also expected respect. He wouldn't always just blindly follow and do what I asked. We were a great team and we competed against some really great llama and handlers. In those days the performance classes were very large, at the Grand Nationals there were over 50 llamas in each performance class. We were such regulars at shows, that many expressed surprise when I celebrated my first championship in performance when Chill was six. Everyone assumed that since Chilly and I usually got a first place here and there that we were "the competition". I truly feel that Chill purposely held back from consistently doing well in order to fully educate me and make sure I understood that the llama is the one who calls the shots. I learned humility from Chill. I can appreciate when a llama goes the extra mile for me, because he taught me that it is the llama's choice whether to do so or not. Chill's favorite tricks where the naughty ones he pulled on me in the show ring. I remember him looking me in the eye while he carefully dragged the pad of his foot carefully all the way around the lip of the bucket I was asking him to put his foot into. Or thinking he could make a backing obstacle more fun if he put his back feet up on the bale of straw and back. This llama was in charge. But I also remember him looking me in the eye when the man with a scary Halloween mask petted him, then reached over his back into his pannier to extract a candy, all part of the PR petter at Grand Nationals. He stood still and became a national champion that year. Chill hated scary masks, and it took years before he stopped trying to kick the petter on the course when we'd turn to walk away. Chill Out did that for me. It was a great gift. I still respect him for all the good and naughty things he did. Chill Out came from a big breeder, Sandy Mubarak at Rancho Machu Picchu in 1995. She was a great mentor as well as Sharon Watson from whom I got Diego at the same time as getting Chill Out. Both these wonderful ladies taught me much in the beginning. One of the biggest breakthroughs for me though was attending a click and reward seminar with Jim Logan. Operant conditioning was an eye opening experience. Suddenly, I could pick up feet without a fight and communicate with my llama in ways I had never expected in order to teach more complicated behaviors.
When Chill was seven, I realized we'd have to drive in the cart at nationals if we were going to take the top honors. In those days points earned from driving were included in the computation for performance champion. I took the plunge and bought a cart. Driving became my obsession. Chill took to it naturally as it allowed him to use all that excess energy. One of the highlights of my life was driving him in the 2007 Pasadena Tournament of Roses Parade (also known as the Rose Bowl Parade). Chill proudly trotted nearly the entire 5 mile route. I hope he was as impressed by the experience as I was. He was awesome! Once we were driving, Chill seemed to settle into excelling in the performance arena even more. At the 2003 grand national he was reserve performance champion. We were consistently winning and winning. The driving was then separated as its own division. He was 2005 national performance champion, then 2007 national driving and performance champion. In 2008 my cousin Kaly and Chill were national reserve champion senior youth. He also won another two reserve national driving champions again in 2008 & 2009. It was great fun! I was by then applying my experience with training young llamas. This meant that I had too many to show, so I'd let others show him to see what a cadillac was like. I think Uncle Chilly told stories to the youngsters about showing as it seemed more easy to train them. Sadly, Chill decided when he was 15 that it was time to retire from the show ring. I don't think it was the showing that he was opposed to, it was all the travel. He also knew I had a youngster worthy of being his successor, Icehouse Archangel. But that's a story for another day. In his day, we travelled every year from Southern California to Oregon, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and of course the ALSA Grand National in Missouri then Nebraska. I still go to as many shows as I can. I always take with me my memories of Chill and what he taught me. Chill is still enjoying his retirement at the age of 20. I hope he has many more years. I owe him everything!
Splish-Splash I was taking a bath… By Nick Hauptly Splish-Splash, I was taking a bath… and didn’t know which way to turn. This article will provide detailed insight to my 10 years of personal experience professionally grooming, including what has and has not been effective for me when it comes to washing llamas. Before I start explaining the “Ins and Outs” of different products you must understand that shampoos, conditioners and finishing products cannot fit their function until their subject is clean. That’s right, it’s time to break out your brushes, combs, blowers and phalanges to remove ALL excess crud from your animal. Contrary to popular belief, lock structure will return over time regardless of how much you pick and comb. Once all debris/dead hair is removed, matts have been brushed though in detail, and the fiber is completely combed out - you may introduce your blower to get rid of as much dust and dirt as possible. If you are questioning whether or not your llama is efficiently combed through, it’s not. Once you have exhausted the use of your blower and every possible particle of dirt is absent, break back out your brushes and groom the fiber in the same style that you would to walk it in the show ring. Once these steps are complete, we are ready to begin talking about bathing. (Note: While the use of slicker brushes is generally acceptable to use on problem areas on suris, the blower is not recommended on unshorn animals unless you have greater than 2 weeks for the fleece to fully set back up.) Baths are most effective when administered with warm water. Hot water is damaging to the skin and hair follicle and in contrast, cold water is not near as effective at removing dust/dirt. Saturation is key to providing your beast with a good wash and, as we know, guard hair is designed to repel water. This is when ‘Wash-Wands’ and high water pressure come in handy. When you think you’re done rinsing, rinse again. Your llama must be thoroughly soaked to the skin, head to toe, before you can apply any product.
Choosing a set of products is one of the most challenging steps to scrubbing up you four legged friend. In my experience the cheaper the product, the cheaper the result. Start by examining the fiber in front of you and determining it’s specific needs. After all the grooming is it still filthy? Is it brittle due to extreme grooming? Has the harsh heat caused split ends? Moisturizing Shampoo - These products are thick and protein packed. Moisturizing shampoos are designed for single or double coat llamas who have endured rigorous grooming sessions or exposure to dry climates. Your llamas fiber will have a softer hand and appear more full. Infusium and Nexus have quality, yet affordable shampoos that can really do an impressive job and are available at almost all retail stores nationwide. Stripping Shampoo - Products like Orvus, Mane and Tail, and other basic livestock shampoos are usually close to industrial strength. These products do an excellent job of removing grime and dirt but they are also so damaging that the fiber is prone breakage and burns if left on for too long. I do not recommend using these products for every trip off the ranch, but they definitely prove to be helpful when cleaning up your partner after a long winter. Supermarket Shampoos - Suave, VO5 or Dawn are great examples of inexpensive ways to strip your llama’s fiber of all crud. Like the stripping shampoos listed above, these cheap products will likely separate the dirt from the animal but at the cost of burning the fiber, causing split ends, and leaving a dull appearance if used incorrectly. Reparative Shampoos - Hair/Fiber is alive and it’s not uncommon that it needs to be revitalized. Reparative shampoos are sensitive and often times packed with proteins and vitamins essential to the fiber restoration. Sun or grooming damaged fiber especially should undergo reparative treatment in order to be presented at it’s best. If you are looking for these products, it’s probably best to invest in something salon quality such as Bumble and Bumble’s Gentle Shampoo.
Once you have chosen your appropriate shampoo, it’s time to start scrubbing. Lathering up your llama is essential. The agitation of suds creates a vacuum like suction to remove dust and cellular debris from the skin. Massage the product in anywhere and everywhere there is fiber, including the legs. After the product has had time to do it’s job, you may begin the tedious process of rinsing, ringing out (squeegee with your hands) and repeating. ALL soap MUST be removed from the llama. Continue this process until you are sure there is no longer shampoo in the fiber. If you plan on using a whitening shampoo, this is the step in which it should be applied. As you will find, the majority of whitening products are tinted blue or purple to reflect light and make whites appear even brighter. Most whitening shampoos come with instructions to dilute it before use, but I have personally found them more effective at full strength. Be aware that blue/purple coloration can stain your beautiful white llama if left unattended for too long. Conditioners come in many variations but all are meant to replenish the moisture lost from washing, smooth the cuticle, and balance the ph levels. They reduce static, proliferate luster, and make your final grooming session much less problematic. You must be honest about the fiber you are working with in order to choose the right product.
Reparative Conditioners - These products are designed to deeply penetrate the fiber to moisturize and strengthen it’s structure with proteins. Reparative conditioners are applied in an effort to compensate for heavy damage caused by weather, stress and grooming. It is important that you follow the directions on the bottle and allow an appropriate amount of time for these products to fortify the fiber. My best results have come from salon quality products, particularly Bumble and Bumble’s Super Rich conditioner. Moisturizing Conditioners - Moisturizing conditions are often times coupled with reparative conditioners. They are full of essential proteins and usually very thick and heavy in consistency, weighting the fiber even after a wash. Ideally used for lofty fibered animals with an ample amount of independent lock structure. In my experience products like Infusium’s Moisturologie or the Nexus Ultimate Moisturizer work very well with llama fiber. Crème Rinse - A light and diluted detangler, ideal for super fine single coats and flat lock suris. This conditioner rinses out easily and adds a slick handle but rarely debilitates the lock structure. Crème Rinses come in many different brands and while there are exceptions to every rule, you often get what you pay for. Volumizing Conditioners - Will increase a boost and lift after the wash. This product is not recommended to procure the sleek and stretchy look of the modern llama trending into today’s market. Bold individuals who are seeking to re-create a gnarly late 80’s style groom with big hair and body should use this type of conditioner on their llama. Once you have chosen the appropriate product for your llama, massage a liberal amount into all areas of the fiber. Let the conditioner sit for some time after you have worked it in and let it ‘Do it’s magic’, so to speak. When the time comes to rinse your llama, make sure you do so very thoroughly. No trace of conditioner should be left behind. Squeegee the fiber with your hands, style the wet fiber to lay how you would do so before entering the spotlight, and let your animal drip dry in a clean area. Be aware that it’s natural for llamas to roll! Fresh, lush grass is the best setting for trouble-free results. The fruits of your efforts should start to shine (literally) shortly after the llama begins to dry. If your suri llama’s locks are not setting back up after the drying process is complete, they may have been over agitated or over conditioned. Simply rinse through them again with just water or continually soak them with water from a spray bottle. In short time a true suri will lock back up. It may seem like an incredible work load to prepare for exhibition but keep in mind: When you take your llama into the public’s eye it is no longer just your friend, pet or livestock, it is a walking representation of your farm and like they say, Cleanliness is next to Godliness.
Not to be confused with…….
How in the world did we get from there to here? By Mary Adams, Wild Oak Llamas
As I sit here in our sunroom gazing down on some of our special dams and their cria, trying to figure out how to start this article, I am so aware of how blessed our lives have become since we discovered the magical animals called Llama. Our lives and lifestyle has been totally changed by these lovable, easy-to-care for and awesome creatures. Not only have we been blessed by llamas, but also by the incredible people we have met because of them. We have made some wonderful friendships with folks from all across the country. It doesn’t matter if someone is extremely wealthy or just living paycheck to paycheck; we are all equal with our common love and obsession. Rick and I always use to say, “We are just going to look; we are not going to buy a llama at this sale.” Ha! After saying this numerous times and always coming home with at least two llamas, no one, including ourselves, believes it. We are both truly “Llamaholics” and are so excited about each and every day and what it will bring! Well, here is how our story with llamas began: “The Adams’ Family” started out in Silicon Valley where Rick worked in the Electronics Industry and I worked for Pacific Telephone. In 1985 we moved out of Silicon Valley into the small town of Benicia and started our own business in the swimming pool service industry. Rick worked the business while I continued to work for Pacific Telephone. After about three years and after 23 years with Pacific Telephone I “retired” and started to work full time with Rick in running the family business. The business grew from a small family business being run out of the house to constructing a 10,000 square foot commercial building out in the Industrial Park of Benicia with 18 employees. While we were raising our two sons, Ken & Shawn, we had always regretted not having had had parents with a farm or ranch to take the boys to visit. After 16 years in Benicia, our sons were grown and out on their own. It was now time for us to start another faze of our lives. Life without kids! What do we do? Our lives always revolved around our sons, their sports and other family activities. The ‘empty-nest” time had arrived! In the winter of 1999 we found an awesome 5-acre property in the beautiful rolling foothills of Northern California in an area just out of the town of Vacaville. This was only 25 miles from Benicia thus a relatively short commute: but the feeling of getting off the freeway and out into the country at the end of a busy day at the office was so incredibly wonderful.
This had been a former “horse property” with two pastures and a small pole barn. Never having acquired a ranch for our sons, we decided to make it happen for our grandkids. But what kind of animals did we want to have? In September of 2002, while visiting family in Medford, Oregon, we were introduced to the most magical creatures- llamas! Jerry and Mary Morris had just purchased two llamas to guard their sheep. Neither one of us had ever seen a llama other than at a zoo. Later that same visit we were sitting in the old Hotel in downtown Jacksonville, Oregon, and what, to our surprise, we saw a man walking a llama right down the main street. This llama was wearing a large red, white and blue top hat, a stars and stripes blanket across his back and his halter and lead were also red white and blue. Several children were running up to see the llama and he just stood like a rock and let them touch him. He was magnificent! Right then and there we knew we wanted
Llamas!! (A few years later we met Deborah Slocum and learned that this llama was her incredible gelding, Bandit.) We looked in the newspaper trying to find llamas, no luck. Then, as a former Pacific Telephone employee, we ‘let our fingers do the walking’ and checked the Yellow Pages. That is how we found Margaret and Don Ricci, right there in Vacaville, about two miles from us, just over the hill. That was the beginning. We purchased two females, Tsunamii, a black light wool and Heartburn, a colorful medium wool. The following Valentine’s Day, Rick got me two more females, Seraphim and Celesta. We now had four female llamas for pets! That is when Margaret talked me into showing at my first show. My goodness, I had never even seen a llama show let alone be a participant. I was scared to death but Margaret said, “Just stay between me and Dennie and do what we do!” I tried Showmanship, Halter, Obstacles, PR, and Pack! It was a blast and I have been hooked ever since. Thank you Margaret!! It was amazing how, after attending different shows and seeing so many different types of llamas, how our “taste” was influenced. Rick and I both fell in love with the large boned, heavy wooed Argentine Llama. Therefore, it was no surprise that our first male, purchased to become our herd sire, turned out to be ¾ Argentine. Kobra’s Lucky Lucianni is his name and he has given us some fabulous cries. What a magical time in our lives! We had a new barn built and were purchasing more llamas to upgrade our “breeding” program. We were jumping in with both feet!
In May of 2005, we went for a Saturday afternoon drive with friends up in the Sierra Foothills. Just for fun we called a realtor and asked to see some properties that needed to be at least 10 acres and have irrigation district water. We were just playing around and ended up purchasing a 12 acre “ranch”, which was just perfect for our heavy wool llamas. Here we had just had a beautiful new barn built and hadn’t even moved the llamas into it… In just three days’ time, we purchased a place and sold our place in Vacaville. We were extremely fortunate to sell to the first couple that looked and moved within six weeks! We actually sold for more than the new ranch cost! Talk about something being meant to happen! Now, we had our dream of a “ranch for the grandkids” and the rest of our family and friends, and able to develop our herd. Boy, and grow we have. In just a few years of living in Grass Valley, our herd had grown from 14 to be an average of 50 to 60 llamas. Talk about addictions! We are truly “Llamaholics”. When the economy hit and the cost of feed and fuel went out of sight, we down sized our herd to stay between 30 & 35. It is hard to remember life before llamas. We are heavily involved with attending shows, breeding, hosting clinics and doing anything and everything we possibly can to learn more and promote these incredible creatures. Besides our sons and grandkids, llamas have truly completed our lives! We have an annual free “Clipper Clinic” for folks in the area so that they can learn how to shear their guards and pets for the summer and hopefully, to spark their interest in other aspects of the llama industry. The “Llama Whisperer“, Cathy Spalding, has given two Clinics here on our ranch which has been awesome. We hope to host another one of her clinics again soon. Every clinic is different because folks bring different animals and different situations to learn from. We learn problem solving techniques and how to better communicate with our llamas and alpacas. Marilyn Milton gave a two day Fiber Clinic here which was unbelievable. No one wanted it to end. She has so much knowledge and is a wonderful instructor. We plan on having more clinics using Dan and or Marilyn Milton since they have such a wealth of knowledge and expertise in advertising, marketing, fiber and breeding techniques. Visiting senior living facilities and - or having them visit the ranch, has also proven to be a wonderful experience, not only for us but for the elderly as well. There are times we just like to take a llama and go downtown for a walk. Folks get a real kick out of seeing llamas walking down the sidewalk, in the wine tasting room, or in the shops. When we first started showing llamas, we did not understand the importance of showing and earning points toward ALSA Recognition of Merit and Halter Champion, but just had a blast showing in the Novice classes and winning beautiful ribbons. Then one day the “light” came on and I finally took showing seriously and really began making an attempt to “fine-tune” my showing abilities. Wild Oak Llamas has come a long way in a relatively short time. We have had 9 different llamas place in the Top 10 at the ALSA Grand Nationals. When we look out in the pastures and see these incredible creatures, you just cannot help but smile. The look of the herd has changed, but our love and obsession has not! It is fun to be learning about “old bloodlines” and setting goals for that “perfect” llama we want to be known for producing. WOW, what an adventure for us to be making together at this time in our lives. 22
We currently have four remarkable herdsires:
Silver Moon Chiri Alluro, a proven potent Suri herdsire.
GNLC Santiago, an incredible proven Suri who has been adding additional stretch and size to our herd.
RDL Prince Nicolai, our silky herd sire out of White Russian, who has given us fifteen remarkable offspring that “kick it up a notch” in the show ring.
WOL Chiri Rondo, one of our own out of Silver Moon Chiri Alluro and Candiliesa. He is just starting his breeding career as of the winter of 2015.
Wild Oak Llamas is extremely excited about the incredible bloodlines and the quality of females and herd sires we have! We will be ready when this economy turns around. We have been busy acquiring some fabulous females to be our foundation and wonderful herdsires to bring the best out of the best! Our goal at Wild Oak Llamas is to continue to support the llama industry and to encourage others to do the same. Let’s get out there and show our llamas! 23
Year of the llama: Bolivia calls for 2016 to be dedicated to camelids South American nation wants UN to raise awareness of the animal family, which includes alpacas and dromedary camels A woman is seen with a llama as Bolivia is lobbying for 2016 to become the international year of camelids. Photograph: Alamy Sara Shahriari in La Paz For centuries they have hauled loads up the Andes and through trackless deserts with no more acknowledgment than a slap on the rump. Now, however, the llama’s moment may finally have come: the Bolivian government is lobbying the UN to make 2016 the international year of camelids. The proposal – which would include not only llamas but alpacas, vicuñas and guanacos, found in Andean South America, and the Bactrian and dromedary camel, found in Asia, Africa and Australia – is contained in a draft resolution which proclaims “the economic and cultural importance of camelids in the lives of the people living in the areas where they are domesticated and used as a source of food and wool and as pack animals”. The resolution, which will be considered by the UN general assembly, encourages the international community to “raise awareness at all levels to promote the protection of camelids and the consumption of the goods produced from these mammals in a sustainable manner”. The move has been welcomed by those who have studied the animals’ contribution to society down the centuries. “Historically, the development of Andean cultures is based on camelids,” said Daniel Maydana, a Bolivian anthropologist with many years’ experience in vicuña projects. He said a year dedicated to camelid produce could be a boon to the farmers who raise the animals – as long as recognition is accompanied by investment in sustainable projects.
LANA’s Youth Interest Article & Art Contest Winners Spring 2014
Intermediate Youth Winner: Karissa Dempewolf The time had come. The llama “Fancy’s Legacy Manhattan,” or Manhattan as we call him, that I had shown and worked with for the past four years was too old to be shown anymore. His pasterns had dropped and he was ready for retirement. This was hard for me because Manhattan had taught me a lot about showing animals and the skills it takes to be able to train and develop a bond with an animal. Letting go of Manhattan was hard, but at least I know that he is happier now grazing with the rest of his elderly friends. Now, I had to face the real challenge: finding another llama that I could start working with that I got along with well. This was a problem because as my 4-H leader Sue Rich says she has an “elderly herd problem.” None of the animals that weren’t being used already by other group members could be shown or worked with because they had already entered into retirement. So, we reached out to Lora Crawford because we heard she was in the process of downsizing her herd. Luckily for me, she was open to the idea of Sue taking on one of her llamas so I had an opportunity to work with an animal. Because of her kindness, I have begun working with a castrated male named “Cup of Java”. Java is very different compared to Manhattan. He is very intelligent and is a great animal to work with, like Manhattan, but he can be very unsure of his surroundings. After working with Java for about two months, we participated in our first show together. The Hobo Show was a wonderful learning experience for us both. At this show I was able to see how Java worked in unfamiliar situations and how he responded to certain obstacles that were new to him. This taught me how to react to his occasional outbursts and how to recover from them and finish the obstacle. This was a very important step for me because I was used to Manhattan who would pretty much do anything unless it involved touching his head. Now, I understand that Java just needs someone to take him through the problem obstacle confidently, to show him that despite what he might think, the scary tarp will NOT eat him alive. Since I have only been working with Java for a couple months, I hope we continue making progress and begin to develop a strong bond so we can work together even better. We will see what training and patience will bring us, hopefully lots of adventure and new experiences!
Sub-JuniorYouth Winner: Aiden Pedroni, age 5
Contact Us We would love to hear from you. What would you like LANA to provide you in the way of events, clinics or shows? Got something for the website or the next newsletter? Send it to us! Llama Association of North America 3966 Estate Drive Vacaville, CA 95688 (707) 447-5046 firstname.lastname@example.org Visit us web at
2015 LANA Hobo Classic Llama Show Thank you to all of our exhibitors and sponsors. We couldnâ€™t do it without you!
Sheriff Chene Mogler and his jailbird wife, Andrea. The amazing Superintendents of the 2015 LANA Hobo Classic Llama Show
Fantastic and fun judges: Mary Jo Millerâ€” Gold Show Judie Moser, Silver Show.
Thanks Ladies for being such great sports and judges!
Far Left: Maureen Macedo was warned about pooping in public several times but was unable to control her (llamaâ€™s) bowels.
Left: Kelly Peters was cuffed and hauled off to jail for drinking while driving (his motherâ€™s scooter)
2015 LANA Kids and Camelids Youth Show Thank you to all of our exhibitors and sponsors. We appreciate everyone who helped make our Youth Show such a great success!
Special thanks to Margaret Drew who took the time to speak with every youth after every course to help them learnâ€”even our sub-juniors got some valuable advice!
You can find the results to both the Hobo Classic and the Kids and Camelids Shows on the ALSA Website at www.alsoshow.org under the Show Results tab. Be sure to visit LANAâ€™s Website at www.lanainfo.org Thank you for being a part of LANA!
A final THANK YOU to all the contributors in this newsletter and a huge shout out to Lisa Labendeira for getting these wonderful and original articles together for the LANA Newsletter.