Awesome Acres 'Pacas & Pyrs ~ Read Our Opinion

logo2in

We have been involved with raising, breeding, and showing Suris since 1999. Our first show experience was the 1999 Futurity. We had taken delivery on our first 2 females one month earlier, and had entered a pretty white juvenile female. Living in Oklahoma, the land of Red Earth, it is common for white Suris to pick up a pink coloration, and this was never more evident than at the Futurity when we found ourselves in a class of 7 of the whitest, brightest, perfectly locked, shimmering, OMG(!) Suris...and us. The judge even commented on the "pretty pink alpaca", and of course we got the gate. We were most likely the only unenhanced Suri in the class. Welcome to the world of showing Suris.

Jump ahead to the 2003 show season. We are 4 years in the business and are successfully exhibiting a yearling white male SUri who is winning the blue ribbons and Championships. Like all our white Suris, he is pink on the surface and briliant white at the skin. He is entered in the 2003 Futurity, in a very strong class of 15 yearling males, and now we receive the ultimate insult and embarrassment -- we are accused by the judge of enhancing the fleece! Not only is this a physical impossibility, as any amount of enhancement would have removed or at least evened out the pink stain, but we are again surrounded by a host of incredibly white, bright, lustrous Suris with perfect lock structure. No mention of enhancement here.

The lack of judging consistency on the matter of enhancement was never more apparent to us that at that show. And it has remained an issue ever since. The funny thing about raising and exhibiting Suris is that it is SO EASY for us to see the enhancement. And we're not anywhere as qualified as a Certified Judge. If we could see it, why couldn't the judges?

This is why we are so excited to be part of Naturally Suri and the movement to educate breeders and judges on the importance of exhibiting Suris in clean pasture condition, nad to stop rewarding groomed/enhanced Suris. We remain a small ranch, and we both work full-time. We have neither the time nor the resources to hire help, which the level of grooming we occasionally see would require. We feel that on a level field, we can be competitive and exhibit those breeding decisions we have made, and the resulting genetic improvements, to our advantage. When we compete against groomed/enhanced Suris, and the judging allows this, we are no longer competitive and the blue ribbons and championships more often go to the best groomers, not the best breeders. Ultimately, everyone loses. Level the field, reward the excellent breeders, keep it real and keep it fair.

Michael & Sherry Alpert ~ Awesome Acres 'Pacas & Pyrs