Naturally Suri FAQ's

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1. Is it true that it's against the rules for me to wash my suri before going to a show?

Yes, it's true. You are allowed to do superficial rinsing with plain water, but the use of shampoo, conditioners and oil dressings is not allowed. Please see the Show Rules for more details.

2. My suri's luster is great, but he's really matted. Can't I take the old dead fiber out from between the locks before a show?

Taking out the "old dead fiber" comes under the heading of "stripping", which is against the rules. We're not allowed to enhance lock structure. The only way to truly evaluate the fleece is in its natural state. Please see the Show Rules.

3. My white suri has been lying in poop and has green staining all over her side. Can I bleach that fiber so it will match the rest of her?

Cleaning substances that alter the natural color of the fleece are against the rules. You are allowed to rinse your suri with plain water. If the stain is only on the surface, it shouldn't affect how the fleece is judged.

4. My suri has "dingleberries" (poop) all over her fleece and under her tail. Can I trim them off?

Yes! Absolutely! In fact, you are encouraged to do so.

5. It's dusty and windy where I live. Is it legal for me to rinse the dust off of my suri's fleece before the next show?

The rules allow for fleeces to be rinsed with plain water so that the luster can show through.

6. What exactly is "clean pasture condition"?

The Show Rules define clean pasture condition as " the relative absence of contaminants in the fleece. This includes
excessive mud, dung, or vegetable matter that may interfere with the Judge’s
ability to adequately assess the fleece quality.
"

7. My suri is going to be in an auction preceding a big show. Is it ok for me to wash and prep her for the auction?

Your suri may look terrific for the auction, but you may be hurting your buyer's chances of winning at subsequent shows, as well as giving prospective buyers a false impression of your suri at the auction. Suri's are naturally lustrous and should only require rinsing to bring that out.

8. I plan to have my suris sheared at the last show of the season. I like my fleeces to be extremely clean before they are sheared. Can I wash them before that show?

If you use shampoos and conditioners to wash your suri (see Show Rules), you will be in violation of the rules at the show preceding the shearing. I don't know any shearer who requires that alpacas actually be washed before shearing. A good rinse with water should be sufficient for the shearer.

9. I bought a suri after show season last year. By the time I got him home a month later, he didn't look anything like the animal I saw win the ribbons. Do I have any recourse?

First, I would be sure that you do indeed have the correct alpaca by checking the microchip number. If that matches, then it's possible that they alpaca has been through a long trailer ride, or perhaps was groomed before you saw him at the show. Sadly, there is no recourse for this at this time. It would be good to check in the future with sellers to see if they customarily groom their alpacas before shows.

10. Will it hurt my chances at the show if I trim my suri's topknot so that she can see better?

You are allowed to trim your suri's topknot. Being able to see is important for safety and for her to feel safe.

11. I bought a herdsire that had won many championships, bred him to my top females but he doesn't seem to be able to reproduce himself. He looked gorgeous every time I saw him, and his pictures showed his beautiful lock structure. Could he have been groomed for the show ring?

Maybe. Maybe not. Some alpacas have locks that don't matte, and luster several inches down each lock, but they are rare. What do you think?

12. How does Naturally Suri lobby for upholding the grooming rules?

Naturally Suri gathers statements from its members who decry the use illegal grooming in the show ring, and sends them to the AOBA committees and the AOBA Board of Directors. In addition, we call and email the officers to get the topic of suri grooming on the agenda of their meetings. We follow up with those people. We also use campaign-style buttons and placards at show to promote solidarity of like-minded breeders. By elevating the visibility and importance of the suri grooming issue, we believe we can effect real changes in the results in show ring, for the betterment of the industry as well as prospective new breeders.

13. Is Naturally Suri a part of AOBA or an affiliate?

No, we are not. Naturally Suri is a grass roots organization of suri breeders who show their alpacas in the AOBA show system, and are alarmed at the grooming practices being used by many breeders who walk away with some of the top ribbons. We lobby the AOBA JTCC and the AOBA Show Rules Committee as a completely independent entity. Far from asking AOBA to change their stated grooming rules, Naturally Suri instead seeks to have those stated grooming rules enforced, both for the benefit of the suri business in general, and the benefit of the alpacas themselves.