A MAJOR alpaca show is coming to Carlisle for the first time.
The North West Alpaca Championships will be staged at Borderway Mart on April 6. It is the first time a British Alpaca Society Championship Show has been held in the North West.
The show, organised by three of the UK’s leading breeders Beck Brow Alpacas, Cockerham Alpacas and Greenside Alpacas, is organised to coincide with the animals’ fleeces being at their most impressive.
Barbara Hetherington from Beck Brow Alpacas said: “Most alpaca shows in the North of England take place in the summer as part of the agricultural show season, but this means that fleeces are too long because shearing is overdue or too short because they have already been shorn.
“We therefore took the decision to hold a standalone show at the time of year when alpaca fleece is at its best and as spring is the optimum time for showing we are expecting entries from throughout the UK.”
In addition to showing classes, the event will also act as an industry forum, with local alpaca products available for sale, trade stands and opportunities to meet the alpacas and chat to the breeders.
Alpacas started to be imported to the UK from their native South America in the early 1990s and Harrison & Hetherington has staged a number of sales at Carlisle.
Pedigree sales and marketing manager Heather Pritchard said: “The growth in the UK alpaca market and the development of lifestyle and hobby farming on small holdings means this market is developing quickly.
“Breeders are working hard to produce high-quality animals and we are delighted to welcome this important event to Carlisle.”