By Anne Eickstadt


Jim Ames and his prize-winning alpaca attired as members of the ZZ Top band.

The alpaca show at the Boone County Fair is the first alpaca show to be held at a county fair in Illinois. Each year the show gets bigger and bigger. This year the show was big enough to separate male alpaca from female alpaca during judging. The larger alpaca shows will not only separate male from female, but also judge the two alpaca breeds, Huacaya and Suri, separately.

This year, Joy Bishop-Forshey came to the fair to judge the alpaca show. 

“I’ve had llama and alpaca since 1990. I enjoy them so much that I wanted to learn to judge them. I took classes. I am also a veterinarian so judging is a spinoff of what I do. I have been judging alpaca for 12 years.

“I was in Denver when I went to a llama/alpaca show and I fell in love with them. I have raised my two boys in the 4-H program and both of them raised and showed alpaca and llama.”

The show began with a halter class to see how obedient the alpaca were and give the judge a chance to, hands-on, check out the form of the animals. This was followed by an agility/obstacle course, and ended with a costume contest.

The First Place Male award was earned by Ames Alpaca, Harvard, Ill., with his alpaca’s ZZ Top costume. First Place Female was awarded to Christopher Donley of Alpaca Pines, Poplar Grove, with a Day at the Beach outfit.

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