Buntingford farm wins big at the alpaca version of Crufts

Hertfordshire Mercury
By: Huw Wales 
Photo: By Hertfordshire Mercury
Photo Caption: Isaac the alpaca who won reserve champion.

Owners of an alpaca herd in East Hertfordshire are celebrating after they won accolades at an alpaca version of Crufts.

The Yew Tree Cottage, based at Anstey near Buntingford, entered six alpacas into the South of England Spring Show at Ardingly in West Sussex.

The herd was set up in 2009 after Penny Wylie and her husband bought three alpacas.

Ms Wylie said: "We now have 44 alpacas in our herd in Anstey. There are a lot more alpaca farmers now - there are at least 50,000 alpaca's in the UK.

"We moved to Anstey from Letchworth GC and we got three alpacas. My husband couldn't do his old job for health reasons and he decided to get alpacas as he has a background in farming."

The farm doesn't just raise the alpacas. Visitors can come and see them and buy products made from their wool.

Out of the six alpacas that were taken to the show they had one champion, two reserve champions and one of their young female alpacas won the best brown female at the show.

While Crufts for alpacas is the comparison that is used to describe the show, the alpacas aren't put through their paces on obstacle courses.

Ms Wylie said: "It is more like a cattle competition rather than Crufts.

"We do have an alpaca who is good at agility things but they don't often do it."

The alpacas are divided into various categories including age, gender, and colour. The judges then look at various factors to assess whether the animals are suitable as breeding stock.

For more information about the Yew Tree Alpacas, how to see them and what alpaca products are available visit www.yewtreealpacas.co.uk or call 01763 848257

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