New arrangements for 2017 Devon County Show

Devon County Show 18-20th May 2017

Alpaca Show Classes

Judge: Nick Harrington-Smith. Ring Steward: TBC



Thursday and Friday will be halter class judging to completion of colour championships.

Saturday morning will be the performance class judging, followed after lunch by the Supreme Championships. We anticipate finishing by 3pm.


New Marquee Arrangements

The 2017 show will see a number of changes to format and layout. The previous two marquees will be replaced with a single larger clear span marquee which will offer better internal space and easier opening and closing of the side walls for ventilation.

In addition, a smaller marquee will be added to the longer side which will serve as the collecting ring for the main outside show ring and also a slightly cramped wet weather judging ring.

Bringing all exhibitor alpacas into the one space will create a more cohesive ambiance, make pen stewarding easier, make it easier for exhibitors to be aware of proceedings in the ring and be more purposeful for the visiting public.

We will endeavour to arrange separate animal walkways to the collecting ring to improve H&S /RA aspects and have a more stringent exclusion arrangement for dogs.


Promotional Pens

For those wishing to display or sell goods, a promotional pen option will be available offering display space. Each pen will be the usual 2mx2m formed from the Mills barriers. These can be booked for individual days at £25+vat per day up to the maximum of the three days of the show. Space can be booked without entering animals in the judged classes.



Show Ring Banners

We are selling space around the show ring for the hanging of banners for £25+vat and your name will appear as a sponsor in the class schedule booklet. We would appreciate as many as possible.

Sponsorship funds are needed to help paying for our judge on the extra day, and we could well be back in touch offering further sponsorships for the ribbons.


New Judged Classes

Halter class judging to colour championships will take place on the Thursday and Friday, commencing with the coloured alpacas and alternating suri entries with huacaya.

Saturday morning will see the introduction of our judged Performance Classes in the Obstacle Class section with separate classes for Adult and Youth age groups. These will be followed with a Fun Class section egg and spoon race for junior handlers 10y and under. Please see the later section for more information on the performance class obstacle and fun egg & spoon.

Judging of the Obstacle Class is undertaken on a points basis, based on the handler’s ability and the alpaca’s performance in negotiating each obstacle.  The placings will be awarded on the basis of the points left after deductions, and the team with the highest end score will be awarded first place and receive the Performance Class Perpetual trophy, kindly sponsored by Dawn Crawford of Golding Alpacas.

We look forward to an entertaining Saturday morning and would ask all SWAG members to make an entry in advance and have some fun at the same time as offering an interesting spectacle for the public. These classes will be promoted by Devon County show over the PA system and we hope to bring in extra visitors to the marquee and the promotional pens as a consequence.

Following the obstacle classes we will be adding a little extra delight to the junior handler classes by incorporating the fun egg and spoon race through a weave (real eggs!). All entrants will receive a rosette and the first past the post, with egg intact, also taking the Winner’s Cup. Again we ask you all to join in with the fun and make an entry. We will consider offering an adult version of this race if time allows and will take entries for this on the day.


Performance Class Obstacle Course

Class 522 for youth handlers aged 10 to 17 years of age on 20th May 2017

Class 532 for adult handlers aged 18+ on 20th May 2017


Class Description

The obstacle class demonstrates a team effort between the handler and their alpaca through a variety of obstacles. The alpaca participates with the handler during the class to demonstrate its level of training and willingness to cooperate with its handler and is a partner in the score over the course. The alpaca’s age or quality is not part of the judging. The ideal performance consists of a poised and calm team that performs the required movements with promptness and willingness on a loose lead.

The Judge will perform a “walk through” of the course prior to the first team’s performance with all entrants encouraged to participate. This is a handler only “walk through” without the alpaca.

For the size of the ring, the course will have up to a maximum of 8 challenges for both age groups, selected from:

1: Weave

2: Ramp and bridge

3: Jump at 12” height.

4: Walk backwards 5 steps in straight line

5: Limbo bar

6: Hurdle pen, close gate, pick up front foot

7: Surface change grass to black rubber sheet or similar

8: Change of pace – walk, trot, standstill
Class Procedure and Conduct

  1. Each team will enter the ring and perform on their own. At the discretion of the judge an exhibitor may be asked to leave the ring after a third refusal.
  2. The team should perform over the required course and its obstacles accurately and smoothly with a reasonable amount of speed, however accuracy and smoothness should not be sacrificed for speed.
  3. The alpaca should willingly stride forward with its handler in leading position throughout the course with minimum visible or audible cueing.
  4. Touching, pushing, or pulling is not forbidden, but is discouraged and points will be deducted.
  5. Striking the alpaca or forcibly yanking the lead is grounds for disqualification.
  6. Failure to follow the prescribed pattern or pattern instructions from the Judge will not disqualify the team, but the team cannot place above other teams who have done the pattern or pattern instructions correctly. Listen carefully to the Judge during walk through.
  7. Handlers should be poised, confident, courteous, and genuinely sportsmanlike at all times.
  8. Depending on the obstacle to be negotiated, the handler should generally walk on the alpaca’s left side holding the lead in the right hand 8 to 16 inches from the halter, but not on the snap or snap attachment, with the tail of the lead folded neatly in the left hand.
  9. The lead shall not be used to continuously pull the alpaca along (dragging), nor used to hold up the handler’s hand and arm, but should be held slightly to the left of the halter ring with no continuous pressure applied. When walking, the handler should be positioned just behind the eye of the alpaca. This is the ideal leading position.
  10. Some obstacles may require that the team go single file. When doing so, the handler shall hold their right hand slightly behind their right hip with the alpaca following directly behind without continuous pressure on the lead. Turning to face the alpaca while going single file is discouraged and points will be deducted accordingly.
  11. The position of the handler, when executing a turn to the right, is done by turning to face the alpaca from leading position, and having the alpaca move away from them to the right.
  12. When backing the handler needs to face to the rear of the alpaca from leading position with their right arm across their chest and walk forward while the alpaca moves.


Obstacle class scoring

  1. Each obstacle in the course is worth 10 points.
  2. The team begins each obstacle with the maximum 10 points. Points or point increments will be deducted based on the team’s performance over each obstacle as they move through the course.
  3. Each team’s point total will then be tallied with the winner having the highest point total.
  4. Ties are to be broken using ranked obstacles named by the Judge prior to the beginning of the class.
  5. Any team that “breaks” the pattern or goes “off course” during their performance cannot place higher than teams which completed the course correctly. Repeating an obstacle is not considered breaking the pattern.


Handler errors (Deduct 1 – 3 points):

  1. Tight lead.
  2. Short lead.
  3. Not paying attention to alpaca.
  4. Lack of “team effort”/handler rapport.
  5. Lack of flow:
    1. Touching, pushing, or pulling the alpaca.
    2. Loud voice commands.
  6. Leading the alpaca from the wrong side.


Minor faults (Deduct 1 – 3 points):

  1. Touching obstacles.
  2. Turns too wide or too tight.
  3. Slow response to handler’s cues.
  4. Alpaca not paying attention.
  5. Bad disposition or unwillingness of alpaca.
  6. Nervousness, agitation, or fearfulness.
  7. Poor jumping form.
  8. Spooking when something is placed on the alpaca.
  9. Alpaca persistently ahead of handler.
  10. Too slow a pace through course.
  11. Moderate safety hazard.
  12. Failure to execute a complete stop.


Major faults (Deduct 3 – 5 points)

  1. Knocking down poles or other obstacle parts.
  2. Stepping out of obstacle confinements or off of bridge or ramp (one to three legs).
  3. Extreme irritation, spooking or nervousness.
  4. Rushing ahead of handler when exiting or entering an obstacle.
  5. Taking an obstacle backwards.
  6. Alpaca gets fully away from handler.


Safety Faults

  1. For safety faults, the handler shall be stopped and the fault corrected. One to three points will then be deducted off of the current obstacle and each remaining obstacle after the fault was corrected and includes the following safety faults:
    1.  Dangling lead rope.
    2.  Wrapping the lead rope around the hand, wrist, or arm.
  2. For the following safety fault the handler shall be stopped and the fault corrected, three to five points will be deducted off the obstacle:
    1. Letting the alpaca jump ahead out of a trailer or off an obstacle.
  3. For the following safety fault the handler shall be stopped and the fault corrected, with three to eight points deducted off the obstacle:
    1. Backing across an obstacle


Incompletions (Deduct 1 – 9 points)

  1. Not closing a gate.
  2. Missing a marker in a weaving obstacle.
  3. Not backing all the way.
  4. No response to request for change of pace.
  5.  Stepping completely out of obstacle confinements or off of bridge or ramp (all four legs) i.e., once on, alpaca gets completely off side of bridge or ramp without another successful attempt to complete the obstacle.
  6. Entering but not successfully completing or exiting any obstacle or activity. Example: four feet on a bridge and then off the side = incomplete.

Off course (Deduct 10 points). Note: If deduction is made the alpaca cannot place higher than an alpaca that stayed on course

  1. Forgetting an obstacle.
  2. Taking an additional obstacle.
  3. Taking an obstacle out of sequence from the official course.
  4. Intentionally skipping an obstacle or specific requirement.


Refusal (Deduct five points upon first refusal and an additional five points for the second refusal)

  1. Firmly planting all four feet refusing to move.
  2. No response to pressure on the lead rope to move forward.
  3. Refusing to be touched.
  4. Refusing placement of objects onto the alpaca.
  5. Stepping to the side of the obstacle to avoid the obstacle.
  6. Taking a step backward from the obstacle. Example: two feet on the obstacle and then backing

off = Refusal.



  1. Alpaca unruly to the point of being unsafe to other animals or handlers.
  2. Refusing three obstacles on course.
  3. Unsportsmanlike conduct.
  4. Cruel or unnecessarily rough treatment of alpaca


Performance Class Fun Egg & Spoon Race

Class 514 for junior handlers aged 10y and under on 20th May 2017

If time permits we will run an adult version, with entries accepted on the day.


Class Description

Adding a little extra challenge to the traditional junior handler class.

The handler and alpaca team will enter the ring and respond to requests and questions from the judge in the usual manner. Following a signal from the judge, they will then be asked to lead their alpaca as quickly as possible through a weave whilst holding an egg on a spoon. The handler may not touch the egg.

The winner will be the team that completed the course in the shortest time without breaking the egg and impressed the judge with their skill and knowledge.