Sunday, December 4, 2011

Llama Biography #2: SHAG El Duque

Well I can't seem to come up with anything specific to write about, but I'm procrastinating on doing homework, so I thought I'd write up another llama biography.  I have over 30 llamas to work through, and I've only done one so far!

The second llama we added to our herd back in November 1999 (yes, we've had llamas over 12 years now!) was SHAG El Duque (we call him Duque).  He's also the only llama left on our farm from the original four we started with 12 years ago.  Duque started out as my younger sister Hannah's show llama.  He came already trained, so he was perfect for an 8-yr-old to show for the first time.  Hannah really has a way with animals, and she and Duque "clicked" like you would not believe.  Soon they were winning Championship after Championship in both halter and youth performance.  Here they are at the regional show- Duque won Reserve Grand Champion in Non-Breeder Halter.

Duque was also our #1 public relations llama.  He is not phased in the least by people, and really seems to enjoy the attention.  Hannah used to ride him all the time, and we even let our younger cousins take a turn when they were small.

One of the last years Hannah showed Duque our family made the long trip to Lincoln, Nebraska for the ALSA Grand National show.  Duque showed in halter and youth performance with Hannah.  This picture was taken at the national show- wouldn't it make a great ad?

In his younger years Duque was also a great hiking companion.  Due to his superb performance training he didn't mind wearing the pack (or anything else- I showed him on costume one year) and would follow anyone anywhere!  This is Duque with Hannah (right) and her best friend Anna (left).

If you're into llama genealogy, Duque is the son of the famous LW El Cid.  Cid came from Llama Woods farm in Oregon, and was the main herdsire for Shagbark Ridge Llamas (where we bought Duque and several other llamas) for several years.

This is a baby Duque with his mom, Mariette.  She was a beautiful big girl!

Low pasterns forced Duque into retirement prematurely.  He is still a farm favorite, and is living out his days with "his" girls.  He spent a few years playing alpaca guard- protecting the little male alpacas from our big herdsire Ridge.  He is still best friends with our one remaining alpaca, Ralph (left).

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