|Navarro, Spring 2003, after shearing.|
In the fall of 2002, I started to realize that we needed our own breeding male if we were going to really get into the breeding end of having llamas. For a few weeks I emailed various farms in the Midwest, looking for that perfect male. And then like most people I got impatient, and decided to visit the farm with the best prospect over October Break from school. That farm happened to be Animal Acres Llamas in Wisconsin, so my dad and I hooked up the trailer and had a very long day...
|Spring 2002...the picture that sold me on him!|
Navarro was truly a gorgeous male. He was born in September 2001, but was shown extensively in spring and summer 2002, so he hadn't been shorn when we saw him in October 2002. His red fleece was absolutely gorgeous, and he had a beautiful face. He was a bit of a handful, but was 4-H trained so I felt he would be easy enough. After spending a few hours with him at the farm, we bought him and headed home.
|Chrys, Navarro's dam. Chilean lines.|
|Nuevo Laredo, Navarro's sire.|
Luckily we already had 2 pastures at the old farm, so Navarro got to live with Duque (most importantly, not with the girls!). Navarro was pretty young so he and Duque got along fine.
|Shortly after coming to the farm, fall 2002.|
The next spring I started showing Navarro, and continued until fall 2004. He was by far the best halter llama I'd shown yet, and really helped me improve my showmanship placings. Navarro placed very well, finishing off his ALSA Recognition of Merit in halter, and peaking with a Grand Champion in Medium Wool Male at the 2003 NAILE.
|His first show with me, the 2003 Western Ohio Triple Crown.|
|The 2003 Indiana State Fair.|
|3rd at the 2003 Great Lakes Regionals.|
|Grand Champion Medium Wool Male at the 2003 NAILE.|
|3rd at the 2004 Western Ohio Triple Crown.|
|Grand Champion Medium Wool Male at the 2004 Southwest Llama Show.|
|3rd at the 2004 Great Lakes Regionals.|
We started trying to breed Navarro in the fall of 2003, but he wanted nothing to do with the girls! Thinking it would just take him a bit longer to mature, we let him off the hook and instead used an outside breeding for the one female we chose to breed. He finally got the hang of things in the spring of 2004, and bred 2 females, Casa Loma's Little Sheba (our herd) and Little Cattessa (back for an outside breeding). Unfortunately Cattessa's cria died during delivery, and Sheba's cria died at only a few days old (very unrelated issues), but they were both beautiful.
|Autumn Hill's Snowflake Obsidian, Sheba and Navarro's cria.|
By the fall of 2004 we had acquired a second breeding male, and we chose to use him to breed our females that year. But in the fall of 2005 Navarro got his chance again. We bred him to 2 of our best breeding females, SHAG Cattera and Little May Flowers. Both had gorgeous female crias, Autumn Hill's Cataleya and Autumn Hill's Camissia. The red genes were obviously very strong in Navarro, as neither dam had thrown any red crias.
|Autumn Hill's Cataleya, Cattera and Navarro's cria.|
|Autumn Hill's Camissia, May and Navarro's cria.|
After Cataleya and Camissia were born, we decided that we only needed 1 breeding male after all, and unfortunately Navarro wasn't the best that we had on the farm. So Navarro was gelded and sold to a fiber farm. I'm so glad he found a loving home where his beautiful fiber is still appreciated!
While Navarro didn't have a huge impact on our breeding program, he had a wonderful impact on my show career for a year. He was fun to have around, even if he was a bit of a pain!
|Navarro with my sister. He has the distinction of being the only llama we ever took to the second floor of our house...he was very willing to go up, but did not want to come down!|