First and foremost is Duque. Registered name is SHAG El Duque, he came from Shagbark Ridge Llamas back in November 1999. Duque really is the perfect all-around llama. He was my sister's show boy for years, earning several champions in both halter and youth performance. He has a gentle personality and will do anything you ask of him. Unfortunately his pasterns have dropped in the past several years (bad genetics coupled with low testosterone from being gelded), so he was retired early from the show ring early. He now is a fiber producer and ruler of the farm.
|My cousin riding Duque. Several kids have ridden Duque over the years...|
|Duque earning Reserve Grand Champion at the Great Lakes Regional show (with my sister).|
|Duque and "his" cat, Autumn.|
Next is April. Registered name is Alder Crest April Showers, she came from Casa Loma Llamas in March 2000 (originally from the Alder Crest farm in Oregon). April came with a daughter at her side and delivered another (our first cria) in May 2000. She went on to give us 2 more handsome male crias during her span as a breeding female on our farm. April is a magnificent animal to look at, so a few years after she joined our farm I decided to start showing her again. She consistently placed at the top of her class, including winning her halter class at the 2002 Great Lakes Regionals, just 2 weeks after delivering a cria. April retired herself from our breeding herd in 2005, and is living out her life as our trusted guard llama.
|April and I at the 2002 Great Lakes Regional show.|
|April standing guard over her herd.|
|April's favorite thing…babies. The paint on the far right is her last cria, Inali.|
Our one and only alpaca is Ralph, aka ASC Raphael. He came from an alpaca farm in Ohio back in 2007. For an alpaca, Ralph doesn't have the best fiber, but he more than makes up for it in personality! Ralph is an awesome performance animal, often beating 40-50 llamas in novice performance classes. He even tolerates the costumes that I plague him with!
|Ralph in his canoeing costume at the Indiana State Fair.|
|Ralph's first introduction to a baby llama…he was Catallegre's best buddy, and since then has been the "uncle" to every cria born on our farm!|
|Ralph and his 2009 llama cria friends.|
|Kara and her mom Bluff.|
|Kara at the 2014 NY State Fair, where she was Reserve Grand Champion!|
May, aka Little May Flowers, has an interesting story. She was the first cria born on our farm in 2000 (she is April's daughter). I showed her for a few years, and then she had three crias for us. I made the horrible decision to sell her and her last daughter in 2006; she went to live on an alpaca farm as a guard. In 2015 I was contacted by her new owner to see if I wanted her back; how could I refuse? So after 9 years of being away May was able to re-join our herd and her mother. I showed her at one show in 2015, and hope to get her out again in the future. In fall 2015 May was bred to a gorgeous Best of Show male, and we eagerly await her cria!
|May as a newborn.|
|May and I at our first show.|
|May at the 2015 NY State Fair.|
Last but not least is Lily, aka MSF Regal Princess. I've always dreamed about owning a llama from Mark Smith Farms, and in 2015 I decided it was time. When I saw this gorgeous little silver face, I was hooked, and when I learned about her bloodlines, I was a goner. Lily is a Mystery's Timone daughter, out of a Tuna Catcher daughter. Her full brother was Grand Champion at the ILR Gathering a few years ago. Her half sister won almost everything in the show ring in 2015. Lily was briefly shown in 2015, and she will be out in force in 2016. I can't wait to watch her follow in her family's footsteps!
|Lily at the 2015 NY State Fair.|
|Look at those ears!|