Show Rules

Alpaca Association of Ireland: Show Rules

(Adapted from The International Alpaca Show Rules)
The AAI have adopted the INTERNATIONAL HUACAYA AND SURI BREED STANDARDS of the IAJS and these should be used as a basis for determining the quality of alpacas entered in AAI shows.


JUDGING CRITERIA – HALTER

Judgment of alpacas in the AAI Show Ring shall be done according to the IAJS Standards for Huacaya and Suri alpacas.
The following two options shall be available for emphasis of judgment. Show management may choose the emphasis distribution that they wish to be implemented in their show but MUST indicate in the show information which option they have chosen:
Option 1
Allotment of % point allocation may be 60% Fleece and 40% conformation.
Option 2
Allotment of % point allocation may be 70% Fleece and 30% conformation.

A show steward show shall scrutinize all alpaca entries for eligibility of entry prior to commencement of the show. The judge shall scrutinize any disputed decision and their determination or judgment shall be final.

RULES FOR SHOW CONVENORS/ORGANISERS/MANAGERS

1. A show should be organized by the show management team/convener according to procedures set down in the show schedule, with strict adherence to the Show Rules.
2. Only a judge approved of by the AAI and/or certified through IAJS shall be authorized to judge an AAI Show using IAJS Show Rules.
3. Only a steward approved of by the AAI and/or certified through IAJS shall be authorized to steward an AAI Show using IAJS Show Rules.
4. The show convener/manager shall ensure that alpacas and fleeces are entered and exhibited in the correct sections as determined by the show management.
5. The show management /convener shall ensure that a show catalogue is printed that records each class, and details of every alpaca and fleece entered as exhibits. This catalogue will be provided free of charge to every exhibitor, with extra copies made available for spectators at the show who are not exhibitors.
6. Stewards may consult with the judges for the settling of any dispute prior to the show commencing and prior to the printing of the show catalogue.
7. Show management must ensure that the most effective lighting conditions possible are provided for the judging of both Halter and fleece classes in AAI shows. If a show is judges in daylight it may be appropriate to stage the darker colour classes at the beginning of the day when the light is good.
8.  Show fees will be as determined from time to time

  1. Entrants to shows will be at the discretion of the AAI and will normally be restricted to alpacas on the AAI Register of Alpacas. Permission to include non registered or non members of the AAI to show classes must be specifically sought for each show from the AAI Executive which permission will be granted only if in the opinion of the AAI Executive such inclusion will further the development of the alpaca industry and/or alpaca welfare in Ireland.

    RULES FOR JUDGES

    1. Judges will follow the AAI Show Rules laid out in this document.
    2. The judge is expected to remain at a distance from any or all entrants to a show which it has been agreed he/she will judge.
    3. The judge or the immediate family of a judge shall not exhibit alpacas or alpaca fleece in the classes that he/she is judging at any show
    4. No person other than a show official or show steward shall speak with the judge before judging commences.
    5. A judge must not view the official show catalogue prior to or during judging and show management must ensure that no opportunity arises for the judge to see the show catalogue. The judge shall refuse to examine any catalogue that comes to his/her attention by any means until judging is completed.
    6. No person shall accompany the judge into the judging ring except persons appointed for that purpose by show management or trainee judges.
    7. The judge may in his/her absolute discretion direct the removal of an alpaca or person from the competition on the grounds of bad conduct including attempting to address the judge while judging is in process.
    8. The judge may in his/her absolute discretion direct the chief steward to remove an exhibit from the judging ring on the grounds of unsoundness or being unfit to compete.
    9. A class that has been judged shall not be re-judged unless in the sole opinion of the judge a circumstance has arisen that would render the original class judging to be unsound taking into account only the interest of the alpaca industry as a whole in Ireland. Such re-judging can only take place within 2 hours of the original class judging and on the same day.
    10. The decision of the judge is final and no protest shall be made in relation to it except on the grounds that a judge has committed a breach of these rules. Any protest must follow proper procedures as laid out elsewhere in these rules.
    11. A judge may protest against an exhibitor in the case of an alleged infringement of these rules by lodging a written protest to show management within 24 hours of the event.

    RULES FOR STEWARDS

    1. AAI approved Stewards shall use the AAI Show Rules laid out in this document.
    2. A Chief Steward, Inspection Steward or Ring Steward may not exhibit alpacas at a show at which they are officiating as a steward. A Fleece Steward may not exhibit fleece at a show where he/she is officiating as a score sheet recorder, working with the judge.
    3. Stewards shall perform the official alpaca inspections, in a timely manner, before the commencement of judging.
    4. Stewards’ Inspection checklist

The steward’s checklist for the inspection of alpacas shall include:
(a) general health and soundness e.g. checking for lice
(b) correct colour and age for class entered
(c) disqualifying faults (These shall include all major faults as listed in the IAJS Huacaya and Suri International Breed Standards)
(d) fleece length for huacayas minimum 50 mm (2″) and maximum l50 mm (6″)
fleece length for suris minimum 75 mm (3″)
no shaping or clipping e.g. poodle/lion clips, shall be allowed in the show ring.
(e) Identification:
Any microchip identification of an alpaca must be recorded clearly on the show entry form. All microchip identification must match the number entered on the show entry form at check in time.
Any ear tag identification must be recorded clearly on the show entry form. . All ear tag
identification must match the number entered on the show entry form at check in time.
All registration certificates must match the colour, age, type (huacaya/Suri) and sex of the alpaca at time of check in.
Copies of pending registration applications will be accepted for the junior age category only (7-12 month) for identification of those alpacas that have not been registered with an official registry at the time of the show. However the copy of registration application must match with regard to colour, age, type (huacaya/Suri), and sex of the alpaca.
During the official inspection, the only persons present for the inspection of an alpaca will be:
The exhibitor or his/her nominated representative and the Inspection steward and information recording assistant recording/validating the inspection information.

Where non registered alpacas or fleeces are allowed to be entered in AAI competitions the Steward shall satisfy him/her self that the animals/fleeces are identifiable with appropriate tags, marks or microchips.  Non registered animals that win places in any or all classes at such shows will be required to be microchipped immediately on presentation of such awards in the presence of the steward.

5. The chief steward shall reclassify an exhibit entered in a class for which it is not eligible for age, sex or colour immediately on becoming aware of the irregularity at the time of inspection. The reclassification shall be approved with the judge.
6. Classes may be combined at the combined discretion of the Chief steward and Judge. Combinations will be carried out in the following order of priority:
a. Colour,
b. Age,
c. Sex.
7. The chief steward or ring steward may disqualify an exhibit on the grounds of:
(a) The Handler being incorrectly attired. (Organizing committees in individual shows may define their own dress code providing it projects an image of uniformity and professionalism. There will be no stud/ranch/farm, personal logo or identification displayed on either alpaca or exhibitor in any AAI Show ring.)
(b) Exhibit being infested with lice, or other communicable diseases determined by the onsite
Veterinarian at time of registration.
8. It is recommended that no identification of prize-winning alpacas will be disclosed prior to Supreme Champion Award. Spectators shall refer to the show catalogue for identification of exhibits. (On going show results shall be recorded immediately after tabulation on a results board at ringside in a position that is not visible to the judge. This tabulation shall include the name of the owner of the alpaca, farm of origin and identification of alpaca as related to the show catalogue, alpaca name [optional].)

RULES FOR EXHIBITORS

1. At any show an alpaca is ineligible to compete if:
a) it is not registered in a register kept by the AAI, or in any other register approved of for the purposes of that show for the time being, and the information on the registration certificate does not match the alpaca entered for the show.
b) It does not have copy of pending official registration application form and the information on the registration application form certificate does not match the alpaca entered for the show.
c) its identity cannot be verified to match the registration certificate.
d) it is of suri type entered in a class for huacaya alpacas.
e) It is of huacaya type entered in a class for suri alpacas.
2. An alpaca must be entered and exhibited in the name of the registered owner, or the owner represented on the pending registration form.
3. An alpaca is disqualified from competition at a show if:
a) the judge has a share of ownership in, or stands to make any financial gain from, the alpaca.
b) the alpaca during the six months prior to the date of the show has:
i. been boarded or agisted on a property under the said judge’s control
ii. been purchased from the said judge.
iii. been trained by the said judge.
Note: disqualification in b) above does not extend to an alpaca that has been under the control of the judge for mobile mating purposes.
4. A person who, during the six months prior to the show, has received from or paid to the judge any fees or other remunerations in respect of alpacas (with the exception of mobile mating) is disqualified from exhibiting at that show.
5. An exhibitor, or his/her nominated representative who is unavailable to assist with the inspection of his/her alpaca (s) at the designated inspection time may be disqualified.
6. No person or exhibit shall enter or exit the judging ring after judging of a class begins, until judging of that class has been completed and awards for that class have been presented except with the consent of the judge, or at the direction of the judge or chief steward.
7. In the case of prize winning exhibitors and their alpacas, all shall remain in the judging ring until the completion of the Judge’s comments.
8. The handler of an exhibit in the judging ring shall remain with the exhibit until judging has been completed unless the Judge authorizes a change of handler or removal of the exhibit from the judging ring due to the handler’s inability to control the alpaca.
9. Handlers shall be neatly attired and well groomed according to the dress code established by the show management committee. There shall be no identifying stud/farm/ranch or personal logo displayed on either handler or alpaca in the show ring.
10. Every exhibitor, alpaca handler and groom of alpacas at a show shall behave respectfully toward judges; show officials, other persons involved in alpaca classes and the general public during the show.

CLASS CATEGORIES THAT ARE OFFERED UNDER AAI SHOW RULES
1. Halter classes that are offered for the competition of sound breeding alpacas.
2. Fibre/Fleece classes for the competition of fleece only off the alpaca.
3. Composite classes that combine the judgment of conformation of the shorn alpaca and the fleece shorn off that alpaca in the current shearing season of the age of alpaca presented for conformation judging.
4. Get of sire classes for the exhibition and competition of groups of either two or three offspring of a designated alpaca herd sire.
5. Produce of dam for the exhibition and competition of groups of either two or three offspring of a designated alpaca dam.

COLOUR CLASSIFICATION

AAI shows may be run under either of two option dependant on the number of alpacas entered in the show.
Colour classification shall not be determined by the breeder but shall be the decision of the show stewards at the time of Steward checking for the show. Colour classification shall be designated according to the six colour groupings: white, fawn, brown, black, gray, fancy. The show steward shall place shades that do not conform to the main colour groupings in an appropriate class matching the most appropriate class for the shade. Where a colour falls between two colour shades on the colour chart the alpaca will be placed in the darker colour classification. Any arising dissention will be dealt with by the judges making the colour and class placement decision. The judge’s decision shall be final.

Option 1.
1. Solid Colour.
An alpaca is to be shown in the appropriate colour class, when it is predominantly the colour stated for the name of the class. The alpaca will be disadvantaged, at the judge’s discretion, if it has any other coloured fibres present. e.g. spots or any other colour markings.
White includes pure white, cream or beige.
Alpacas with a predominant colour to the fleece that have small amounts of alternate colour interspersed throughout, shall be placed in the colour class appropriate for the solid or predominant colour of the overall fleece. Any dissention shall be settled by determination of the judges and that decision shall be final.
White, Fawn, Brown and Black shall be considered solid colour designations.
2. Multi Colour.
An alpaca is to be shown in the Multi class if it has any unusual or striking distribution of two or more colours that are distinct and immediately visible and are situated on the alpaca below the ears and above the knees. Appaloosas, pintos and alpacas with white rings around the neck are examples of this designation.  The colour pattern of the whole alpaca, not just its blanket shall be considered.  Any greys with spots bigger 10cmx10cm shall be put into the multi class.
3. Grey/roan Colour designation
The Grey Alpaca is typically a mixture of coloured fibres occurring in a wide range of shades. Rose Grey is a mix of predominantly brown with white, grey and black fibre; Silver Grey is a reasonably uniform distribution of black and white and/or grey fibre. The traditional grey alpaca has what is referred to as a “tuxedo front” which means that it has white on the face, brow and the apron. There are also solid grey alpacas. The prime fibre may be a consistent shade of grey, or may exhibit small spots of secondary colour. Any greys with spots bigger than 10cmx10cm shall be put into the multi class
Alpacas with a predominant colour to the fleece that have small amounts of alternate colour interspersed throughout, shall be placed in the colour class appropriate for the solid or predominant colour of the overall fleece. Any dissention shall be settled by determination of the judges and that decision shall be final.

Option 2.
The following three solid colour designations may be used:

1. White (including beige)
2. Fawn.
3. Dark colours- brown , grey , black , and multi ).

The alpaca will be disadvantaged, at the judge’s discretion, if it has any other coloured fibres present. e.g. spots or any other colour markings. The category of multi and grey will not be scrutinized for the presence of alternate coloured fibres.
All colour classifications shall be determined by the colour classification that is designated to the alpaca at time of registration in the registry of the country of residence where the countries registry provides this designation. In countries where a registry does not provide the colour designation of the alpaca on the registration certificate, the Chief Steward and Judge shall determine this classification, prior to the alpaca entering the show ring. Where a colour classification allocation on a registration certificate does not match that of the alpaca presented for registration, the colour classification shall be determined and agreed upon by the Chief Steward and Judge. All colour classification rulings shall be final and binding at the discretion of the judge.

AGE CLASSIFICATIONS FOR ALPACA HALTER CLASSES

The following two options shall be available for age classification of alpaca halter classes:
Option 1
Junior Male and Female 7 months to under 12 months
Intermediate Male and Female 12 months to under 24 months
Senior Male and Female 24 months to under 36 months
Mature Male and Female 36 months and over.
Option 2
Junior Male and Female 7 months to under 18 months

Senior Male and Female 18 months and over

HALTER CLASS CHAMPIONSHIPS

Grand Championships may be awarded in any designated colour category providing there are no less than 10 entries in that category and the exhibits have moved through their age grouping competition successfully.
Supreme Championships may be awarded where there are a minimum of  10 entries of one sex competing in the show i.e. for a supreme Huacaya male champion there must be a minimum of 10 Huacaya males competing in the show and likewise for a supreme female Huacaya champion.
In shows where the colour categories do not meet the required numbers stipulated to hold a colour Grand Championship, the first alpacas of the colour groupings that do not qualify may move forward and compete for the Supreme Championship.

FIBRE/FLEECE CLASSES

1. Fleece preparation.
All fleece exhibits shall be the blanket portion only, and shall be skirted of all short, stained and any fibre that does not conform to the quality of the blanket area. Contaminants such as vegetable matter and short cuts shall be removed. Poorly prepared fleeces shall be compromised at the discretion of the judge.
2. Age categories shall be as follows.
i. 6 to under 18 months.
ii. 18 to under 30 months.
iii. 30 months and over.
These categories shall not apply in the composite class where the halter class age categories will be substituted.
3. Composite class exhibits.
All composite class exhibits shall be eligible to enter a fleece show after they have been judged for the composite class. Therefore all composite class fleece judging shall take place prior to the commencement of judging of fleece classes.
4. Judging criteria.
Suri and Huacaya fleeces shall be judged for the following criteria:
1. Fineness and handle. 30
2. Lock formation and density.  15
3. Length of staple.  10
4. Uniformity of Colour    5
5. Brightness/ Luster  Huacaya/Suri  5/15
6. Absence of Medulation.  5
7. Character: Crimp Huacaya   10
8. Impurities/Stain/Tip Damage   5
9. Clean fleece weight. 15

5. Fleece scorecards.
Fleece scorecards shall be provided for the judge by the show convener and shall be formatted individually for Suri and Huacaya fleeces. Each exhibit shall have its own scorecard and the scorecard shall remain with the fleece at all times. Identification shall be the official exhibit number issued by the convener at the time the exhibit is delivered for judging. No other identification shall be allowed on the scorecard or the fleece exhibit.
Work sheets shall be the property of the judge but may be photocopied for the records of show management.
6. Fleece fineness judgment.
The revised fibre fineness chart as determined by Cameron Holt shall be used to tabulate fibre fineness scores where a guideline is needed.
7. Clean fleece weight points.
Clean fleece weight points shall be awarded according to the revised clean fleece weight chart as determined by Cameron Holt.

COMPOSITE CLASS

This class will comprise of two sections, which must both be entered in to become a composite class winner. Halter class rules shall apply in the areas of fibre type, gender, age divisions, colour groupings and ideal colour groupings. The exception will be fleece length – see animal preparation. Fleece class rules shall apply for the fleece section of the class.

Emphasis guide:
Conformation only of the shorn alpaca shall be judged in the show ring
Fleece shall be judged in stand-alone fleece classes held specifically for the alpacas entered in this class category.
Animal preparation:
Fleece length – other than top-knots and tails, alpacas must be completely shorn with a maximum of l inch on the cheeks, neck, legs and blanket.
Point allotment.
The following scoring system shall be used for the composite class:
1. The class placing awarded to the alpaca in the shorn section of the composite class shall be the point allotment for that section of the composite class. E.g. 1st place is allotted 1 point, 2nd place is allotted 2 points etc.
2. The class placing awarded to the alpaca in the fleece section of the composite class shall be the point allotment for that section of the composite class.
3. First and second score will be added together for the alpaca exhibited, with the lowest scoring accumulation winning the class.
4. The fleece scoring the lowest placing score in the fleece section shall break all ties.
SIRES PROGENY / GET OF SIRE
(Both Huacaya and Suri breeds are eligible to enter this class but shall be judged separately.)
The class is for either two or three progeny by one sire.
Entry is made in the name of the sire.
Progeny may represent both sexes, but not geldings and must be from different females.
The sire is not shown with this group entry.
The progeny do not have to be owned by the owner of the sire or by the same owner.
All entries must have been shown in their appropriate halter class.

DAMS PROGENY / PRODUCE OF DAM
The class is for either two or three progeny from the same dam.
Entry is made in the name of the dam.
Progeny may represent both sexes, but not geldings.
The dam is not shown with this group entry.
The progeny must be from different sires.
All entries must have been shown in their appropriate halter class.

PROTESTS AND DEALING WITH MISCONDUCT

  1. All shows run by the AAI Rules shall appoint a Show Grievance Committee (S.G.C.) prior to the commencement of the show. Conduct that may be considered prejudicial to the industry may include but not be limited to:
      • a demonstration of dissatisfaction with a judge’s decision, including refusal to accept an award or throwing an award on the ground,
      • altercations with officials or participants,
      • abusive or foul language in public,
      • mistreatment of an alpaca.
  1. Judges who are the target of abusive language and under whom an exhibitor refuses to follow their instructions, as well as being insulted with any suggestive language, gestures or request should report directly to the Chief Steward or Show Convenor/Manager who shall then follow the appropriate disciplinary steps and code of ethics as set up by the Show System Grievance Committee.
  2. Exhibitors who have a complaint, protest, criticism, comment or suggestion shall direct all or any of the preceding concerns to the Show System Grievance Committee of the current show    These must
  3. be in writing and signed by the exhibitor who has an issue to be dealt with.
  4. provide a complete description of events that transpired as well as stating names of those witnessing the transgression if possible and who would attest to the fact that such an act of misconduct occurred.

    4.  Any signed complaints, protests, criticisms, comments or suggestions must be postmarked within 15 days after the scheduled closing of the approved show and shall be held in the strictest of confidence.

    5. A fee of €50.00 must accompany all written protests.

    6. Anonymous letters of any critical intent will not be accepted or read.  They will be ignored.

    7. All signed complaints; protests, criticisms, comments and suggestions will be reviewed by the Show System Grievance Committee (SSGC) of the show and replied to by the SSGC in as efficient a manner as possible.

    8. All written and signed decisions handed down by the SSGC shall be final and absolute.

    9. Disciplinary Action will be required by the SSGC as necessary to deter further misconduct and to give incentive to others within the industry to maintain as high a level of integrity as possible. Any disciplinary action may include, but may not be limited to, the following:
    a.  Show Management
    i.  Written warning
    ii.  Denial of future show approvals
    b.  Judges
    i.   Written warning
    ii.   Removal from Approved Judges’ List
    c.  Exhibitor
    i.   Written warning
    ii.   Points and or awards revoked
    iii.  Denial of eligibility to participate in any approved
    show or event.
    d.  Handlers
    i.   Written warning
    ii.   Denial of eligibility to participate in any approved
    show or event.

    10. All participants including conveners, exhibitors, and judges agree that they will abide by the AAI Code of Ethics (In preparation.)

 

 

 

 

 

IAJS Breed Standards

The  International  Huacaya  and  Suri  Breed  Standards 2007

The International Alpaca Standard was developed at the inaugural sessions of the International Alpaca Judging School in the Altiplano May 2000. Sixteen students and two instructors representing seven different alpaca-breeding countries participated in drafting this document. Of the individuals involved, a majority are experienced judges and all are experienced breeders of alpacas. It is believed that these Suri and Huacaya breed standards are excellent base documents for beginning open negotiations for adoption on a global level. The intention is to set up a task force of representatives from each country to make recommendation to the worldwide industry pertaining to adopting these standards. In November 2001 an additional 12 individuals were involved in upgrading the standards repeating the same process as had been used initially with the first draft of the standards.
These standards are offered to the alpaca industry for the use of any individual that cares to refer to them. They are also provided to be the standards for use with the International Show Format, which relies on a base standard for the judgment of alpaca in the show ring. The offering is made with the assumption that the industry will dictate further development of the alpaca standards as research is conducted and changes are required in the evolutionary process of the alpaca as a commercial fibre production animal.

THE HUACAYA ALPACA
GENERAL APPEARANCE
The ideal Huacaya alpaca has a squared-off appearance with four strong legs. It is a graceful, well-proportioned animal with the neck being two-thirds of the length of the back and the legs matching the length of the neck.  It is well covered with fibre from the top of the head to the toes. It has fibre characteristics that differ distinctly to the Suri alpaca.

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
The height at the withers of the adult alpaca is no less than 85cm (32”) and the average weight of an adult alpaca are 60kg (140lbs).

Minor Faults
Small sized with less than 85cm (32”) measurement at the withers.
Oversized with llama characteristics.

HEAD
The head is neatly formed of medium length with a square muzzle.  It bears two upright spear-shaped ears between which there is a full fibre topknot or bonnet. The eyes protrude slightly from their sockets and are large and round. The eyes can be of several shades although 90% of the population has black eyes. The other acceptable colour is brown. There are also various shades of blue eyes with or without coloured flecks. The jaws fit together well, with the lower incisors meeting the upper dental pad. The upper lip is centrally divided and mobile to give them more dexterity in gathering food from certain plants. The nose has two well-defined flaring nostrils. Darker pigmentation to the skin is preferred around the mouth and eyes giving them added protection to ultra-violet light radiation and the environment.

Major Faults of the head
Deafness in blue-eyed alpacas with lack of skin pigmentation and white fleece.
Gopher ears.
Superior and inferior prognathism.
Wry face.
            Lump on the side of the face indicative of abscessing in the mouth.
Eyes: cataracts, entropy, ectropy, blindness.

Minor Faults of the head
A straight inside border or banana-type configuration of the ear (indicating llama traits).
Forward-set ears.
Roman nose (Llama tendency).
Narrow head.
Muffled face of the adult alpaca. (Fibre or hair impeding the alpaca’s vision).
            Open-faced. (Lack of fibre coverage over the face.)
Lack of pigmentation on the lips and around the eyes.
            Retained or persistent deciduous teeth.

BODY
The neck of the alpaca is straight and upright and blends smoothly into the back, which is normally very slightly rounded in the Huacaya. The rear of the alpaca has a tucked-in tail appearance, which is due to the angulation of its pelvis being more vertical than the llama, sitting at about 60 degrees from the horizontal. The resting position of the tail is such that it lies close to the body, covering the genitalia. The tail is raised away from the body during defecation and urination and for expression of temperament and mood. This gives the tail a noticeably lower set than that of the llama. The chest should have depth to allow adequate capacity for air exchange.

Major Faults of the body
Lateral deviations of the spine.
Herniated umbilicus of an alpaca greater than 9 months of age.

Minor Faults of the body
Roach back.
Sagging back
U-neck
Lateral deviations of the neck
Disproportionate length of neck (too long or too short).
Deviations of the tail; broken tail.

LEGS
The legs are supported by four two toed feet, with each toe supporting a long toenail. They should be straight with the joints aligned to a perpendicular plumb line from the hip posteriorly and shoulder anteriorly. The shoulder blade is attached by muscular tissue to the thoracic cage but should move freely as the animal strides. A leathery padded membrane, which lessens the impact on the environment where they tread, protects the feet.

Major Faults of the legs
Excessive angular limb deformity.
Subluxing patellae.

Minor Faults of the legs
Front Legs:
Knocked knees.
Calf knees/cocked pasterns.
Bucked knees/dropped pasterns.
Medially or laterally deviated pasterns.
Splay legs.
Rear Legs:
Cow hocks.
Sickle hocks.
Bowlegs.
Cocked pasterns.
Dropped pasterns.
GAIT
A free-flowing stride is characteristic of the alpaca. Its normal slow speed gait is a stable four-point gait where each foot is moved and planted separately. At a faster speed the alpaca has a pacing gait, which is two-point, where the two feet on either side are moved together.

Major Faults of gait
Excessive angular limb deformity causing excessively abnormal movement.
Subluxing patellae causing abnormal rear gait.

Minor Faults of gait
Joints tracking medially or laterally to the vertical plum line.
Gaits associated with angular limb deformity such as winging, arcing, rope walking and throwing out of the front limbs where there is rotation at the joints of the front limb.

GENITALIA (Female)
The genitalia of the female is protected internally and therefore not visible from the outside.  However the
vaginal opening should be well covered by the tail, should not be too small and should be situated in a
vertical rather than a horizontal plane.

Major Faults of female genitalia
Too small of a vaginal opening.
Hemaphroditism.
Lack of any part of the reproductive system.

Minor Faults of female genitalia
Horizontally situated pelvic floor.
.
GENITALIA (Male)
The most visible part of the male genitalia is  the  testicles which are  situated and protected underneath the tail.  The scrotum is well-attached, relatively small and carries the testicles,  which  are relatively even in size. The penis is also an external organ, which is situated under the belly between the rear legs.  The normal size of fully developed testicles is: 4cm in length, 2.5cm in width in the adult male alpaca.

Major Faults of male genitalia
Hermaphroditism.
Ectopic testicles (these testes are located outside the abdominal cavity under the skin,
sometimes migrating down the leg).
Cryptorchidism of the testicles/unilateral or bilateral  (the lack of one or more testicles in the scrotum).
Too soft or too hard testicular consistency.
Cystic testicles.
Unilateral or bilateral hypoplasia of the testes  (one or both testicles of abnormally small size for the age)

FIBRE
Huacaya alpacas produce a fine soft fibre that grows perpendicular to the skin. In the ideal Huacaya alpaca there is marked crimp formation as the fibre grows out of the skin. The hair follicles are situated close together in the skin, giving density to the fleece with groups of fibres bunching together to form defined staples. The following fibre characteristics are applicable to Huacaya fibre:
1.) Fineness – this is the thickness of the fibre, which is measured in microns. The finest fibre on the alpaca is found in the blanket area, however it is desirable to have fine fibre on the neck, belly , legs and topknot. Fineness is important for both commercial processor and the fibre grower since premium prices are paid for fine fibre and fine fibre translates into fine end products. Crimp is also related to fineness and it is desirable too to have a high number of waves per cm. or inch.
2.) Density – is the number of fibres per square measurement of skin. Density is associated with fleece weight since the more fibres per square unit measurement, the more fleece will be grown and the heavier the fleece. A dense crimped fleece also acts as a barrier to dirt and weather.
3.) Character –defined as strong crimp definition and staple formation.
4.) Length of staple – is a very important factor in the amount of fleece shorn from the Huacaya alpaca. The more rapidly the length of staple that is grown the more weight of fleece there will be.
5.) Brightness – is the amount of light that reflects from the fibre and is seen in the Huacaya. A brilliant appearance of the fleece is desirable.
6.) Medulated fibre – is the coarse-micron fibre that grows in the lesser quality areas of the alpaca. Lack of medulated fibre in the prime or blanket area is desirable.
7.) Uniformity of micron – processors require fleece of minimum variation in fibre diameter, therefore uniformity in fibre diameter is desirable across the blanket area of the alpaca. This also helps to eliminate fleece tenderness (fleece breakage) and prickle effect in the end product.

Faults of the fibre
Open fleece with no density.
Harsh handle.
Short staple length.
Guard hair in the blanket.
Lack of overall coverage.
Tenderness and stress breaks.
Felting and cotting.

COLOUR
Huacaya fleece comes in varying shades of colour: white, fawn, brown, gray, rose-gray, and black. The ideal alpaca should have a uniform solid colour throughout the entire fleece. However they can be any combination of the above.

 

THE SURI ALPACA
GENERAL APPEARANCE
The ideal Suri alpaca has a squared off elegant appearance with four strong legs. It is a graceful, well-proportioned animal with the neck being two-thirds of the length of the back and the legs matching the length of the neck.  It is well covered with fibre from the top of the head to the toes. It has fibre characteristics that differ distinctly to the Huacaya alpaca.

HEIGHT AND WEIGHT
The height at the withers of the adult alpaca is no less than 85cm (32”) and the average weight of an adult alpaca is 60kg (140lbs).

Minor Faults of height and weight
Small sized with less than 85cm (32”) measurement at the withers.
Oversized with llama characteristics.

HEAD
The head is neatly formed of medium length with a square muzzle.  Suris have more of a tapering shape to the muzzle. They bear two upright spear-shaped ears between which there is a full fibre topknot or bonnet that falls typically in a fringe over the brow.  Suri ears are approximately 2cm longer than Huacaya ears. The eyes protrude slightly from their sockets and are large and round.  The eyes can be of several shades although 90% of the population is black. Brown is also a desirable colour. There are also various shades of blue with or without coloured flecks.  The jaws fit together well, with the lower incisors meeting the upper dental pad.  The upper lip is centrally divided and mobile to give more dexterity for feeding off certain plants.  The nose has two well-defined flaring nostrils. Darker pigmentation to the skin is preferred around the mouth and eyes giving them added protection to ultraviolet irradiation and the environment.

Major Faults of the head
Deafness in blue-eyed alpacas with lack of skin pigmentation and white fleece.
Gopher ears.
Superior and inferior prognathism.
Wry face.
Lump on the side of the face indicative of abscessing in the mouth.
Eyes: cataracts, entropy, ectropy, blindness.

Minor Faults of the head
A straight inside border or banana-type configuration of the ear (indicating llama traits)
Forward set ears.
Roman nose (llama tendency).
Narrow head.
Muffled face in the alpaca Suri (fibre or hair impeding the alpaca’s vision or retained in the adult face).
Retained or persistent deciduous teeth
Open faced with lack of fibre coverage over the face.
Lack of pigmentation around the lips and eyes

BODY
The neck of the Suri alpaca is straight and upright and blends smoothly into the back, which is normally straight. The rear of the alpaca has a tucked-in tail appearance, which is due to the angulation of its pelvis being more vertical than the llama, sitting at about 60 degrees from the horizontal. . The resting position of the tail is such that it lies close to the body, covering the genitalia. The tail is raised away from the body during defecation and urination and for expression of temperament and mood. This gives the tail a noticeably lower set than that of the llama. The back of the Suri tends to be straighter than that of the Huacaya. The chest should have depth to allow adequate capacity for air exchange on exertion.

Major Faults of the body
Lateral deviations of the spine.
Herniated umbilicus in an alpaca greater than 9 months of age.

Minor Faults of the body
Roach back.
Sagging back.
U neck.
Lateral deviations of the neck.
Disproportionate length of neck (too long or too short).
Deviations of the tail, broken tail.

LEGS
The legs are supported by four two-toed feet; with each toe supporting a long toenail. They should be straight with the joints aligned to a perpendicular plumb line from the hip posteriorly and shoulder anteriorly. The shoulder blade is attached by muscular tissue to the thoracic cage but should move freely as the animal strides. A leathery padded membrane, which lessens the impact on the environment where they tread, protects the feet.

Major Faults of the legs
Excessive angular limb deformity.
Subluxing patellae.

Minor Faults of the legs
Front legs:
Knocked knees.
Calf knees/cocked pasterns.
Bucked knees/dropped pasterns.
Medially or laterally deviated pasterns.
Splay leg
Rear legs:
Cow hocks.
Sickle hocks.
Bowlegs.
Cocked pasterns.
Dropped pasterns.

GAIT
A free flowing stride is characteristic of the alpaca. Its normal slow speed gait is a stable four-point gait where each foot is moved and planted separately. At a faster speed the alpaca has a pacing gait, which is two-point, where the two feet on either side are moved together.

Major Faults of the gait
Excessively abnormal angular limb deformity causing excessive disruption to the gait.
Subluxing patellae causing disruption to rear gait.

Minor Faults of the gait
Joints tracking medially or laterally to the vertical plum line.
Gaits associated with angular limb deformity such as winging, arcing, rope walking and throwing out the front limbs where there is rotation at the joints of the front limb.

GENITALIA (Female)
The genitalia of the Suri female is protected internally and therefore not visible from the outside. However the vaginal opening should be well covered by the tail, should not be too small and should be situated in a vertical rather than a horizontal plane.

Major Faults of female genitalia
Excessively small vaginal opening.
Hemaphroditism.
Lack of any part of the reproductive system.

Minor Faults of the genitalia
Horizontally situated pelvic floor.

GENITALIA (Male)
The most visible part of the male genitalia is the testicles, which are situated and protected underneath the tail. The scrotum is well attached, relatively small and carries the testicles, which are relatively even in size. The penis is also an external organ, which is situated under the belly between the rear legs. The normal size of fully developed testicles is: 34cm in length, 2.5cm in width in the adult male alpaca.

Major Faults of male genitalia
Hermaphroditism.
Ectopic testicles (these testes are located outside the abdominal cavity under the skin, sometimes migrating down the leg).
Cryptorchidism of the testicles/unilateral or bilateral (the lack of one or more testicles in the scrotum).
Too soft or too hard testicular consistency.
Cystic testicles.
Unilateral or bilateral hypoplasia of the testes (one or both testicles are abnormally small size for the age).

FIBRE
The primary characteristics of the Suri fleece are its lock structure, high luster, silky handle and long staple length. The fleece falls close to the body, moves freely, and gives the Suri a flat-sided, lustrous appearance. The locks can have a penciled ringlet formation, curling to the left or right, or a wave structure that forms from the skin of the alpaca. The fleece locking should begin from the forelock and continue uniformly down the neck, across the blanket and through the legs. The following fibre characteristics are applicable to Suri fibre:
1.) Fineness – this is the thickness of the fibre, which is measured in microns. The finest fibre on the alpaca is found in the blanket area, however it is desirable to have fine fibre on the neck, belly, legs and topknot.  Fineness is important for both commercial processor and the fibre grower since  premium prices
are paid for fine fibre and fine fibre translated into fine end-products.
2.) Density – is the number of fibres per square measurement of skin. Density is associated with fleece weight since the more fibres per square unit measurement, the more fleece will be grown and the heavier the fleece.
3.) Lock Structure – in the Suri lock structure is very important. The fibres group together to form ringlet type locks that turn to the right or to the left. Ideally the lock should form a ringlet from the skin. However it is common to find a lock structure that starts at the skin as a flat wave formation then continues out down the side of the alpaca in a ringlet.
4.) Luster  – is the sheen or shine that reflects from the fleece. This is a highly desirable trait in the Suri fleece and translates in the end product. The smooth flat structure of the outside cuticular layer of the individual fibres is responsible for this trait.
5.) Length of staple – is a very important factor in the amount of fleece shorn from the Suri alpaca. The more length of staple that is grown the more weight of fleece there will be. A Suri will grow 60% longer fleece than Huacaya in one year growth.
6.) Medulation – there should be little or no evidence of medulated fibres in the fleece.

Faults of the fibre
Open fleece lacking lock definition.
Lack of density.
Crimp.
Harsh handle.
Short staple length.
Guard hair.
Lack of overall coverage.
Tenderness and stress breaks.
Felting and cotting.

COLOUR
Suri fleece comes in varying shades of colour white, fawn, brown, gray, rose-gray, and black. The ideal Suri alpaca should have a uniform solid colour throughout the entire fleece. However they can be any combination of the above.