Alpacas prove popular at the Royal Bathurst Show on Sunday

While they were there for one day only, they were extremely popular with people of all ages. 

ON SHOW: Jen Vandenbergh, from Orange, and Chloe Boyd, from Molong, with their alpacas.

ON SHOW: Jen Vandenbergh, from Orange, and Chloe Boyd, from Molong, with their alpacas.

The Bathurst Royal Show welcomed the alpacas on Sunday, with a fancy hat parade to mark the occasion.

One entrant travelled all the way from Tasmania to show of their alpacas, with plenty of entrants from the Central West as well.

ON SHOW: Rob Bird, from Wollongong, and John Hay, from Galston, with their alpacas. Photos: BRADLEY JURD

ON SHOW: Rob Bird, from Wollongong, and John Hay, from Galston, with their alpacas. Photos: BRADLEY JURD

Alpaca shed convener Jennie Menzies said there was some excellent alpacas on show.

“We’re here for the one day only and some people left as early as 3am to be here and they’ll go home this afternoon after the judging,” she said.

“They’re wonderful animals and there’s been some amazing alpacas on show.” 

WINNER: Helen Phillips, competition winner Angela Barlow and Sean Timmony, at the fancy hat alpaca parade.

WINNER: Helen Phillips, competition winner Angela Barlow and Sean Timmony, at the fancy hat alpaca parade.

There are two breeds of alpaca: the Huacaya alpaca and the Suri alpaca.

The Huacaya alpacas have a more fluffy, teddy-bear look and the Suri alpacas have dreadlocks and their fleeces are finer, which is elite fibre. 

The Suri alpaca fibre can be used to make fine clothing such as suits. 

Alpacas are renowned for its fibre, that is used for making knitted and woven items, similar to wool. 

The animal originates from the South American countries of Peru and Chile and the alpaca’s natural colour is white, with the alpacas fleece dyed to suit the owner’s desire. 

“Their colour can be dyed in different colours, with 12 natural fibre colours classified in Australia,” Ms Menzies said.

“Studs can range from as small as six to as large as 6000.

“Alpacas are easy to look after and they are extremely smart animals.”

Ms Menzies described alpaca fibre as feeling softer than what it technically is. 

“Alpaca fleece’s microns can feel three down to what it is,” she said.

“Say if it’s technically 15 microns thick, the fleece feels like it 12 microns. 

“You can’t compare [sheep fleeces]. They’re different for each animal.”

The fancy hat parade was also quite successful, with a good crowd showing up to witness the entrants’ hats judged. 

Angel Barlow claimed victory with her fancy hat, with Sean Timmony taking second place and Helen Phillips finishing third.

The Bathurst Showgirls were on hand to present first, second and third place ribbons to the top three finalists.