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Lose your heart to an alpaca with introductory sessions and youth parades

For those who have ever wanted to try leading or handling an alpaca, the Royal Melbourne Show is the perfect opportunity to have a go!

With introductory parader sessions, trainers will be on hand to guide participants as they lead an alpaca through a simple course on The Weekly Times Livestock Pavilion judging ring in this hands-on experience.

The Alpaca Paraders Competition is a new event showcasing alpaca, designed specifically and exclusively for young people aged less than 26 years.

The competition is designed to:

  • Offer inexperienced youth handlers the opportunity to compete in an alpaca-related event.
  • Offer experienced youth paraders the opportunity to showcase their expertise and knowledge in handling alpacas in a public arena.
  • Educate show attendees about the Australian alpaca industry in entertaining and informative ways.
  • Provide a conduit for young people to enter and then progress within the industry, planning for succession in both the leadership and heritage of the Australian alpaca industry.

This competition is specifically designed to demonstrate the bond which may be developed between alpacas and their empathetic handlers and showcase the skills required for stress-free and successful management of these animals.

The Alpaca Youth Paraders Competition is divided into two to reflect the levels of experience, allowing for entry from various age groups.

The two competitions are:

  1. Showmanship: Demonstrating excellence in preparing, presenting and handling alpacas in the context of the showring and indicating a sound understanding and general knowledge of alpacas
  2. Stockmanship: Demonstrating excellence in the handling of alpacas in the context of their normal daily management, indicating particular expertise in the relationship existing between the alpaca and its handler. Competitors must also exhibit a solid understanding and general knowledge of alpaca and the industry.

The two levels of experience are defined as:

  1. Novice Alpaca Showman (or Stockman) which refers to competitors with no, or minimal knowledge of the alpaca who have limited or no experience in their handling. This allows members of the public to participate, without prior preparation or experience, engaging and educating new audiences on the animals and the industry. The competition is open for immediate entry at the Show.
  2. Alpaca Showman (or Stockman): Entrants at this level will have both prior knowledge and preparation, as well as some degree of expertise. Entries are pre-registered and the nominated alpaca is trained for the event by the handler.

Competitions at each level will also be split into four age groups, under 26 years.

  • 7 to under 11 years.
  • 11 to under 15 years
  • 15 to under 18 years
  • Open (open to any competitor under 26 years)