The UK’s first importer of Peruvian alpacas has joined with two other top breeding colleagues to give buyers the chance to own part of alpaca history.
Mike Coghlan, of Blenheim Alpacas
It has been announced that one of the biggest and most prominent sales of alpacas to take place in the UK will be held on April 13th. This Elite Auction Sale, to be held at The Warwickshire Exhibition Centre includes a sizeable reduction of the Blenheim Herd, whose owner Mike Coghlan was the very first person to bring alpacas from Peru into the UK. And, with the World Alpaca Conference being held at Keble College in Oxford over the preceding three days, the sale is sure to attract both UK and international purchasers.
The sale features three of the country’s foremost alpaca breeders selling some of the best animals they have ever bred. The breeders concerned are Blenheim Alpacas, of Wallingford near Oxford selling 46 animals, Apollo Alpacas, near Banbury selling 40 animals, and Chiltern Alpacas near Henley on Thames selling eight. The sale will be conducted by Harrison and Hetherington, one of Britain’s leading firms of livestock auctioneers and specialists in the sale of alpacas.
The stock on offer includes 25 maiden females, 56 breeding females [including one full Accoyo], 2 potential stud males and 8 proven stud males [including 2 full Accoyos.]
Heather Pritchard, of Harrison & Hetherington, who has organised many alpaca sales in recent years, reiterates the importance of this sale: “This is a tremendous sale of livestock and a major milestone for the UK Alpaca Industry. All of the sale animals are Pedigree Alpacas and are listed on the British Alpaca Society Register. The sale include males, females and young stock of the highest quality which we anticipate being of interest to both UK and international purchasers. ”
Alpacas are a relatively new addition to the British scene. Over the last 16 years the UK herd has been growing and steadily improving. Thanks to Blenheim Alpacas and several other highly discerning breeders, the standard of genetics now available has resulted in a sustained improvement in the quality of the national herd. These qualities are also clearly seen in the bloodlines of both Apollo and Chiltern Alpacas and all three companies are regular prize-winners at local and national shows.
Mike Coghlan, of Blenheim Alpacas, a former director of the British Alpaca Society (B.A.S.) and one of its first four fully qualified judges, describes his reasons for the sale: “I have bred alpacas for many years, and they have given me a huge amount of pleasure, however the passing of fifteen years has convinced me that it is now time to downsize my herd by about half. With the World Alpaca Conference being held in the same week this seemed like an ideal time to do it as the cream of the alpaca world will be in the UK.”
Matthew Tims of Apollo AlpacasWhen Mike imported his Peruvian alpacas in 1999 their number include a Stud Male and five pregnant females from the legendary Accoyo herd of Don Julio Barreda. He says, “The Peruvian stock gave a huge boost to my own herd and several others.” Three pure Accoyos Alpacas directly descended from the original import from the late Don Julio of Estancia Accoyo in Peru will be on sale at the auction. These will be a female and two male full Accoyos, and are considered to come from the world’s best alpaca breeding programme.
Matthew Tims of Apollo Alpacas who is a former vice chairman of the (B.A.S.) talks about the sale and its possible role in the genetics of other herds: “This sale will be ideal for anyone wanting to build their own herd from high-quality foundations, and also for those who wish to improve their existing herds by adding breeding females of very high genetic quality. On sale will be an excellent selection of breeding females and stud males. “
Duffy Osborn-Jones has also had astonishing show success from her smaller herd of Chiltern Alpacas, and in addition has shown herself to be the outstanding organiser of National shows for the B.A.S. of which she is currently a board member. It is without a doubt that when the sale starts on Friday 13th the owners’ success stories, good fortune and enthusiasm will be there in the sale ring with the alpacas. In celebration of his fifteen years with alpacas Mike Coghlan is proudly sponsoring the Champagne reception at the World Alpaca Conference.
Viewing of sale animals is available on Thursday 12th April between 5pm and 7pm, and further viewing on Friday 13th, at 9.30 am – with sale starting at 12.30pm.
Alpacas are bred primarily for their fibre and last year the team at Blenheim assembled and graded 2,500kgs of Alpaca Fleece. This was spun in Yorkshire and sold on to Johnston’s of Elgin, who have produced from it nearly 3000 of the most beautiful alpaca throws. So for those not fortunate enough to purchase an animal from this prestigious herd there are still opportunities to purchase a memorable part of these outstanding herds!
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