Scotland’s first ever dedicated Alpaca auction sale is to be held on June 11th at Balfron Station in Stirlingshire. Viewing is available for the press on Friday 10th June from 11.00am.
Janet and Freddie Small
The sale of over sixty pedigree alpacas will be held at Ballochruin Farm, Balfron, home of one of the country’s top breeders, Janet and Freddie Small, and, as a result of the high calibre of entries, it is expected to attract breeders from across the UK. The sale will be conducted by Carlisle-based auctioneers Harrison and Hetherington one of the UK’s only specialist Alpaca Auctioneers.
Harrison & Hetherington have conducted regular Alpaca Sales
on behalf of members of The British Alpaca Society for many years
and are delighted to be hosting their first such sale North of
the Border. The sale has come about because the Smalls are reducing
their Campsie Camelid Herd, which has accumulated a number of prizes
for alpacas over the past three to four years. This will include
over 30 of their 53 strong herd including selected animals from Ardo
Alpacas, Cairndinnis Alpacas, and Ravenshaw Alpacas.
Janet Small first fell in love with Alpacas eight years ago when she saw their beautiful big eyes in a magazine, and bought her first three pregnant females and two geldings in 2004. Since then she has imported stock from Canada and New Zealand and is now renowned for having a herd with a very good mix of genetics: “Our aim” says Janet, “was to breed ‘fine’ animals from outstanding stock. Many people think that the best alpacas are from the Antipodes; however I have found that the Northern Hemisphere animals seem to thrive better in Scotland, this is most probably due to the fact there are no marked seasonal changes.”
Alpacas are native South American Animals who are mainly found in the mountains of Chile and Peru, the first major importation of alpacas into the UK was in the early 1990’s. Since then there has been a steady increase in the number of Alpacas, with further imports from Australia, New Zealand, and Canada in addition to Peru and Chile. The number of people breeding alpacas in Scotland has slowly increased over the past fifteen years, and today there are some 20 Alpaca Farms and over 1000 Alpacas. The first Scottish owner to breed alpacas on a commercial basis was Richard Fennell Chairman of The Scottish Regional Group “Alpaca Farmers of Scotland” part of the British Alpaca Society.
Richard who started breeding in 1996 is also selling stock and is hoping this sale will encourage more people to join the Scottish Alpaca fraternity: “This is not just a sale, it is a unique showcase for Scotland’s Alpaca Industry and we are hoping that both purchasers and people who want to know more about alpacas will attend. “
For many of the vendors, this will be the first time that they have sold at auction and therefore it was important to have a specialist in charge as Richard explains:
“We needed an Auctioneer who can not only sympathetically guide people through the sales process but also one who has a good understanding of alpacas and the prices they are likely to command. Harrison and Hetherington were specifically chosen to conduct the sale as they probably have more experience of selling alpacas than anyone else in the UK. Because of their understanding of the market, they have been able to advise on what to expect in terms of prices.”
All animals are Pedigree Alpacas listed on the Alpaca Register and include males, females and young stock from the Campsie Camelid Herd along with animals from some of the leading alpaca breeders in Scotland. Senior Pedigree auctioneer of Harrison and Hetherington David Thomlinson underlines the importance of this event:
“This is a very good sale in terms of the quality and range of animals and it is a major milestone for the Scottish Alpaca Industry. Each alpaca will be presented individually in the sales ring with information about their pedigree and their fleece characteristics; one of their most important attributes. This sale will provide an ideal opportunity for breeders to purchase stock to improve their bloodline or for people wanting to start a herd with sound genetic base. Unsurprisingly for a herd established as one of outstanding quality with enormous potential we are expecting a good level of interest.”
This unique sale has galvanised alpaca farmers across Scotland to do all they can to assist Janet and Freddie in ensuring that it is a hugely successful auction and large social gathering of dedicated alpaca breeders.
Viewing for the sale is available between 3 and 7 pm on the 10th June. And up to 12 noon on the 11th June. The sale will commence at 12 noon and the vendors are providing refreshments for anyone who attends. Set in the Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park, it is sure to be a memorable day for the Scotland’s’ Alpaca Industry.
The British Alpaca Society is particularly keen to provide support and education for alpaca owners promoting the alpaca as a permanent feature and a sustainable industry for Scotland’s agricultural landscape. As an added incentive any Scottish purchaser at this sale who is not already a member will be offered one year’s membership of the regional group, paid for by the vendor.
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