Coolawarra Alpacas scoops national awards

Alpaca stud Coolawarra Alpacas in Berrima has scooped the 2018 Alpaca Nationals with supreme alpaca and supreme fleece.

On Sunday Coolawarra Alpacas’ Illawarra Plantel Chant Time brought home a second supreme title from NSW’s premier spring show The Charles Ledger in Goulburn.

At the Australian Alpaca Association’s calendar highlight, the 2018 National Championships held in August, the supreme champion alpaca was awarded to EP Cambridge Connoisseur over 500 of the best alpacas in Australia.

Connoisseur was purchased in 2017 at just six months of age by foundation alpaca breeder Janie Forrest.

Ms Forrest said she could not go past the advanced characteristics in this young white male.

“Alpacas are a relatively new addition to Australia’s fleece harvest, and in our 30 years of breeding, which includes a year’s research in the alpaca homelands of Peru, I have never seen a fleece as productive,” she said. 

“Today, it’s fleece is as bright as its baby fleece was a year ago, with bundles of deeply crimped and highly aligned staples, and a silky touch which sets alpaca apart from other fleece producing livestock.

“This young male exhibits density rare to the species and as such will fast track breeders into competitive commercial production.”

Connoisseur’s first fleece was awarded the title of 2018 National Supreme Champion Fleece at the same show.

Less than 12 months ago, Coolawarra’s herd merged with Storybook Alpacas owned by Michael, Karen and Rubey Williams.

The herd was drawn from two of the oldest studs in NSW and Australia, Coolaroo and Illawarra alpaca studs, owned by Ms Forrest and her partner Dr Ian Davison.

Over the past 30 years both studs have sourced bloodlines worldwide, drawing stud consultants from the merino industry and utilising embryo transfer to accelerate their genetic advancement.

And now, just last weekend, winning the top gong at the prestigious NSW Spring Show Michael Williams said while the show was at a local level, the competition was fierce.

Alpacas come from studs in Victoria, Queensland and South Australia.

“This along with the Nationals where stable mate, Coolaroo Mercado won champion senior male, this has been an outstanding start to our spring show season.”