Recently there was a request to offer ones' thoughts about the Western Show Alliance... so I offered them. In discussion with others, I know others also had concerns/questions that I did not present. Some took the time to write their own emails. I encourage you to email your local llama groups either with concerns, thoughts or praise on this subject.
I found that I hit a sore spot with the person who responded to my email. It was not meant to offend, merely to present my thoughts. Reaction was made to specific words I used. One quote was, "Yes, we value your opinion but it should be an educated opinion and not based on what you hear".. Where I did not wish to offend the readers of my email, the person that responded to me DID wish to offend. I am not posting that email I received, in response, as that is not presented in an open forum. On 8/19/11 I goggled Western Show Alliance llama. The first listing was from Cal-ILA stating 'There is a proposal to form a Western Show Alliance to reduce the number of llama shows produced in the west.'
What are the gray areas that have been presented-
1. Many of us heard about the Western Show Alliance at the California State Fair. It was presented as a group. It was said that shows in California should be decreased.
2. The August 2011 Newsletter had a large article about the Western Show Alliance. There was every indication that this was the view point of Cal-ILA, not an individual.
3. The same Newsletter asked for peoples opinions. One should not ask for an opinion unless they really WANT AN OPINION.
4.Western Show Alliance. Name for a group or individual show?
Here was my email about the Western Show Alliance. Farther down, you will find emails that have been sent out about it's formation & the direction it is following.
Western Show Alliance
The questions have been asked. Individuals are talking to individuals. It has become a topic of conversation at llama gatherings. The Western Alliance. Another proposed new group to dictate how the business of llamas should be handled. Here are some thoughts for your consideration. Hopefully, it will inspire more dialogue on the topic.
Llama Show Attendance-
We have been showing for over seven years now, We have participated in small County Fairs to the Quadruple Judge Virginia Christensen Show. We have seen many changes in the shows over this time. Yes, the participation is on the down swing but we do not believe that the costs involved are the major culprit. Other possible reasons, consider the following-
Llama Shows from years past use to have a flare to them. The Hobo Show had a flare to it. The props & the Keystone cops kept participants amused. The fun events offered gave every llama the chance to be a winner. People would take about it & look forward it for the following year. The State Fair had a nice sit down dinner or ice cream social. Participants were allowed to get away from grooming, competition etc. and just relax.
Reduction to the number of shows
1. Feb LANA Hobo Turlock, CA
2. Feb LASC Riverside County Fair Indio, CA
3. Mar LASC March Magic Lancaster, CA
4. May Llamas & More Show Fallon, NV
5. May CAL-ILA Grass Valley Grass Valley, CA
6. Jun LASC San Diego County Fair Del Mar, CA
7. Jun LANA Round-Up Turlock, CA
8. Jul CAL-ILA California State Fair Sacramento, CA
9. Aug CAL-ILA Solano County Fair Vallejo, CA
10. Aug CAL-ILA Hot August Nights Performance Show Turlock, CA
11. Oct Llamas of the Wine Country Harvest Fair Santa Rosa, CA
There are 11 Shows in the California/ Nevada area. We may not need more shows, but we definitely do not need less. Different shows have their own purpose.
Shows at the State & County Fairs are necessary for the future survival of the llama industry. It is a shame that more people do not realize it. There is no better place for the public to meet llamas, often for the first time. Owners can promote the attributes of these wonderful animals while dispelling the negative myths. We think many future llama owners discovered llamas at a Fair. If the participants put as much effort into socializing with the public well anyway, there would be a lot more new llama owners out there.
Northern VS Southern California. The distance to a show IS a big deal. There is a large grouping of llama people in Southern California as well as a large group in Northern California. Any reduction of shows in a geographical area will not necessarily mean that those people will participate more in the other geographical location. Distance, cost of gas & cost for health certificates are a major consideration for smaller operations.
It is confusing. We (Fallen Oak) have never shown at Fallon. The way the recent emails portray the Fallon Venue, it sounds like it is an undiscovered paradise. Great stalls, great buildings and kitchen facilities & a great central location. ??? Nearly every year people talk about their trip to Fallon. And what is said It is windy, the climate is either extremely hot or cold, the open stall area and facility is below par. Praises about camping has not been heard & exactly who is it centrally located to? The vast majority of the participants need to pay a veterinarian for a health check on their llamas.
Is another llama organization really needed. Just another group that will need to be funded by who?
An opinion was asked for. It may not be the one that wanted to be heard. Thanks for your consideration
Fallen Oak Llamas
Llamas and More Association (LAMA) in Nevada has thrown in the towel. Working with Dan and
Marilyn Milton, LAMA is promoting a Western Show Cooperative that will sponsor just a few
shows for owners in California, Nevada and Southern Oregon. The goal is to produce shows where
exhibitors can earn double or triple points with both ALSA and ILR. The idea is that fewer shows
will mean increased attendance, which will mean more points. Having a double or triple point
show will mean having the opportunity to earn more points with less travel, expense and
preparation time throughout the show season. To keep expenses down, low-cost venues such as
Fallon and Turlock would replace the more expensive fairgrounds.
Now come the hard choices; deciding which shows are no longer viable? Is there any need to keep
shows like the California State Fair, which has never been about earning ALSA points? How about
the Harvest Fair in Santa Rosa? Or the Johnny-come-lately Hot August Nights Performance Show
at Loras ranch in Turlock?
There are too many shows today for the number of active participants. Efforts to advertize the
shows, personal emails inviting folks to participate, and getting the word out has done little to
increase attendance. The CAL-ILA Board members recognize that something has to be done.
There are many positive aspects to joining with the other western organizations to form a Show Coop.
CAL-ILA will be able to focus our efforts on our chartered mission, educating our members
and the general public. The organization can still participate at the shows, but sponsoring an
information booth at the show rather than producing the event may be more in line with what the
organization should be promoting.
The downside is that we have worked hard to develop and sponsor some unique and fun shows for
our members and the camelid community. Giving up a hard-won show can be hard. Working
together as a Co-op means compromise, no one is going to get exactly what they want.
following are copies of the email messages between Marilyn Milton and Barney
in response to the original flyer Mary Adams blasted to the CAL-ILA
original proposal is shown first below, with responses following
Proposing a cooperative effort to create a new venue to improve the future of
Churchill County Fairgrounds in Fallon, NV, has been the location of the
Llamas and More Show for
past several years. It is an ideal location because of its reasonable
accessibility and low fee
There is excellent stalling, extensive camping space and a great activities
and nice rest rooms. The arena is covered.
to the failing economy making it difficult to attend numerous shows, it is
proposed that the above
join together to host a multi dual-sanctioned show similar to the Celebration
held in Oklahoma City in April, only this show will include performance
classes and additional fun
This type of show requires only two judges for halter and performance and a
third if fiber classes are
The judges must be certified by both ALSA and ILR. This is how the show is
show in front of both judges at the same time. Class placings are awarded and
they would be for an Open Show gold and silver. This gives exhibitors the
opportunity to see how
place within the whole group. It also saves the purchase of two complete sets
of class ribbons.
this point, the score keepers divide the exhibitors into ALSA gold and silver
and ILR gold and silver for
points and then assign them to their respective Championship rounds, where
they are awarded
and awards specific to their show divisions.
of the ALSA shows are reported to ALSA for points. ALSA points can also be
reported to ILR for
in their Universal Awards Program.
of the ILR shows are reported to ILR for the ILR-Show Division and the
show in front of both judges at the same time one time only. Class
placings are awarded and
given as they would be in an Open Show gold and silver.
this point the score keepers divide the exhibitors into ALSA gold and silver
and ILR gold and silver for
and Championship awards.
AM-PM Walking Fiber/Fleece On
AM Halter Classes
PM Fun Events
PM Performance *
sign up for Performance classes is heavy, some Performance classes may be
organization will have one member on the planning committee.
will be a lottery to choose the judges: the names of each organization will be
put into a hat. The
name to be drawn will choose the first halter judge. The second name to be
drawn will choose the
halter judge, the third name to be drawn will choose the fiber judge. Those
that did not get drawn
have first choice of judges for the following year.
are shared equally by the number of organizations participating. Costs
@ $180 per day (no charge for set up/tear down) = $360
areas for camping and RV parking @$50 per day (Friday, Saturday, Sunday) =
(16$B!G(BX16$B!G(B panels dirt floor covered
roof) @$15 for first day, $7 for consecutive days
(depends on level of use) generally runs under $100
costs vary due to location of origin. A single car rental will be involved.
has always complemented the judges rooms in the past.
and Marilyn Milton will order, pick up and deliver ribbons and awards from
their vendors in order
save shipping costs.
members from each organization will decide on final class scheduling, fun
show personnel. John Trauth will be the Show Superintendent , Marilyn Milton
will be Show
Dan Milton will be the Announcer and Judy Johnson will be the Score Keeper and
it will be optional as to what show divisions exhibitors wish to show in, the
fee will be the same.
Class fee = $40 (for a six way show)
Class fee = $80 for all three divisions (one class free). If only two
divisions are entered the
will be $75.
Class fee = $30 for all three divisions (one class free). If only two
divisions are entered the fee will
Class fee = $20 for adults, $10 for youth.
Fiber/Fleece On fee = $20
= $30 for Friday/Saturday, $10 for Sunday
= $5 per llama attending
= $25 for the week-end (hook-ups available)
Camping = $10 for the week-end
profits will be divided equally among the participating organizations.
purpose of this show is to provide a venue whereby people can come together
for a show that
multiple opportunities to gain awards and points for our llamas and have a
great time while
expenses for travel, lodging, show fees and stalling fees at or below costs
for attending a single
show is financially a very low risk for the organizations involved. It will
take a minimum of personnel
complete the event. It will give us the opportunity to work together to unify
the industry and secure a
for showing our llamas
hope that you will be willing as BOD members of your respective organizations
to participate in this
effort to preserve showing and good will within the llama industry and that
you will encourage
members to participate in every way that they can.
of the committee will work together to find further incentives to encourage
the success and enjoyment that is our unified goal.
suggested name for this new committee is the Western Cooperative Show Group or
Show Alliance. The show could be called The Western Cooperative Show or
Please take this proposal under consideration and let us know if you are
willing to participate in this
effort by July 15th.
and Dan Milton
behalf of the Llamas and More Association
June 21, 2011 1:04 PM
'Mary Adams'; 'taahoaol.com'; 'Ellen Goldsmith'; 'Yvonne
Adams shared with the CAL-ILA Board the proposal you have for combining
efforts to host a dual
show. I am NOT responding as a CAL-ILA Board Member, we have not had the
your proposal, but I did have some comments I wanted to personally share and
was supportive of previous efforts by CAL-ILA to partner with other groups to
cosponsor shows here in
West. It certainly makes sense. Most of the shows share the same volunteers
and we usually see the same exhibitors. The roadblocks seem to have been; who
money? and if we combined shows, are there fewer opportunities to exhibit and
for the public to
contact with llamas and alpacas in a show setting?
ALSA Shows Scheduled for 2011 California & Nevada (No ILR shows found)
Feb LANA Hobo Turlock, CA
Feb LASC Riverside County Fair Indio, CA
Mar LASC March Magic Lancaster, CA
May Llamas & More Show Fallon, NV
May CAL-ILA Grass Valley Grass Valley, CA
Jun LASC San Diego County Fair Del Mar, CA
Jun LANA Round Up Turlock, CA
Jul CAL-ILA California State Fair Sacramento, CA
Aug CAL-ILA Solano County Fair Vallejo, CA
Aug CAL-ILA Hot August Nights Performance Show Turlock, CA
Oct Llamas of the Wine Country Harvest Fair Santa Rosa, CA
the attached map)
1 Western Map
I have done research for the low attendance at the California State Fair, most
exhibitors say that
exhibit there for the Rosettes and the marketing value associated with a State
Fair Champion or
Ribbon Winner. Folks not showing usually cite the heat or the crowds as a
reason not to come
though llamas and alpacas are exhibited back east in high temps and stifling
Fairs seem to attract the folks looking to capitalize on the marketing aspects
of County Fair
as well. The other shows seem to have tried to provide a relatively
inexpensive venue for
and alpaca exhibitors interested in earning points as most of these are double
or triple shows.
I've heard is that it is too expensive to exhibit at all of the shows. I
remember the CAL-ILA Board
shows to address our members concerns that there were not enough opportunities
points without traveling across the country. But now many of those members are
and at many of the shows exhibitors can earn double or triple points. Maybe
the problem is we
too many shows. Frankly, with the big money investors having fled from the
llama and alpaca
there are a limited number of owners interested in showing their animals. I
we have about 20 owners (and probably less) in California, Nevada and Southern
showing their llamas and alpacas. That is a small population to support five
11 or more shows a year.
looks like consolidation is coming whether we like it or not. I tend to like
to drive change rather than
back and let change drive my actions. I think getting the various
organizations to cooperate and cosponsor
show is a good first step towards a new future for the camelid community.
do have some questions that the flyer didnt address in enough detail for me.
Which show or shows are being replaced?
What are the proposed dates?
Who will be handling the money? Llamas & More Association? The Miltons?
How will the show be marketed?
What are the costs for the show personnel?
Wool & Flax Llama Farm
CAL-ILA Board Member
June 21, 2011 1:32 PM
Western Show Alliance
for your reply. You brought up many interesting points. I have limit time
right this second so
let me answer your questions and I will get back to you on the other things
the shows would be up to the individual organizations who sponsor them. Llamas
replacing their show and handing it over to the new $B!H(Bgroup$B!I(B.
The confirmed date is always the first
in May. Who handles the money is up to the committee. Llamas and More Assoc.
some funds that they will be donating over to this show effort. The show will
be marketed through
group to their membership and there will be several email blasts to as many
folks as we can each
a reasonable area. This will be strictly a volunteer effort. No paid show
personnel except for the
We all need to learn to share the effort.
go. I will get back to you. Thanks again!
June 27, 2011 12:27 PM
Western Show Alliance
I had to rush the other day and didnt get to all of your comments.
having fewer venues for the public to have contact with the llamas. I would
rather have fewer
that really show how interesting and how much fun llamas are that have a lot
of events where
are one or two llamas in a class. Cal-ILA does a good job of promoting its
show to the public but
need to have more fun days, fund raisers, parades and ranch hosted fiber and
in order to promote to local folks who have acreage and dont know what to do
we have too many shows that are not successful but cost just as much to
attend. The more that
can offer folks at one event, the better, whether it is points, ribbons,
or just having a good time with the llamas. ALSA offers double points at
Regionals and Triple at
but, alas, there are no Regional shows in the Western Region due to politics.
There are no ILR
in the Southwest Region because organizations have chosen sides. This has
caused a great
in the industry in more ways than one. It has cut in half the size of the
shows and attendance is
that it is hard to achieve ROMs and Halter Championships due to poor
attendance. Living in the
Region, I have to show in Nevada or California to qualify for Nationals
because there are no
shows in my area due to the same syndrome and many of those have no full
it only requires 6. We have tried to reintroduce ALSA to the Pacific
Northwest. The exhibitors are
but ALSA keeps shooting us down. Dont even get me started on the Regional
in a nut shell, because of economic times and general apathy and complacency
among many llama
I am proposing a new way to get together and show, promote, and have fun with
do it in a manner that we can share ideas and responsibility and at the same
time foster a spirit of
and good will and hope for a productive future for our llamas. There is no
other location that
know of that we can afford to put on a show at so little cost and by sharing
that financial burden it
a no risk effort.
handles the money? Who cares, as long as it is done properly. I will be happy
to handle the
I should anyway if I am the show secretary and all the entries come my
way. One of the
I am presenting the proposal in this manner is that certain things are written
in stone and
things will be up to the committee. The groups are invited to participate but
if they cannot agree
the basics of this proposal, then they should opt out. Keeping things simple
always works best. Too
input and nothing is ever agreed upon.
can tell you that the Celebration Classic is successful (291 llamas in 2010
and 220 in 2011) and it is just
with four wool divisions. The Gathering had 300 llamas in attendance made up
of mostly midwesterners.
why cant this effort be successful for the Western Region?
takes commitment from BODs and members alike to make these things happen. As I
because of the structure of the show it will take very little personnel and
the costs consist of
judges and awards only.
hope that you will support this effort and promote it within and outside of
your organization. When
told everyone at the Fallon Show about this proposal everyone seemed very
excited about it.
Llamas and More Association is closing its doors and donating the remainder of
its treasury to
have forwarded your comments to the CAL-ILA BOD for discussion. We have a
night, but we are trying to limit discussion to the General Membership Meeting
around the corner!) so I dont know if we will have much of a chance to discuss
I think the West can only support 3$B!>(B4 full shows a year. The
tough part is having folks let
of their show so the Western Show Alliance can work. I dont think there are
any easy answers to
everyone to jump on board.
was chartered to educate llama owners and the public. Shows are just an
extension of that
Somehow over the years CAL-ILA has become known just for our shows (Grass
Valley in the
Solano County Fair mid summer, State Fair (was late summer, but now the end of
July!), and the
August Nights Show). But we also have educational clinics almost every month!
Those tend to be
and may not get the attention needed by the Board because we are working on
have been trying to change the perception, but its not changing very quickly.
think that if CAL-ILA stops hosting shows it might help to assure that a
Western Show Alliance would be
It would free up resources that could be better used for education activities
of interest to
llama community. I think CAL-ILA could be a sponsoring member of the Alliance,
but the specific
of how that would look will have to be worked out. But giving up an activity
that CAL-ILA has
identified with may prove to be difficult.
think the industry has evolved and its time for supporting organizations to
evolve as well. When I first
involved in the llama community llama shows were more of a social event with a
really interested in the points. Most of us were more interested in the chance
to visit with
other. The economy has weeded out those of us who would pay entry fees just to
hob nob with
llama owners. The serious competitors are now the majority and the shows need
to evolve to
think a dedicated Western Show Alliance will better meet the needs of the show
more points, better ribbons and banners, awards, and combined ALSA/ILR events
competitive rewarding experience at a cost thats affordable. CAL-ILA, LANA,
LOWC (Llamas of the
Country), LASC and the PLTA can each focus on the local educational and fun
the Western Show Alliance.
applaud your efforts and think your ideas make real sense. However, I think
there is some real political
invested by each of the separate groups that will need to be worked through.
Note: As you can see from the above messages, I support the idea of
a show cooperative. But, I still have some questions and I believe that
a working group will be difficult because there are some many interests
Just because it may be hard and take some time is no reason not to pursue
that you have read the original proposal, read Barneys questions and Marilyns
please share your opinion with the board members. We need your input.