Exhibitors From 35 Ranches Attended The Alpaca Blast-Off


November 19, 2020

Six people and their alpacas dressed up for a parade during the Alpaca Blast-Off show, presented by Alpacas of Oklahoma, at the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center, in Shawnee, on Nov. 14. All six received participation ribbons, and Olaia Del Solar and Rona, left, of Keller, Texas, won the blue ribbon. Del Solar, originally from Spain, works on the DJ's Classic Alpacas ranch, owned by Debbie and Jim Conkle.

Alpaca exhibitors from 35 ranches in 11 states descended on the Heart of Oklahoma Exposition Center Nov. 14-15 for the Alpaca Blast-Off Show and Sale.

Debbie Ashley, president of Alpacas of Oklahoma, said, "We had nine outside vendors selling alpaca-related merchandise. Four fiber mills were there with their products and to collect raw alpaca fiber from the breeder customers for processing into yarn and other things. Also, there were a few ranches that brought products from their farm stores to sell."

On Saturday, there was a parade in which six people and their alpacas dressed up and walked around the arena. All six received participation ribbons, and the blue ribbon went to Olaia Del Solar and Rona, of DJ's Classic Alpacas ranch in Keller, TX, owned by Debbie and Jim Conkle. Del Solar is originally from Spain, and her and Rona's costumes were red Flamenco dresses.

You could also find Staci Forshee, of Red Hill Llamas & Alpacas in Velma, giving a trick demonstration with her alpacas, Puff n' Stuff and Tinkerbell. Forshee said she only uses positive reinforcement to teach her alpacas tricks like giving kisses, turning around, picking up a halter, putting the halter on, stepping up on a bucket, sitting down, and playing dead. She gives treats and uses target training to teach, but for those alpacas who are not food-motivated, she said owners need to "find what they like," such as petting. Forshee also represented Crossed Arrows Alpacas and Fiber Mill.

Ashley said she considered the event a "great success." Alpacas of Oklahoma began as the Heart of Oklahoma Alpaca Breeders and showed their animals in the alpaca show of the Oklahoma State Fair for the first time in 2000.

"The Alpaca Blast-Off had its inaugural show in January 2007 at the Expo Center in Shawnee," she said. "We moved the show to Guthrie for five years and have been back in Shawnee for the past four years."


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