Something for everyone at BAS National Show

27 February 2013

Serious competition combined with fun for all the family, the National Show promises to be the biggest alpaca event of the year – 11-12 May at New Bury Farm, Mill Road, Slapton, Leighton Buzzard, LU7 9BT.

Following the immensely successful World Alpaca Conference last year, the BAS has decided to invest in a National Show in 2013 that will be unlike any held in the past. 

In 2012, the BAS membership was asked to complete a questionnaire compiled by the Show Committee. The four criteria that stood out were:

1. The National Show should be held in the centre of Britain.
2.  It should be a show that would attract the general public.
3.  It should be a two day show.
4. The majority wished to see other alpaca related events in addition to showing classes with opportunities for learning.

This will be a show not only for the breeders of show animals but also for those that have alpacas as pets and owners that otherwise have no interest in showing. There will be gymkhana-type events for all the family and their alpacas. Forget the silence and calm of the show ring – shout, laugh and cheer in the alpaca gymkhana arena.

After an extensive property search, a fantastic venue has been found in north Buckinghamshire – Bury Farm Equestrian Centre. The facilities are excellent for both alpacas and owners alike, from generous, secure stabling to four vast indoor arenas and a warm, comfortable café selling delicious homemade cooking. Bury Farm have gained a very good record of attracting the general public to their events (usually approx 1000 people per day) and they have kindly offered to concentrate on the promotion and marketing of the National in 2013 on the BAS' behalf. Admission to the showground is free.

The judges

The three judges have generously confirmed their participation. Val Fullerlove and Liz Barlow will judge the halter classes for huacaya and suri on both Saturday and Sunday and Nick Harrington-Smith has agreed to judge the fleece show. So don’t send your fleeces for processing yet, save them for May.

The organising committee of Duffy Osborn-Jones, Caroline Roberts and Caroline Trotter together with a sub-committee of willing and able volunteers are focusing on ways to encourage the public to attend. A country fair will run alongside the National Show, all of which will take place in the vast outdoor arena and will include terrier racing, ferret racing, parade of a Bloodhound pack, a companion dog show, dog agility, and gundog training with Ricky Moloney. There will be an indoor shopping village with a variety of stalls from craft to those selling alpaca-related products and a famers’ market. Due to the extensive area that this site provides, there will be ample space for members to display and sell to the public.

For the past few weeks there has been a photographic competition running, “Spirit of the Alpaca – connecting the Alpaca with its South American Roots”, the results of which will be on display in the galleries. Alpaca Magazine has kindly sponsored this competition. 

A design competition will find the BAS Young Knitwear Designer of 2013. Thirty finalist designers have prepared an A3 mood board of their design together with sample swatches and judge Victoria Shelsher, MA (Rca) will select the winner.  The winning entry will be notified in mid March and presented with a cheque for £500 at the Gala Evening on Saturday 11 May.  The Natural Fibre Company has generously offered to sponsor the prize.

Fibre Zone

The National Fibre Committee is focusing on a Fibre Zone, where there will be regular workshops demonstrating felting, hand spinning, tapestry and weaving etc.  There will also be a inter region competition for hand spinners – The Great Scarf Race. Generously sponsored by The Border Mill, a bag of fleece, sheared at the show that morning will be transformed into a knitted scarf. In this zone you will also be able to enjoy a cream tea or a piece of homemade cake.

In one of the four arenas, Julie Taylor-Browne and Victoria Barrett have kindly agreed to offer alpaca training and handling advice, interspersed with alpaca gymkhana-type events for all the family and their pet alpacas.

The Live Zone in Arena 3 will provide the general public with an opportunity to ‘get up close and personal’ with alpacas in the hope that some may become smitten by their many charms.Thrift Farm, a county council backed rural training centre for adults with learning difficulties, have generously offered to bring their petting farm to include donkeys, rabbits, chickens etc to be part of the Live Zone. We take biosecurity very seriously; all provisions will be made to ensure that this is not compromised.


When the alpacas are away, the dogs will play – a dog agility competition will take place at regular intervals during Saturday.


In response to the poor turnout at recent AGMs it has been decided that the National will give the Society the opportunity of engaging with the membership at the 2013 AGM on the Friday evening (10 May).  It is envisaged that all those bringing animals to the National will have settled them into their stables/pens from 3pm that day and can then meet in the bar in the early evening before the AGM commences.  All BAS members are encouraged to attend whether or not you will be bringing alpacas to the show.

Saturday evening is when the additional fun really starts!  Bury Farm have offered to sponsor the entertainment as they are experienced in running Gala Nights for the equestrian world.  These have been highly successful and usually attract over 700 members of the public.  The BAS membership is to be given the chance not only of attending a Gala Evening on Saturday 11th May but also of participating in the entertainment.  It will be a night of razzamatazz, lights, music and action.  Some of the acts suggested so far are:

Camelids Vs Horses
Parade of Camelids
Camels on Parade
Double Harness Scurry
Final of the Dog Agility Competition
Live music

As the main arena entertainment finishes, the disco lights come on for all those prepared to put on their dancing shoes.

Organisers have tried to make the Gala Evening affordable to all.

  1. Black Tie VIP ticket @£55 per ticket (tables of 10) to include a Champagne Reception and three course dinner with the perfect ringside view (limited to 20 tables). To book your VIP tickets please contact Bury Farm on 01525 222114
  2. Grandstand seating ticket @ max £12 per ticket with supper available in the café at your own expense.Tickets will be available soon. Click here for updates 

During the evening the trade stands and the farmers’ market will remain open for the benefit of the hundreds of guests that are expected to attend the Gala Evening.

Tickets for the Gala dinner will be available soon on Bury Farm Website click here to view

Throughout the weekend, organisers will be raising funds for Amantani UK, the chosen charity of the BAS. Amantani have worked tirelessly for the education of children in the mountains of Southern Peru and amongst the many accolades they have been awarded since their inception three years ago, is Latin American Human Rights Organisation of the Year 2013.


Electrical hook up facilities are available – book directly with New Bury Farm, Mill Road, Slapton, Nr Leighton Buzzard, Buckinghamshire LU7 9BT – 01525 222114

Pendley Manor 01442 891891
The Swan Hotel, Leighton Buzzard – 01525 380170
Travel Lodge – Hockcliffe Nr Leighton Buzzard – 0871 984 6027
Travel Lodge – Luton - 0871 984 6355

For further details contact: 
                         Duffy Osborn-Jones – 01491 573208
                         Caroline Roberts – 07817651664
                         Caroline Trotter – 07798 904500




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