Alpaca Showtime

Date: 31 October - 1 November 2015

Location: Houghton Hall Equestrian and Alpaca Centre, New Manor Farm, Sawtry Way, Houghton, Cambs PE28 2DY

Judges: Rob Bettinson

Organiser: Mary-Jo Smith Email:

Entries Close: 10 October 2015

Tandom Judging: Rob Bettinson & Helen  Testa

Organiser: Mary-Jo Smith

Entries Close: October 10th, 2015

Click here to view the Alpaca Showtime website for more information

Helen Testa


Huacaya Halter, Suri Halter, Fleece, Performance

Helen established Silvercloud Farm in 2001 and managed a large herd of huacayas. Helen has been very active within the alpaca community. She served as the President of the Pennsylvania Alpaca Owners and Breeders Association (PAOBA), managed the PAOBA Breeders Showcase, served on the Mid- Atlantic Alpaca Association Board of Directors, served on several Alpaca Owners Association Sub-Committees, and was founder partner in Silver Penn Sales. Helen recently joined the Judges Advisory Committee (JAC) and plans to remain active and supportive of the alpaca community.

Helen has been a certified Halter and Fleece Judge since 2007 and enjoys traveling throughout the country evaluating alpacas, offering educational seminars, herd evaluations, and sale consultations. Helen has now retired from Silvercloud Farm and she and her two children Mia and Raymond reside in Cranberry Township, Pennsylvania.

Rob Bettinson
 Please click here to view Rob's full CV

My wife Shirley and I and our four children, founded Toft Alpacas in 1997 with the purchase of four breeding females. Our farm nestles on the side of the reservoir, Draycote water, in Warwickshire, West Midlands. Our herd size is now around 200 alpacas. The white Huacayas and Suris were originally developed from the Accoyo bloodlines of Don Julio Barreda and the coloureds to select Peruvian and Australian genetics.
Early in our alpaca adventure, a business trip to Australia gave me the opportunity to attend the AAA National show and visit some farms in NSW and WA enabling me to gain an invaluable insight into the Australian alpaca industry and the potential for the Alpaca in the UK and Europe. Inspired by what I had seen on my return we committed fully to developing our Toft Alpaca aspiration.  We now own a small breeding herd in New Zealand and import select genetic bloodlines from Australia, NZ and the USA to enhance our breeding programme.
Shirley and I attended the Alpaca festival in Arequipa in 2000 which gave me an opportunity to watch Julio Sumar judging in the show ring and also to visit a few farms and research stations providing an invaluable insight into the alpaca’s natural habitat and the alpaca and the fibre industry in Peru. I revisited Peru in 2001 in to select genetics for Toft Alpacas,  a trip which also gave me the opportunity to get hands-on with some of the Accoyo animals of Don Julio Barreda at his farm in Macusani.
I was elected to the board of the BAS in 2002, I served as Chairman from 2004-2007 and I have been honoured to serve in various capacities ever since. I continue to do my best to represent the interests of all members and keep the society and the industry moving forward in a positive, practical and realistic way.
I have been enthralled to play a part in the development of the Toft Alpaca Shop which is run by our daughter Kerry Lord and is such a major part of the Toft Alpaca experience. So much so that we have now developed the Toft Alpaca Studio onsite as a bespoke facility in which to educate and showcase all that is best in alpaca breeding and product, confident that we are creating a sustainable future for the alpaca in the UK and Europe.
I qualified as one of the first BAS alpaca judges in the UK in 2003. I initially took the courses to find out more in the belief I had an eye for a good alpaca but I am very grateful and supportive of the training that underpins my natural instincts. I am a keen supporter of the compulsory annual calibration clinics for qualified BAS judges and I look forward to playing an active role as a Judge Tutor in the future training of BAS alpaca judges in the UK.
 have always been a keen supporter of the show ring which I firmly believe is the key arena in which to educate the public and breeders and showcase the potential of this remarkable livestock.  My ambition is to maintain a reputation as an impartial, objective and fair judge of alpacas, educate where I can and ensure that the breeders and the public are enthralled and entertained by the showing of alpacas.
I still get a thrill to be invited to Judge alpacas anywhere in the UK and enjoy every minute of my time in the ring where I feel I have a duty to make the experience a joyous celebration of the alpaca for exhibitor and spectator alike. I am deeply honoured that I am now invited to judge alpacas in European countries and glad to be exploring the countryside rather than the cities. As someone who has never excelled at languages I find it amazing and inspirational that the language of ‘alpaca’ now transcends National boundaries and cultures as we begin to create a Trans -European Alpaca Community.





Alpaca Showtime RESULTS.pdf

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