XENIA — Llamas and alpacas took center stage Saturday in the final days of the Greene County Fair, sending several exhibitors home with some serious hardware.
The show consisted of three parts: showmanship classes, obstacle classes, which demonstrate a llama or alpaca’s agility, and performance classes, which simulate what an animal could come in contact with at a parade, nursing home or public event.
Syndey Stumbo, 13, daughter of Brian and Dee Stumbo won the Annie Stewart Memorial Award for outstanding exhibitor.
“This award is for the exhibitor who went above and beyond during the fair season,” said advisor Janine Hickey. “Not necessarily one who won a lot but who had a good attitude and made an outstanding effort.”
Stumbo, who attend Baker Middle School in Fairborn, has been showing her llama Dudley for three years. She also shows pygmy and fiber goats.
“It’s a lot of fun,” she said. “It means a lot to me to get the award. I just hope to have a lot of fun.”
In the showmanship classes, judge Joe Lowery, of Marysville, required exhibitors to back their animal, change pace and, at one point, switch handlers.
Camryn Joseph, 14, of Fairborn, brought home first place honors for junior showmanship with her llama Calvin Klein.
Joseph, who is also Junior Camelid Royalty, has been showing llamas for three years and became interested in the project when friends in Clark County became interested in the project.
“I just love it. They are really smart animals,” Joseph said.
Alexis Voisard, 15, who attends Cedarcliff Local Schools, came home with first place honors, with her llama Llucky, which she has been showing for two years.
She likes llama projects because “it wasn’t a big show” and she enjoyed the experience of working with different animals.
The honor was particularly poignant because Llucky was a rescued bottle-fed male llama, which didn’t have a whole lot of trust in people.
“It’s amazing what she can do with that llama. She’s just a llama whisperer,” said Hickey.
“Just the trust he developed makes this project very rewarding,” said Voisard.
Jessica Fair, 17, of Cedarville, brought home first class honors in the senior performance class.
She enjoys performance classes to see “how much progress I can make with the animal.”
Fair also shows rabbits and dogs and did a cooking and child development project.
Adriana Laurie was the junior performance winner with her llama Downtown Julie Brown. She is in her second year of showing llamas and attends Cedarville elementary.
“I thought it would be a really fun project,” she said. “I like performance because I like to do obstacles.”
Zachary Fair, 13, also of Cedarville, was the first place winner in the junior public relations classes.
“It’s fun because it’s neat how they react in the ring,” he said.
Natalie Kroger, 15, of Cedarville, brought him first place honors in the senior public relations class, even more special considering she took a substitute llama through the course.
“My llama developed an abcess in his ear,” Kroger said and wasn’t able to show.
Nineteen exhibitors took part in Saturday’s show and all used leased animals, according to Hickey. The 4H members have been working about 20 hours a week since April with their animals at the farm where they are boarded.
“Not one of these animals is owner-shown,” she said.
Debra Gaskill is a nearly 20-year newspaper veteran and freelance writer for Greene County Newspapers.