Alpaca Emphasis Guide

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The Alpaca Emphasis Guide is not part of the AOA show rules but a separate guide that is used primarily for judge training. This guide is also helpful for members who are considering putting an alpaca in the show ring or for exhibitors to have a better understanding of the dynamics of show evaluation and a judge's decision.

Purpose

The purpose of the guide is to help judges consistently prioritize alpaca traits in the show ring.

The guide identifies important traits and catalogs them into three classifications:

  1. priority emphasis,
  2. moderate emphasis, and
  3. lesser emphasis.

The chart is based on three guiding principles:

  1. the form to function aspect of conformation,
  2. the textile value of fleece, and
  3. the heritability of the traits involved.

Juvenile Conformation  Yearling Conformation  Adult Conformation

Huacaya Fleece  Suri Fleece

 
 

1 = Primary Emphasis

Male

Female

Bite: lower teeth must meet forward edge of upper dental pad1
(1/4" inch back,
1/8" inch forward is acceptable)
1
(1/4" inch back,
1/8" inch forward is acceptable)
Bite: the lower gum line should be set back from the leading edge of the top dental pad1
(1/4" to 1/2")
1
(1/4" to 1/2")
Ears: erect, spear-shaped, and of appropriate length11
Front Legs: straight (not base narrow at the feet)11
Body Score: ideal condition is 5 out of 10, acceptable range is 4 to 611
Leg Anomalies: dropped pasterns11
Testicles: two, must be palpable1 
Female Genitalia: normal in appearance and size 1
Hind Legs: straight (not base narrow at the feet)11
Tail: straight/length (no structural deviations from normal)11

2 = Moderate Emphasis

Male

Female

Hind Legs: straight (not cow-hocked as viewed from the rear)22
Substance of Bone: relative to age and size22
Body Capacity: breadth & depth of the body, chest, and abdomen22
Body Capacity: hind quarters (broad and well-muscled)22
Body Size: in relation to age22
Overall Balance & Proportion: standing square on all four legs, neck and legs of equal length, length of neck and legs 2/3 of length of back22

3 = Lesser Emphasis

Male

Female

Head: depth of jaw from eye to bottom of jaw33
Neck: angle is within 90–100 degrees33
Topline: level behind withers to hip and rounded at croup to tail set33
Hind Legs: side view lie between post-legged and sickle-hocked (intermediate is optimum)33
Hind Legs: angular limb deviations33
Movement: leg set and angulation affect tracking33
Front Legs: angular limb deviation (knock-kneed, turned out/toes out)33
Front Legs: toed in (one leg or both)33
Leg Anomalies: minor expression33
Testicles: consistent in size and texture3 

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1 = Primary Emphasis

Male

Female

Bite: lower teeth must meet forward edge of upper dental pad1
(1/4" inch back is acceptable)
1
(1/4" inch back,
1/8" inch forward is acceptable)
Bite: the lower gum line should be set back from the leading edge of the top dental pad1
(1/4" to 1/2")
1
(1/4" to 1/2")
Ears: erect, spear-shaped, and of appropriate length11
Front Legs: straight (not base narrow at the feet)11
Body Score: ideal condition is 5 out of 10, acceptable range is 4 to 611
Body Size: in relation to age11
Leg Anomalies: dropped pasterns11
Testicles: two, must be palpable in the scrotum1 
Female Genitalia: normal in appearance and size 1
Hind Legs: straight (not cow-hocked as viewed from the rear)11
Substance of Bone: relative to age and size11
Hind Legs: straight (not base narrow at the feet)11
Body Capacity: breadth & depth of the body, chest, and abdomen11
Body Capacity: hind quarters (broad and well-muscled)11
Overall Balance & Proportion: standing square on all four legs, neck and legs of equal length, length of neck and legs 2/3 of length of back11
Tail: straight/length (no structural deviations from normal)11

2 = Moderate Emphasis

Male

Female

Topline: level behind withers to hip and rounded at croup to tail set22
Hind Legs: side view lie between post-legged and sickle-hocked (intermediate is optimum)22
Hind Legs: angular limb deviations22
Movement: leg set and angulation affect tracking22
Front Legs: angular limb deviation (knock-kneed, turned out/toes out)22
Front Legs: toed in (one leg or both)22
Testicles: consistent in size and texture2 

3 = Lesser Emphasis

Male

Female

Head: depth of jaw from eye to bottom of jaw33
Neck: angle is within 90–100 degrees33
Leg Anomalies: minor expression33

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1 = Primary Emphasis

Male

Female

Bite: lower teeth must meet forward edge of upper dental pad1
(1/4" inch back is acceptable)
1
(1/4" inch back,
1/8" inch forward is acceptable)
Bite: the lower gum line should be set back from the leading edge of the top dental pad1
(1/4" to 1/2")
1
(1/4" to 1/2")
Ears: erect, spear-shaped, and of appropriate length11
Front Legs: straight (not base narrow at the feet)11
Body Score: ideal condition is 5 out of 10, acceptable range is 4 to 611
Body Size: in relation to age11
Leg Anomalies: dropped pasterns11
Testicles: two, must be palpable in the scrotum1 
Female Genitalia: normal in appearance and size 1
Hind Legs: straight (not cow-hocked as viewed from the rear)11
Substance of Bone: relative to age and size11
Hind Legs: straight (not base narrow at the feet)11
Body Capacity: breadth & depth of the body, chest, and abdomen11
Body Capacity: hind quarters (broad and well-muscled)11
Overall Balance & Proportion: standing square on all four legs, neck and legs of equal length, length of neck and legs 2/3 of length of back11
Tail: straight/length (no structural deviations from normal)11
Topline: level behind withers to hip and rounded at croup to tail set11
Hind Legs: side view lie between post-legged and sickle-hocked (intermediate is optimum)11
Hind Legs: angular limb deviations11
Movement: leg set and angulation affect tracking11
Front Legs: angular limb deviation (knock-kneed, turned out/toes out)11
Front Legs: toed in (one leg or both)11
Testicles: consistent in size and texture1 

2 = Moderate Emphasis

Male

Female

Head: depth of jaw from eye to bottom of jaw22
Neck: angle is within 90–100 degrees22
Leg Anomalies: minor expression22

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1 = Primary Emphasis

Male

Female

Density11
Fineness11
Uniformity of Micron/Fineness11
Fleece Weight11
Staple Length11
Uniformity of Color: in the blanket from one area to another11
Absence of Guard Hair11
Soundness of Fleece11

2 = Moderate Emphasis

Male

Female

Brightness22
Character/Crimp22
Handle (CV)22
Uniformity: from one area to another  
Character/Crimp22
Density22
Length22

3 = Lesser Emphasis

Male

Female

Color — Greys/Indefinites/Multis33

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1 = Primary Emphasis

Male

Female

Luster11
Density11
Fineness11
Uniformity of Micron/Fineness11
Fleece Weight11
Staple Length11
Uniformity of Color: in the blanket from one area to another11
Absence of Guard Hair11
Soundness of Fleece11

2 = Moderate Emphasis

Male

Female

Lock Style22
Handle (CV)22
Uniformity: from one area to another  
Lock Style22
Luster22
Density22
Length22

3 = Lesser Emphasis

Male

Female

Color — Greys/Indefinites/Multis33

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