The event will also feature alpacas competing in a ring competition, as well as classes judging conformation and fleece quality in many categories for both Suri and Huacaya alpacas, according to organizers.
Among the 450 alpacas at the ranch, 2-year-old Val-d'Isère stands out as an award-wining alpaca who's taken home the first place award for a male dark supreme champion.
The ranch has also won the 2010 Futurity Small Breeder of the Year, the 2012 Futurity Reserve Medium of the Year and the 2015 and 2016 Futurity Reserve Large Breeder of the Year awards.
(Irish Whiskey, Val-d'Isère and Cricket; Courtesy: Red Granite Ranch)
Alpacas are cousins to the llama and are native to the Andean Mountain range of South America, particularly Peru, Bolivia and Chile.
Today, the United States boasts two types of alpacas. Although almost physically identical, the two types of alpacas are distinguished by their fleece. The huacaya is the more common of the two and has a fluffy, extremely fine coat. On the other hand, the suri is more rare and has fleece that is silky and resembles pencil-locks.
Adult alpacas stand at approximately 36 inches at the withers and generally weigh between 150 and 200 pounds. They do not have horns, hooves, claws or incisors.
Alpacas are alert, intelligent, curious and predictable. Social animals that seek companionship, they communicate most commonly by softly humming.
Alpacas are shorn without harm every twelve to eighteen months. Each alpaca can produce five to ten pounds of fleece.
The 2017 National Alpaca Show will take place on Friday, March 17 and Saturday, March 18 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and on Sunday, March 19 from 8 a.m. to 3 pm.