A jittery alpaca was not enough to stop Balaklava's Amity Holland from excelling in the junior alpaca handling competition at this year's Royal Adelaide show, with the first time entrant's excellent ability to lead the animal through the show ring making her a worthy winner.
Ms Holland attends Horizon Christian School, and has been working with the school's alpacas since last year, but has been around livestock all her life.
"We've had horses and cattle (on our property), so I know how to handle an animal - you have to have a firm grip and show them who is boss," she said.
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The alpaca led by Miss Holland was just eleven months old, and although she described it as "a very stubborn and difficult animal", she noted the importance of staying calm while handling.
"Don't consider just yourself, but consider your animal and its actions and mood," she said.
"Their mood can depend on your mood."
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Judge Perry Wheeler, Prados Alpacas, Hindmarsh Valley, said Miss Holland displayed "absolutely wonderful control", and was impressed with her ability to win the broad ribbon in her maiden show.
Mr Wheeler commended the lineup of 50 contestants across the classes.
"The first time I judged junior handling was in 2007, and the standard during that time has been getting better and better
"It's getting really hard to actually pick between the top handlers in these classes."
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