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2017 llama show dedicated in honor of Michaela Elson

| October 2, 2017

COSHOCTON – Members of the Kamelid Kushers wore yellow shirts in honor of advisor Michaela Elson during the llama show at the Coshocton County Fair on Sunday, Oct. 1. Elson has had a long battle with cancer recently which among other things, cost her one of her legs. However, throughout it all, she has remained a positive and inspiring young woman to others.

“She is such an inspiration to all of us,” said Patty Fischer, superintendent of the llama show. “Michaela is determined she is going to win this. She is someone we can all look up to. She is so amazing and has already conquered so many challenges. She is now cancer free.”

There were four types of classes in the llama show including halter class where judges look for conformation or quality based on movement of the animal and skeletal structure; performance class which is a trail class where the animal moves over obstacles; showmanship where the handler is judged on how well they show the animal; and costume class where coverage, the animal’s tolerance of coverage, and creativity are judged.

Twelve-year-old Alyssa Horn has been showing llamas for two years. She is a member of Kamelid Kushers 4-H Club. Last year, Horn won third in the showmanship class. Her llama’s name is Sochi.

To care for llamas, Horn said you must make sure they have all their vaccines, food and water, mineral blocks, and hay. They also need a lot of brushing.

“To get ready for showing, you have to brush her a lot,” she said. “They need a lot of grooming.”

Allie Mizer is in her fourth year of raising llamas. She was the reserve champion in her class last year and first place in her age class. She was there with her three-year-old llama, Jax.

“Before the show, you have to make sure their toenails are trimmed, shave them in the middle so they stay cool, and spray them with llama grooming spray. The wand is to run over their fur to make sure they are nice and clean for showing.”

Mizer said she loves showing llamas because there are different ways you can show them such as obstacle course, jumping, tunnels, and weaving. She said there are different pack classes at the state fair which she said is something she would like to try.

“They’re really good pets,” said Mizer. “They’re very sociable and they like to be around one another. I’ve learned all about llamas like how to take care of them. They’re really fun animals and fun to show.”

Fischer said that llamas have a bad reputation of spitting at people, but that only happens in rare cases.

“Llamas are very gentle, spiritual, calming animals,” said Fischer. “They do not spit at people for no reason. They will spit if they are mishandled or are frightened. Also, if you feed llamas out of your hand or from a bucket in your hand, something internally goes off and they’ll spit. A lot of llamas in petting zoos will spit because people usually feed them out of their hand in petting zoos, which is why you should never put llamas in a petting zoo. Males will also spit at each other to fight for a female or they’ll spit to fight over food.”

Fischer and her husband Nick, who is also a superintendent for the llama show, have had as many as 34 llamas. Jean and Mike Haumschild are llama 4-H advisors in Coshocton County.

“This show is the only llama show at a fair where we run both the 4-H show and the open show together,” said Fischer. “People come from out of the county to show and local 4-H members show in the same class. But our most popular class is the Little Tykes class where the general public bring their children age 7 and under where they get to lead a llama through the obstacle course. We always have a lot of people come for that.”

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    Category: Clubs & Organizations

    Beth Scott

    About the Author ()

    I have been employed at the Coshocton County Beacon since September 2009 as a news reporter and assistant graphic artist. I am a 2004 graduate of Newcomerstown High School and a 2008 graduate of Capital University with a bachelor’s degree in Professional Writing. I am married to John Scott and live in Newcomerstown. We have two beautiful daughters, Amelia Grace Scott and Leanna Rose Scott.