Rachael Gilley, Lily Howell, Gabby Ascenzo, Karley Apel and Olivia Ascenzo are shown with awards they won at a recent competition.

The Jackson County Friends and Family Love of Llamas competed close to home, as the Southern States Llama Association (SSLA) hosted the annual Northeast Tennessee Llama Show (NETLS) at the Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center, located in Gainesville. The show was moved to Chicopee Woods Agricultural Center because of the COVID restrictions. The 2022 NETLS is slated to return to Great Smoky Mountains Expo Center in White Pine, Tenn.

The 2021 NETLS show was a double ALSA, double ILR-SD, and a SSLA sweepstakes show. The show superintendents were Kathy DeVaul, Leesburg, and Cathie Kindler, Ellijay. The Orange Judge, Tami Lash, traveled from Michigan, and Green Judge, Steve Auld, from Missouri.

The NETLS show started with performance classes. The performance classes include Pack, Obstacle, and Public Relations. Llamas, by nature, are pack animals, and are able to carry 25 percent of their body weight. The pack class allows the handler the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to navigate obstacles while the animal is wearing a pack. Karley Apel, and llama, Eve, placed 2nd in the Junior Pack Class. Olivia Ascenzo, and alpaca, Señor FuzzButt, placed second in Alpaca Novice Pack.

The second performance class was Public Relations. The handler is judged on how the pair responds to a series of situations that they may encounter being out in a public setting. A few examples of a Public Relations course include being pet by a stranger, backing up, walking over bridges, and uneven surfaces. Rachel Gilley and llama Shemar placed first in Junior Public Relations. Gabby Ascenzo, and alpaca, Rafael placed first and second in Alpaca Novice Public Relations.

The last performance class of the night was Obstacle. The class demonstrates the trust between the animal and handler, which is built during daily care and training. A special bond forms between the two while overcoming the different challenges. Obstacles include ducking under, walking through tunnels, stepping over objects, running and stopping abruptly. Lily Howell, and Chama Llama Ding Dong, placed second in Intermediate Youth Obstacles, and received Reserve Champion in Intermediate Youth Performance. Gabby Ascenzo, and llama, Lazarus, placed third, and fourth in Junior Youth Obstacles. Gabby also placed first in Alpaca Novice Obstacle under both judges and received Grand Champion in Alpaca Novice Performance. Racheal Gilley received Grand Champion, and Karley Apel received Reserve Champion in Youth Performance.

Sunday was packed full of more fun as llama lovers competed in Showmanship, and halter classes. Showmanship is primarily based on the handler, and their ability to display their animal to the judges correctly. The handler must listen to the judge's instructions as they walk their animal with the head held high, stopping in the correct direction, keeping the animal square, standing in the appropriate quadrant, and keeping eye contact with the judge. Rachael Gilley placed first and second with llama, Moose Hill’s Shemar. Karley Apel placed first and third with llama, Cinco’s New Year’s Evening

Halter Classes are based on the different fiber types of the llamas and alpacas. The classes are based on age, types of fibers, and whether the animal is a Non-breeder, male, or female. In llamas the fiber can be light, medium, heavy wool, suri, or silky. Alpacas’ fiber can be either huacaya or suri. Señor Fuzzbutt, shown by Olivia Ascenzo, received Grand Champion Alpaca Non-Breeder. Llama SRLL Elaria, shown by Racheal Gilley, received Reserve Champion Yearling Silky Wool Female.


The results for the 2021 NETLS Llama show are as follows:

•Karley Apel with Cinco’s New Year’s Evening:

•Junior Youth Pack - 2nd and 4th

•Junior Youth Obstacle - 2nd and 4th

•Junior Youth Public Relations - 3rd and 4th

•Junior Youth Showmanship - 1st and 3rd

•Junior Youth Performance - Reserve Champion

•Adult Light Wool Female - 6th and 5th

•Karley Apel with Shy N Fly Turbo:

•Adult Non-Breeder - 3rd and 5th

•Melissa Apel with Moose Hill’s Belle of the Ball:

•2 year old Medium Wool Female - 1st and 2nd

•Gabby Ascenzo with Moose Hill’s Lazarus:

•Junior Youth Pack - 4th and 3rd

•Junior Youth Obstacle - 4th and 3rd

•Junior Youth Public Relations - 5th

•Junior Youth Showmanship - 5th

•2 Year Old Non-Breeder - 6th

•Gabby Ascenzo with ASC Rafael:

•Alpaca Novice Pack - 4th and 3rd

•Alpaca Novice Obstacle - 1st

•Alpaca Novice Public Relations - 2nd and 1st

•Alpaca Novice Performance - Grand Champion

•Alpaca Non-Breeder - 2nd

•Alpaca Non-Breeder Reserve Champion

•Olivia Ascenzo with Jett the Dark Knight:

•Junior Youth Pack - 5th

•Junior Youth Obstacle - 5th

•Junior Youth Public Relations - 4th and 3rd

•Junior Youth Showmanship - 3rd and 4th

•2 Year Old Non-Breeder - 5th and 2nd

•Olivia Ascenzo with Señor Fuzzbutt:

•Alpaca Novice Pack - 2nd

•Alpaca Novice Obstacle - 3rd and 4th

•Alpaca Novice Public Relations - 4th and 3rd

•Alpaca Non-Breeder - 4th and 1st

•Alpaca Non-Breeder Grand Champion

•Heather Ascenzo with Chelian’s Cinco De Mayo:

•Novice Public Relations - 5th

•Adult Novice Showmanship - 1st

•Adult Medium Wool Female - 3rd

•Heather Ascenzo with Ollindick’s Farm Zaccheo:

•Adult Non-Breeder - 3rd and 7th

•Jackie Ellett and Chelian’s Kitty Hawk:

•Adult Ground Driving - 1st

•Novice Obstacle - 6th

•Adult Light Wool Female - 5th and 6th

•Jackie Ellett and Slick Nifty:

•Novice Pack - 7th

•Novice Obstacle - 9th

•Adult Novice Showmanship - 4th and 2nd

•Adult Non-Breeder - 6th and 4th

•Jackie Ellet and Ruffino Has Arrived:

•Alpaca Novice Pack - 5th

•Alpaca Novice Obstacle - 5th

•Alpaca Novice Public Relations - 5th

•Alpaca Non - Breeder - 5th

•Megan Gilley and GVL Silver Salute:

•Novice Pack - 10th

•Adult Novice Showmanship - 5th and 7th

•Racheal Gilley and Moose Hill’s Shemar:

•Junior Youth Pack - 1st

•Junior Youth Obstacle - 1st

•Junior Youth Performance - 1st

•Junior Youth Performance Grand Champion

•Junior Youth Showmanship - 2nd and 1st

•Adult Non-Breeder - 8th

•Racheal Gilley and Chelian’s Outrageous Onyx:

•Novice Obstacle - 8th and 10th

•Novice Public Relations - 2nd

•Tabatha Gilley and Malia Olama:

•Novice Obstacle - 4th and 5th

•Novice Public Relations - 10th and 5th

•Adult Novice Showmanship - 2nd and 5th

•Adult Light Wool Female - 4th

•Tabatha Gilley and Flash “s’More Flash Than You”:

•Adult Non-Breeder - 4th and 6th

•Lily Howell and Chama Llama Ding-Dong:

•Intermediate Youth Pack - 2nd

•Intermediate Youth Obstacle - 2nd

•Intermediate Youth Public Relations - 3rd

•Intermediate Youth Performance - Reserve Champion

•Intermediate Youth Showmanship - 1st

•Lily Howell and Rockin Roll Renegade

•Adult Non-Breeder 9th


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