Llamas add spice to youth fair

August 08, 1997


Staff Writer, Martinsburg

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. - Whiteout and Tugger don't have much competition this week at the Berkeley County Youth Fair.

Raised by 12-year-old Kiya Kauffman of Martinsburg, they are the only llamas at the 50th annual youth fair.

"They were like half a year or a year old when I got them," she said of the animals, which she and her sister received as Christmas presents from their parents, Bill and Kitty Kauffman, about three years ago.

"They originated in North America and about 2.5 million years ago they migrated to South America," she said.

Llamas are related to camels, but are much smaller. For the people of the Andes Mountains, they provide food, transportation and clothing from their fur.


"They're just nice pets to have. They're lovable and their wool is good for selling ... It goes for about $1,000 a pound," according to Kiya, who showed the animals Thursday night in the indoor arena.

As for upkeep, Kiya said they eat grass and hay and llama pellets, which she said look a lot like rabbit food.

Also Thursday at the fair, Rick Kackley of Martinsburg was preparing to compete in a horse pull with his two mules Andy and Mandy.

The mules, a cross between a horse and donkey, were scheduled to compete in the lightweight division at the outdoor arena. "In a regular mule pull, they'd be heavyweights," Kackley added.

Kackley said he and Gwen Walker "work them in the field. We mow hay with them and pull logs."

Gwen added: "They might be stubborn and they might not pull at all tonight."

Last week in Westminster, Andy and Mandy topped out at 2,750 pounds. The Clydesdales and Belgians of the upper weight classes will pull considerably more.

The fair wraps up tonight with the market animal sale, where the grand and reserve champions and other animals will be sold at auction.

The following are some of the market animal winners at the fair:

* Grand Champion Market Steer, Craig Moffitt, Hedgesville; Reserve Champion, Dawn Miller, Wetumpka 4-H Club.

* Grand Champion Market Hog, Heather Jones, Marlowe Challengers 4-H Club; Reserve Champion, Brandon Elliott, Scrabble Scramblers 4-H Club.

* Grand Champion Market Lamb, Brandon Burkhart, Tomahawk Warriors 4-H Club; Reserve Champion, James Richard, Tomahawk Warriors.

* Grand Champion Market Goat, Dawn Miller, Wetumpka; Reserve Champion, Brad Hoffmaster, Hedgesville.

The showmanship champions were: Karla Davis, Sulphur Springs Superstars, beef; Menda Foster, Hedgesville, swine; Tim Tyson, Tomahawk Warriors, goats; and Kasee Gent, Wetumpka, sheep.

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