Ordell Safran and her love of llamasBy Jonathan Low
August 28, 2012
A llama lover is hoping for a medal when she exhibits some of her prize-winning pack at the Royal County of Berkshire Show next month.
Winkfield-based breeder Ordell Safran explained to reporter JONATHAN LOW what makes these animals so special.
When Ordell Safran’s husband bought her a pet llama a quarter of a century ago, she thought nothing much of it.
But today she breeds the South American camelids from her smallholding in Winkfield, where she keep 37 llamas, three horses and two ponies.
“I think at first he bought it for me as a joke, but then I started to feel sorry for the llama!” she said.
Originally from America, Ordell has lived in England for the past 40 years and runs her llama breeding business with husband Henry, from their home in Hatchet Lane.
She said: “I am often asked why I keep them, but anyone who has ever spent time with these tranquil and gentle animals will know the answer.
“There are also many practical reasons to have them – from shearing their fibre to using their odourless manure as fertiliser – they are really lovely animals.
“They’re very easy to keep and they can cope in all weathers.
“They are not susceptible to disease, their temperament is really good and they get along fine with the other animals.”
Ordell will be exhibiting at this year’s Royal County of Berkshire Show for a fifth year, and will be taking along five or six llamas in the hope of winning the championship for a fourth time.
She said: “It’s a wonderful show.
“There’s so much going on and there’s many different animals that are there.
“It’s the biggest club show in the country.”
Tim Crowfoot, who runs the ‘camelid’ section of the show, which runs from Saturday, September 15 to Sunday, September 16, explained what judges look for when they are assessing the animals.
He said: “Llamas were originally pack animals so it’s therefore important that they’re strong, with straight legs, and that the length of the body and neck are in proportion.
“We work hard to ensure that the show is a real pinnacle in the livestock calendar – but also delights families with fantastic animals that they can touch and learn about.”