With heavy hearts and deep gratitude, we said goodbye today to SHRA Virtual’s Reality. Though unable to carry a pregnancy to term for the past couple of years, Reality had stayed with us nonetheless, a true powerhouse matriarch who had more than earned her right to merely abide atop the hill here at Cas-Cad-Nac Farm. Now just 2 months shy of her 16th birthday and stricken with cancer, we had to finally give in and let her go.
Reality’s history was very much pegged to that of our farm itself and CCNF would in many respects be a different place all these years later, had she not joined our still relatively nascent breeding program in the spring of 2001 as a juvenile. We had flown out to the AOBA National Show in Portland, OR that May with both of our kids and my parents in tow. While my mom and dad dutifully entertained and looked after 3 year old Sammy during the day from the confines of our downtown hotel, we threw his baby brother and his car seat-carrier into our rental car and went off every morning to take in the conference and show. Though any number of interesting things would go down over that long weekend — among others, Don Skinner let me show some male named Snowmass Legacy Gold — we had traveled to Portland very much in genetic acquisition mode, particularly with an eye towards the AOBA auction. As a replacement lot for Starhill Ranch Alpacas in that year’s sale, little Reality traveled a bit under the radar as it turned out. Full credit to my better half who identified her as a legitimate future foundation female at the time. Of course, Ian being Ian, I almost blew it. During the auction itself, I had rather all too casually gone in to use the men’s room just prior to Reality and Starhill Ranch’s manager, Matt Moses, coming up on stage. I reemerged a minute or two later to Jennifer, who was of course busy minding 6 week old Max (loud alpaca auctions and slightly grumpy, overtired, and overstimulated newborns: not such a great mix as I recall), telling me with a sense of fully-justified urgency to get my ass up there and get my hand in the air or we were going to miss out! We of course did ultimately get our girl…and she even went on to win the Brown Female Championship the next day at the show, though that would, in the final analysis, be merely a footnote in her story here.
When Reality came of age the following year, we bred her to that snazzy new fawn male (Snowmass Legacy Gold) we had, as it turned out, bought half interest in later on in 2001 and the resulting daughter, CCNF Nutmeg of Consolation, has gone on to greatness ever since, in fact giving birth to her own 2016 cria less than a week ago. Reality herself would likewise go on to have many other crias, at least two of which did not survive her. In addition to Nutmeg, SHRA Virtual’s Reality is survived here by her daughter CCNF Acomani (sired by Golden Sovereign) and her son CCNF Magistrate (the 2014 Brown Futurity Champion/2016 AOA National Fleece Show Champion sired Snowmass Matrix Majesty), her granddaughters CCNF Consolation (CCNF Nutmeg of Consolation x CCNF Royal Ring of Fire), CCNF Reality (CCNF Acomani x CCNF Centurion), and CCNF Aurora (CCNF Nutmeg of Consolation x CCNF Concerto), and her great-granddaughter, CCNF Constellation (CCNF Consolation x Snowmass Elite Legend) and her as yet unnamed son. We would also be remiss were we not to mention Reality’s grandson, CCNF Wayfarer (CCNF Consolation’s full older sibling) who is a working Herdsire now plying his trade for our friends, Ole Erik and Laila Sjøli, at Alpacajoy of Norway. Needless to say, Reality left this world today owing it absolutely nothing.
Though we will obviously continue see Reality in the faces of every one of her family members that remain here with us, she will nonetheless be sorely, sorely missed. Rest easy sweet girl…