Tuesday, March 8, 2011

The end of an era.........................

The weekend, we attended a Dispersal Auction of an Alpaca stud, that not only influenced the whole of the Australian Alpaca Industry, but the Alpaca Industry all over the world.
In Australia at least, and most likely unknowingly most studs around the world, almost every farmed alpaca in the western world, would have Jolimont somewhere in their alpacas Background.
Started in the Industry 1989, when he first saw his first alpaca on a TV Program, called Bourke's Backyard, Pat investigated into these animals. A Farmer at heart, he took the plunge extremely early in the peace, as far as the Australian Alpaca History goes. Importing also almost from Day 1.
 (Elyse at Sassywooman..(That is how you say the word at least), Cuzco, 2004) We met Pat on 21st Febuary 1991, although Pat insisted it was 1990, when a young couple with 4 children under 5, needed a break.
Through alot of Bad Luck, through a previous business- a Bakery, where we worked 7 days a week, and had gained a very good reputation and Business Melbourne wide, one night, a drunken driver drove his car through the front of our shop, although insured, the insurance company would not pay out because they had no hope of getting the monies back from the driver who was als a fugitive from the law.
...that is Our Luck.
For three years I fought the Insurance company, and the Insurance company made us an offer to settle, $120,000. Wow, although the accident put us $220,000 in debt, (previously owning our home),  we were advised to settle as the insurance company would just keep appealing until inflation would eat this money up, so we took the advice and accepted this deal, but we had to hire special accountants and lawyers that deal with insurance companies so we were told at the time, but we received a cheque for $10,000, and when i rang up to ask why the cheque was only $10,000, i was told, the rest went out in their fees.

I suppose Rob and I were as green as the grass, we only commented yesterday we probably still are in ways.
With that $10,000 I said to Rob, i am going to somehow make this $10,000 pay its way to make up for what we lost. It took a year to find the alpacas, because the first alpacas were only arriving in the country when the car smashed into our shop.
We had found out about alpacas, but they started at $20,000 plus, for pregnant females, we did not have enough, males, (any quality, there were so few it did not matter then ), were about $10,000 each then.
We went to Pat to buy a male, just a male, and we did say we would like a female, but he must have been feeling generous that day as he did say we could pay the two females off.
Rob worked 2 jobs non stop for 3 years to pay these females off.
Pat gave us our first chance...an opportunity that we cherished with both arms, and ran with it.
We then sold alot of alpacas from our little 1 1/2 acre property in Hastings, Victoria.
We were asked to sell some alpacas from a Chilean shipment he bought in, which we did, we sold approx 60 from this shipment.
In the following months we went to vist Pat at the farm mostly taking people there to view the alpacas for selections, he would tell us about some of the chellenges he was undertaking trying to open the protocol from peru to Australia.
This, most Alpaca breeders today have no idea, how important, this dedication to buying superior genetics would be to Alpacas in the Western World, Today.
You may be in Scotland, Uk, Germany, Belgium, France, Canada, New Zealand, Norway, Finland, too many places to mention, reading this BLog, not realising without this man pursueing these steps, and opening up other countries to the Peruvian genetics, we would not have the quality of depth of quality and genetics that we see in our alpacas today.
And in every corner of the alpaca world, Jolimont alpacas are in the background of some of the best genetics in the world today.
Through this we were also involved in the very first Peruvian Alpacas to come to Australia, some of these also were exported through to Canada, and over the years there have been a few more shipments, sometimes exported direct from Peru through to some European countries.
One thing mose people do not know, is that Pat studied very hard everything at the time there was to know about micron, and he also took the very best vets at the time over to Peru, and checked them out Physically, he sampled every alpaca, and also could work the microns out through a microscop, so no stone was unturned, he was going to bring the best group of alpacas out to Australia he could find.
These alpacas, Stefano, Cristiano, being the two males we purchases, but many others that also made their mark were purchased in this group, but importantly, so were many absolutely beautiful females were bought out.
Even today, these genetics and improvement is seen in the standard and continual improvement seen in the Australian Alpaca herd today, and many other herds around the world also.
Pat and Rosa together, also did not find an easy road to take, they also took all the hard roads, Importing many herds, they made some money along the way, but they also spent a fortune and taking high risks to do so.
The Alpaca world is now what it is due to entreupeneurs like Pat and Rosa, there are also others...but Pat was the one that did pursue to open the peruvian market to Australia, through all odds.
We all have alot to thank Pat & Rosa from Jolimont Alpacas, Victoria, Australia, for their pursuit of alpaca perfection.
I am only writing this, not to praise anyone, or try to place anyone on a pedastal, but to let the new breeders of today, know that the alpacas they see today, have had years and years of breeding, struggles, and forsight to get the alpacas to where they are today.
Thanks Pat & Rosa, and Rob, Elyse and myself and our family wish you luck in your retirement!!!!! i do not think you will sit still for long.
Raelene Strong  

Thanks Pat and Rosa for taking us along this journey too....


Zanzibah Alpacas said...

Lets hope the retirement is enjoyed after all that hard work....I am sitting in Scotland....and Yes, I also have Jolimont blood lines....in my herd....so I have read your blog with great interest !....hopefully we can use all this hard work to better the Alpacas that go on from now on ...all over the world...with a big Thank-you from those that made it all possible !.....Jayne

AussieBaron said...

Hi PAT,.


Pat Viceconte said...

Dear Raelene, Elyse and Rob.

On a few occasions, I have tried to call you and thank you for your kind words. I find myself reading this blog today and remember some of those high altitude ventures where all our family went reaching 5,000 metres at a property called Antonio Pampa, 60 kilometres from Siquani in the Canchis area, nearby Auzangatti.
The most consistent Alpaca were at the Famed Dr Julio Barreda property in Macusani. Julio had a number of the best that buyers did not see. I was priveledged later to seem them as a group, dense, well structured with lack of Guard Hair and Famous Family Lines carried through, one of which was Shere Khan, and many others before and since.

Best Regards and good luck to all Modern Day Alpaca Breeders.

Rosa and Pat Viceconte