Shanbrooke is one of the most successful studs in Australia, with their elite stud animals bringing top prices at auctions and privately around the world. Shanbrooke-bred alpacas have been shown around Australia and have consistently taken out Championship ribbons at all major shows for the past 18 years since the very first alpaca show was introduced.

Dianne and Ron established Shanbrooke Alpaca Stud in 1988, with the purchase of six Chilean alpacas. They soon became totally addicted to these calm intelligent animals and purchased several more six months later.

They soon met up with several other breeders who also had the same  passion for these charming creatures, and before too long a meeting was organised amongst these people and an association was formed.

From these humble beginnings, and with lots of enthusiasm the Australian Alpaca Association was formed.

Dianne has been heavily involved in many aspects of the Association at many levels. She held positions at National and Regional levels over the years.

In those early years she organised seminars and workshops, produced the first newsletters and while on National Committee held position of secretary. She has also held workshops in the UK and Germany.

Her passion for showing found her organising the very first alpaca Shows held in Victoria at the Melbourne Royal Show and the following year she persuaded  the sheep people to allow alpacas to be shown at their very prestigious sheep show.. This was the start of our shows as we see them today.

She continued on the National committee for many years,and  later served on the Australian Alpaca Show and Judging Committee where she became the chair of this committee.

In following years she continued to serve at Regional Level for the Eastern Region Committee with showing and judging still her passion. Although not involved at committee level today Dianne is still the longest serving committee member for the AAA.

Dianne is one of the associations inaugural judges, and has been involved in the training of the Australian Alpaca Association Judges over many years, and is still very active in the showing of alpacas and assists when necessary in the training of new students wanting to become judges.

Dianne has judged most major shows and Royals around Australia including the most prestigious of them all, the AAA National Show which is the largest in Australia. She has also travelled to Peru to attended the International School of Judging, where she was trained by Julio Sumar and Maggie Krieger, and successfully completed the International Judging course to become an International Judge. Dianne has also judged in Germany, New Zealand, America, Peru and England.

Ron has also been actively involved in the importation of alpacas from Peru. Over the last twenty years  he has travelled both to Peru and Chile in his pursuit to gain top genetics, and has built up real friendships with many of the Peruvians.

He was fortunate enough to have met up with Don Julio Barreda in those early years and from this meeting formed a long and lasting friendship with him. They remained friends for many years keeping up correspondence and meeting in Peru when Possible.

Ron was also very fortunate to be able to view Don Julio's entire Accoyo herd. Don Julio was known for only allowing people to look at a small amount of his alpacas at any one time but on one occasion Ron was selecting animals and over the period of several days, Don Julio bought in the whole herd. Ron still remembers him saying you can have anything but my Soul. That day Ron was to choose some of the best Accoyo animals ever to leave Peru from Don Julio's famous Accoyo Herd. These animals have been the basis of the Shanbrooke breeding programme.

Sadly Don Julio has now passed, but we feel very honoured to have been his friend and to be able to continue on with his famous Accoyo genetics in our breeding programme.

Dianne and Ron were able to give back some of that friendship and hospitality they have had in Peru by helping sponsor some of these breeders from Peru when they visited Australia to see the Australian industry. Dianne and Ron believe the future is strong for alpacas, and their fibre.

Enjoying the Lifestyle

Dianne and Ron have four children who are also involved in the farm activities. Their eldest son originally a vineyard developer has been able to assist with his skills in fencing and tractor work around the farm. Their second son Trent has a keen interest in the alpacas, owning some of his own. He has worked in Germany and Ireland managing the herd of 300 alpacas, and is a great help when it comes to shearing. Their daughter Brooke has a keen interest in the showing aspect of the alpaca business and has been a great help over the years in the showing of alpacas and helping with the classing of fibre at shearing time. She is currently working on the farm learning all aspects of the industry, and has her own small herd. Their youngest son Tyson has been a help in the husbandry, feeding and shearing of the animals.

We now have eight beautiful grandchildren who all adore the alpacas. They always want to pat the pacca, or feed them some hay. We are looking forward to seeing them experience the lifestyle, that we have enjoyed from breeding alpacas.

Who knows, maybe when they are older, you may see them in the show-ring Judging! The eldest ones now take a keen interest in showing them and enjoy going to the shows.