Charles and Harlequin prove a winning team

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FORGET football, rugby, tennis or cricket ... Charles Henderson was after something much more competitive when he went trophy hunting.

The 10 year old whose home is at Cockerham, near Lancaster, opted for a distinctly specialised area to triumph in and brought the glassware home to prove his prowess.

The youngster gained a first prize at the recent Heart of England show for leading out his young alpaca Harlequin.

Charles won the Heart of England Alpaca Fiesta Junior Handler contest.

His mother Judith said: “He led Harlequin into the ring and was up against several other experienced young handlers. Charles demonstrated his knowledge and understanding of looking after alpacas and handled Harlequin superbly in the ring.”

Judith continued: “Charles has been showing alpacas and winning rosettes since he was four years old. He says he hopes to continue his success in the future.”

The couple keep alpacas and sheep as hobby at Legacy Alpacas. But the hobby has grown...and grown. They started with a herd of nine and now have 49 alpacas on their smallholding.

Michael showed five alpacas at the Heart of England show and won four first prizes, including one for a young brown alpaca called “Cockerham Pride” which was judged the brown female champion, plus a championship sash.

Charles, who attends Cockerham school, helps his dad with shearing but finds time for football, ju-jitsu and learns the saxophone too. He helps to care for the family’s alpacas and said: “I was very happy to win. Harlequin is very friendly and very cute!”

The pupil has another show coming up and is keen to win another Young Handler award. But Judith warned: “This time he will have some competition as his five year old sister will be up against him in the ring with her alpaca!”