2019 Judges

For the 2019 Carolina Alpaca Celebration we are very fortunate to have Amanda Vandenbosch judging all of our halter and production competitions.

The 2019 Carolina Alpaca Celebration will feature a terrific Fleece Show which will be judged by Cheryl Gehly.  Plan on getting your fleeces together for the first event of the 2019 season.  This will be a large fleece show so plan ahead.

There will be Walking Fleece classes to be judged by Judy Keske.  Look at those animals that have that beautiful fleece that you aren’t showing in the halter classes.  And you can even show the halter ones in the Walking Fleece competition.

Our judge for the Spin-off  Competition is Stacy Heydt.

A Fiber Arts Competition will once again be highlighted this year for the 2019 Carolina Alpaca Celebration and will be judged by Ruth Hutton.

Halter – Amanda Vandenbosch


Amanda VandenBosch is a Senior AOA Halter and Fleece Judge and an Alpaca Judge Trainer and Instructor in the United States. Amanda qualified as an International Alpaca Judge trained in Peru at the International Alpaca Judging School (IAJS ) in 2000. She has judged shows in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Peru gaining an international perspective and true love for the art and science of alpaca judging.

Amanda travels worldwide judging alpacas, instructing, presenting seminars and workshops to breeders and judges. Her “hands on” approach is greatly sought after. Amanda worked with the British Alpaca Society (BAS) for 7 years to help develop the Judge Training Program, and with the New Zealand Judges for continuous training. She has been honored with regular appointments as an AOA Senior Instructor and Judge Trainer in both Fleece and Halter in the USA.

Amanda has spent many hours volunteering over the years at AOBA National Conferences, and regional events, she has participated on numerous committees. She is past president of CALPACA a Regional Affiliate and past co-chair of the Judges Advisory Committee (JAC). Currently she acts as a liaison for the Judge Training & Certification Committee. Amanda has had the opportunity to work with some of the world’s leading experts in the study of alpacas.

Amanda is a native of the United Kingdom. She traveled and worked for The National Stud (UK) Lindsay Park Stud (Australia) and Lanes End Farm (Kentucky, USA) the premier thoroughbred breeding operations worldwide. In 1991 she settled in the USA. For the last 24 years, Amanda has been involved with alpacas in all aspects.

Amanda is also a co-author of the book “The Art & Science of Alpaca Judging” published by AOBA and used as a training tool. With her husband, Vince, and two sons, Cody and Hunter, they operate Flying Dutchman Alpacas, in Bend, Oregon, successfully raising both huacayas and suris. Along with raising high quality breeding stock, they also own a partnership in Spring Harvest Mill, completing the circle of taking fleece to processing and end use, with these fine products being offered for sale at their local business Tumalo Coffee House.

Walking Fleece – Judy Keske

judy picture

As president of Slow & Easy Alpaca Farm, Judy began their business in 1996 with the purchase of 3 alpacas.

As the industry evolved, her business branched into fiber related interests to help promote alpaca fiber. At that time, she decided to retire from nursing and devote all of her time to this fine industry.

She began spinning shortly after their 2nd shearing in 1998. At the same time, she became actively involved in Lorain County Spinners & Weavers Guild. Our services include teaching, demonstrating and education re: various fiber arts at community events and schools. Since that time, she has become a member of Ohio Natural Fiber Network and continues to promote all aspects of natural fiber.

Volunteering at fleece shows had become a part of her schedule, beginning in 2002 for OABA & AOBA. There is no better place to learn all about the super characteristics of alpaca fleece.

Her personal service includes instruction in fleece preparation for show/spinoff, spinning and beginning crochet.

She was approved as a spin off judge in 2006 and has judged competitions for many of the national and local shows.

In August 2012 she became an AOBA Certified Fleece Judge after apprenticing numerous shows throughout the United States. She feels privileged to have the opportunity to continue evaluating North American alpaca fleece on various levels.

Fleece – Cheryl Gehly


Cheryl Gehly became an AOBA Certified Fleece Judge in 2002. In addition to judging fleece shows, Cheryl has shared her knowledge with judges and apprentices as an AOA Certified Instructor at JTCC sponsored Judge Training Clinics, as well as being a Senior AOA Fleece Judge and an AOA Certified Fleece Judge Trainer. Cheryl has volunteered time with AOA by being a member and chairperson of the Judge Training and Certification Committee. Cheryl has been a member and chairperson of the AOA Judge Advisory Committee. She is also the fleece judge liaison to the Show Rules Committee. Cheryl teaches at breeder seminars around the country as well as judging multiple AOA Certified Fleece Shows annually.

Spin-Off – Stacy Heydt


Stacy has immersed herself in all things related to fiber since she purchased her first alpacas in 2001. She volunteers at fleece shows and judges Spin-Off, Fiber Arts, and Skein competitions for AOA’s National Fleece and affiliate shows. She gives fiber related seminars at AOA national conferences. She is the current chair of the AOA Fiber and Fiber Products committee and is one of the founding members of the United States Alpaca Fiber Council (USAFC).

She loves sharing her love of fiber with others. In addition to writing articles for Alpacas Magazine, in 2014 she wrote the reference book, The Fiber Factor — A Simplified Guide to Alpaca Fiber. And the children’s book about alpacas, art and fashion, The Fashionable Mrs. Blue has a Plan and a Clue the following year. In 2015 she opened a fiber art studio, Fun Fibers, where she makes products using alpaca fiber and a variety of art techniques. She shares these kits with a variety of programs to introduce kids to textiles and agriculture. Her kits are also available through her wholesale program to farms around the country.

Art has always been a part of her life. She learned the needle arts as a child and after their first shearing in 2002, she learned to spin, weave, felt and dye her alpaca’s fiber. Now she teaches her art techniques at fiber fairs, events and at private farms around the country. In 2016 she received the prestigious designation of “Juried Artist” from The Best of Missouri Hands art association.

Stacy is excited to be one of the inaugural accredited spin-off judges. She worked closely with Wini Labreque to develop this program and present it to the JTCC for consideration and ultimately its implementation. She hopes this program will continue to grow and attract new spin-off judges so that alpaca owners can receive valuable information about their fleece, how it spins, and its purpose in the textile industry.

Fiber Arts/Skein – Ruth Hutton

Ruth Hutton

I am a New Jersey native but a long time North Carolina resident.  I received a BS in Textile Design from The Philadelphia College of Textiles and Science (now known as Philadelphia University).  After graduation I moved to NC in 1981 for a career in Textile Design.  I worked in Spindale NC for 19 years employed by Mastercraft Fabrics.  I designed Jacquard fabrics for the Home use, such as for couches and chairs.   My family and I moved to State Road in 2000, to work for Chatham Fabrics, designing fabrics for the contract market ( high traffic public areas such as hotels, offices and restaurants).  While designing fabrics for industry use I continued expanding my knowledge in the Hand Fiber Arts, taking classes and attending conferences. My Fiber art experience is in weaving, spinning, fiber preparation, dyeing, knitting, felting, and Kumihimo Braiding. I enjoy judging Fiberarts and have judged at Southeastern Animal Fiber Fair (SAFF) and have assisted with judging at Maryland Sheep and Wool.

Because of my interest in the Hand Fiber Arts, when an opportunity to buy Circle of Friends Yarn Shop was offered, I did just that and changed the name to Circle of Friends Yarn Shop and FiberArt Studio.  On April 15, 2007 I took ownership and as of October 1, 2015 I closed the store and now practice my craft at home.