‘March Llama Madness’ Brings Llama Lovers Together in Putnam County

by | Mar 24, 2022 | Indiana Agriculture News, News Feed

A llama participating in one of the judging competitions during ‘March Llama Madness.’ (Photo courtesy of Jennie Hodgen.)

It’s kind of like the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, but with llamas and with a basketball theme!

“March Llama Madness” is set for March 25-27 at the C-Bar-C Expo Center in Cloverdale, Indiana.  The event will bring in more than 450 llamas from across 27 states to Putnam County.

“We thought it was going to be just for our friends.  Before we knew it, the word got out we have outgrown our venue,” says Merlene Anderson from West Lafayette.  She and her husband, Darrell, have been putting on the show for more than 10 years.

“Our boys grew up with basketball, so we decided we would combine the two loves that we have, one for llamas and one for basketball, and we would make a show that was with a basketball theme,” says Anderson.

One of the “referees” who serves a judge during the ‘March Llama Madness’ event. (Photo provided by Merlene Anderson.)

In accordance with the theme, all the judges will be wearing referee uniforms and one of the show classes is a “3-on-3 tournament.”

“You bring in your three best animals and I bring in my three best animals.  They are compared as a group and judged and one goes to the winner’s bracket.  Then we have a playoff for the winners.”

The llama show also has a component that’s very similar to what you see at a dog show.

“And then we also have an element where you do the agility courses where you bring in to a performance ring the owner and the llama go through eight to 10 different obstacles and they are scored and evaluated on the bond that they have between the animal and the owner.”

Members of the Hodgen family from Roachdale, Indiana stand proudly beside their beloved llamas. (Photo courtesy of Jennie Hodgen.)

Anderson says her love for llamas started more than 35 years ago when she and her husband were at a llama auction in Oregon.

“We fell in love with a very, very gentle, versatile animal.  [It’s] nothing we’ve ever been around. We found that these animals were extremely easy to take care of. They are very gentle. They don’t knock you down, they don’t blow you over.  There’s just so many aspects about this animal that is so underestimated by the public,” says Anderson.

Anderson says the llama show has created friendship and bonds with other owners who all share the same love and passion for llamas.

“These people are wonderful and kind and they are an extension of just exactly what kind of a llama is!”

Click below to hear C.J. Miller’s report on the “March Llama Madness” Show on March 25-27, 2022 in Cloverdale, Indiana.

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