duke photo



Hi Trl The Duke

ILR # 289527

male  b. 06.28.2016

Hi Trl Daniel Jackson x Queen of BT and Evaine

Duke is 46" at the withers (as are the vast majority of his immediate ancestors despite press that adds 2+ inches) and still the gawky teen who needs a year to fill out. Jim and Duke are definitely drawn to each other. EVERY pack llama owner and breeder who visits is drawn immediately to Duke.

Duke is a serious dude. He unquestioningly takes on responsibility beyond his years ... and sometimes you can read the burden in his eyes. That serious bent also means it's easy for pasturemates to push Duke's buttons, so Duke prefers interacting with humans. Jim is his human partner, and Longmire is his yearmate and sole llama buddy (the rest are regarded with suspicion, although Duke has also taken Joey under his wing). Duke loves cookies, but will do his best to figure out even the scariest things he's asked to do without any incentive other than just being asked.

Duke not only has a nice Classic coat and a level head, but also excellent bone and a very acceptable working gait. He is on the narrow side due to his height (and to some degree, due to immaturity), but still has a solid rear end with no crossover whatsoever, and he has good body balance with no hint of side-to-side sway. These two attributes are imperatives in all our own breeding stock, but are increasingly hard to find in the currently-popular taller llamas (Duke's size and up).

Duke has plenty of zip and energy when it's required; unlike Longmire, he simply controls that ... it's the responsible (and efficient) thing to do. Duke should be an outstanding packing partner for many years to come, especially considering that he has a great deal of longevity in his ancestry. After he matures and is proven both on the trail and as a stud (that's a combination of actual offspring evaluation and acceptable mature stud behavior, not mere fertility!), we anticipate making him available for outside breedings when he's not busy packing — likely in 2022.

Although he has one ancestor we have avoided in the past, after extensive scrutiny and careful evaluation, we determined that Duke does not have any of the highly typical (and detrimental) traits that concerned us. Because these traits were extremely prepotent, showing up in virtually all direct offspring, their absence from Duke's dam and Duke himself is virtual assurance that they are not present in Duke's genes, and on that basis we felt comfortable adding Duke to our breeding herd. Had Longmire not been his buddy and currently bonded to Duke, we would have passed on Duke rather than taking that second, intensive look ... and we would have missed out on a spectacular, level-headed fellow.

Another "theme" name from Highline Trail Llamas — 2016 males were named for tough western characters; "The Duke" refers to John Wayne. We aren't crazy about that, but Duke knows his name and so he keeps it.