The PLTA Challenge Program was officially initiated by the PLTA Board of Directors in April 2015. The first official Challenge events were conducted that same month with great success. They created a great deal of enthusiasm for the program. The articles below define the program and explain the requirements for hosting your own event.
The Challenge is designed to be a fun event that provides a forum for training both handlers and llamas. In many ways it looks like a pack trial without the trial. Under the scrutiny of an PLTA endorsed official, the Challenge Master, groups go out on the trail to hike and negotiate obstacles. In doing so they accumulate points for the weight their llama carries, the elevation gain it makes, the distance it covers, and the obstacles it successfully completes. In all these categories, the handler chooses what and how much the llama will attempt. Points are awarded for accomplishment but no deductions are made for lack of participation.The burden of completion required in a pack trial is absent, as well as the anxiety that goes with. As a result, a lot of plain old fun is available, with plenty of opportunity for education as well. The protocol is easily adaptable to any group, at any age or ability level and in any terrain. The printable document Challenge Program Rules and Procedures (pdf, 864kb) provides detailed information on how the program functions. The same information may be viewed in the article listed below.
If you are interested in hosting a Challenge in your area, or becoming a Challenge Master, please contact the Challenge Program Coordinator.