The festival was officially opened with a church service conducted by Bishop Gregory of Veliko Tarnovo.
Guests of 2012’s festival:
Minister of Agriculture and Food Dr. Miroslav Naydenov, Deputy Minister in charge of livestock Tsvetan Dimitrov, Desislava Taneva – Chairman of the Committee on Agriculture in the National Assembly, representatives from all political parties, selected from Veliko Tarnovo’s Regional Governor Prof. Dr. Pencho Penchev, and last but not least, the mayors of Veliko Tarnovo, Gorna Oryahovitsa and Lyaskovets – Engineer Daniel Panov, Eng. Dobromir Dobrev and Dr. Ivelina Getsova.
Minister Naydenov stated from the grand stand that sheep farmers will receive compensation in the amount of 5 million levs due to high fuel prices. The Minister emphasized that the sheep sector is profitable and that whoever deals with sheep from now on stands up for a brighter future. Arab markets are open for lamb meat and Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Turkey are willing to buy our products.
There were over 40 sheep exhibitors – private farmers and scientific institutes dealing with sheep, for instance Institute of Stock Breeding Sciences of Kostinbrod, Institutes of Agriculture of Stara Zagora and Shoumen, Institute of Mountain Stock Breeding and Agriculture of Troyan, etc.
The largest share was of sheep breeds of dairy products – Synthetic population of Bulgarian milk, Pleven Blackhead, ABAC, Asaph, Laconia, Chios, Local Starozagorska.
Some breeds from other locations were presented as well – Ile de France and Mouton Sharole (Beef), Thracian fine fleece and Northeast Bulgarian fine fleece (wool-yealding) and breeds like Romanowski, Gypsy and Karakachan. There were demonstrations of sheep shearing machine, contests of manual clipping and hand milking, as well as a rich folklore program.
There were shepherd dog breeds presented at the festival, such as Bulgarian shepherd dog, Bulgarian Karakachan and Kangal dog – a type of a Turkish shepherd dog breed. There were craft alleys where expositions took place for traditional authentic products from sheep’s milk, meat and wool.
Official guests of the opening of 2012’s festival:
His Eminence Metropolitan Gregory of Veliko Tarnovo
Minister of Agriculture and Food Dr. Miroslav Naydenov,
Deputy Minister of Agriculture and Food Dr. T. Dimitrov
Representatives of political parties – Desislava Taneva Hristo Hristov Spas Penchev,
Regional Governor of Veliko Tarnovo – Pencho Penchev
Mayors of the cities:
Veliko Tarnovo – Daniel Panov,
Lyaskovetz – Dr. Ivelina Getsova,
G.Oriahovitsa – Dobromir Dobrev,
President of the Municipal Council of Veliko Tarnovo – Nikolay Ashikov,
Executive Director of EASRAB (Executive Agency for Selection and Reproduction of Animal Breeding) – Prof. Dr. Vasil Nikolov