What is a Karakul Gathering? Breeders getting together to exchange ideas, trade sheep, participate in a show, and learn a few things. They are FUN memorable times!
It has been a long time since US Karakul shepherds have had a Gathering to bring us together. Gathering 1 was Estes Park 1993, Gathering 2 was Maryland 1997. After 25 years, the Alliance is considering 2022, a 2-day sheep and fiber show in the US Heartland.
What could prevent a Gathering from coming together? First-lack of funds. Second-shortage of people, lack of volunteers to pull show details together. And what about enthusiasm from Karakul shepherds-Do they even want to participate in a Gathering?
As KSAR Registrar here is another issue of importance—the Karakul Registry database needs to be well underway before the Alliance attempts a national show. This is not just to manage the sharp increase in registration certificates, but most importantly for tracking the Bloodlines. During Karakul Gatherings sheep are moved around the country, the genetics shift. Before our next Gathering the Alliance needs to be prepared with the tools to manage the Bloodlines, to generate pedigrees, to help plan breeding programs. American Karakuls are close to losing one Bloodline. As we monitor this line, hopefully to be bred back to higher population numbers, we will also preserve the other Karakul Bloodlines.
I will keep you posted as the projects unfold….until then, become absorbed in the photos below of Karakul Gatherings from the 1990s, when Karakul sheep experienced heightened popularity after the Black Sheep craze of the 1970s and 80s. Enjoy! ~ Deborah
1993 Gathering Estes Park, Colorado June 10-13
1992 – 1997 mini-Gatherings Estes Park, Colorado (photos coming soon, in process Jan 2021)
The Estes Park sheep show was a favorite amongst Karakul breeders for several years, 1992 through 1997. The NCWGA already had a big presence there and a few shepherds participated in both the Natural Colored and Karakul shows since they were on separate days. It was also ‘home turf’ for Roy & Myrtle Dow who were show committee organizers. Karakul people loved hanging out with the Dows and Estes Park, Colorado is a beautiful venue, which contributed to its success as a ‘gathering’ spot for Karakul shepherds in mid-June every year. For a couple of years in the mid-1990s Estes Park was referred to as a Karakul ‘mini-Gathering’.
1997 Gathering Maryland Sheep & Wool Festival May 3 & 4 (in process)
Karakul Yurt Store
Yurt Practice Party
If you have photos to share from any Karakul show in the past please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org
Page last updated January 2021
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