Records galore as sales break £3million barrier at Kelso

Professor Penny's Texel rams from Harehead, near Cranshaws, get ready to go under the hammer at kelso Ram Sales.
Professor Penny's Texel rams from Harehead, near Cranshaws, get ready to go under the hammer at kelso Ram Sales.

As he has done for the past 20 years, Border Union Show secretary Ron Wilson rang the bell at precisely 10am to get the world-famous Kelso Ram Sales underway last Friday.

However, it is the last time Ron will perform this duty as he has announced his retirement. But he ended his tenure at Springwood in a similar fashion to his beginnings with a record-breaking Ram Sales.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. L-r, Ron Wilson and Jim Jeffrey (of Kersknowe Farm, Kelso). Ron is retiring as Secretary of the Border Union Agricultural Show which also relieves him of his duties at the Kelso Ram Sales.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. L-r, Ron Wilson and Jim Jeffrey (of Kersknowe Farm, Kelso). Ron is retiring as Secretary of the Border Union Agricultural Show which also relieves him of his duties at the Kelso Ram Sales.

Continuous rain last Thursday did not deter buyers from attending on Friday and from the start trade was buoyant throughout the day. There were many satisfied faces, both consignors and buyers, with the quality of rams on offer.

During Ron’s first sales back in 1997, he oversaw a record entry of 7,730 rams and on Friday he witnessed more records with the £3million sales barrier being broken for the first time, and the average sale price surpassing £700. The turnover of £3,160,290 was a record (+7.6%) and the average of £709.54 was also a record, up £24.06 (3.51%) for 169 more sold (3.92%).

In all there were 101 shearlings sold at £2,000 or more and 35 lambs at £1,000 or more.

The Border Union Agricultural Society (BUAS) is licenced to export high health status Maedi Visnae rams direct from the Sales to Northern Ireland and the number of buyers increases every year with a record of 103 rams being exported, with three also being bought for export to Eire.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso.

The retiring secretary said: “The day vindicated the confidence in the sheep industry with the evidence of buyers’ faith in that more rams sold, with a record turnover, a record average and record exports.”

Top price on the day was £23,000 for a Texel from Karen and Allan Wight, Midlock, Crawford. John Elliot, Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, Jonathan Watson, Bowsden Moor, Berwick, and Mike and Melanie Alford, Foxhill Farm, in Devon, were the joint buyers.

Top priced Bluefaced Leicester was £12,000 for the Wight family from Biggar to Jack Kay, Hartside Farm, Lauder. The £12,000 top price was followed by £10,000 for a shearling from T. Dick and Son, Hamildean, Peebles, which was bought by Messrs Lauchry and Mills from Northern Ireland.

Best in the lambs was a Suffolk from Gary Beacom’s Lakeview Farm, which went to Wales for £4,800. And £4,400, for a Texel from Allan Campbell, Strawfrank, Carstairs, which went to Herefordshire.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. Rams from Sunnycroft, Sekirk go under the hammer.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. Rams from Sunnycroft, Sekirk go under the hammer.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. David and Gordon Gray of Sunnycroft Farm Lindean, Selkirk getting ready to sell at the Ram Sales.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. David and Gordon Gray of Sunnycroft Farm Lindean, Selkirk getting ready to sell at the Ram Sales.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. David Douglas of Catslackburn, Yarrow, Selkirk getting ready for the auction.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. David Douglas of Catslackburn, Yarrow, Selkirk getting ready for the auction.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. L-r, Kim and Amy Laird of Cambwell Farm in Skirling, Biggar preparing one of their Texel's.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. L-r, Kim and Amy Laird of Cambwell Farm in Skirling, Biggar preparing one of their Texel's.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. Craig Connell of Wanton Walls Farm, Lauder holding a Texel during the auction.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. Craig Connell of Wanton Walls Farm, Lauder holding a Texel during the auction.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. Getting to know 'Ewe'.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso. Getting to know 'Ewe'.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso.

Kelso Ram Sales in Springwood Park, Kelso.