Imps, animals and plenty of fun heading Kelso’s way

The Imps Motorcycle display team at Edinburgh Tattoo.
The Imps Motorcycle display team at Edinburgh Tattoo.

Organisers are promising to provide something for everyone at this year’s Border Union Show, set to get under way in Kelso tomorrow.

South east Scotland’s premier two-day agricultural event takes place for the 204th time this Friday and Saturday, July 28 and 29, offering a programme packed full of animals, food, amusements, shopping, countryside activities and main ring entertainment.

Border Union Show at Kelso.

Border Union Show at Kelso.

Heading the bill on Saturday afternoon is London’s Imps motorcycle display team, a team of youngsters aged six to 16 and famed for their red tunics and complex, mesmerising routines showcased worldwide over the last 40 years, including recently through appearances at the Edinburgh Military Tattoo.

Aside from their highly anticipated appearance, other highlights this year include three national sheep shows, and the Lairg and Park types have attracted 263 entries alone.

A new addition this year too is a one-off Ford centenary tractor display and main-ring parade with full commentary.

Show secretary Ronald Wilson said: “It really is a great two days out for everybody.

Roy Wearmouth and Andrew MaGee with two Black English rabbits at last year's show.

Roy Wearmouth and Andrew MaGee with two Black English rabbits at last year's show.

“There is also lurcher racing, the grand parade of livestock, champion of champions, heavy horse turnouts display and the carriage-driving championship also featuring in the main ring on Saturday.”

“The ever-popular sheep show returns for the 11th year on Saturday, and entertainment comes from Kelso Pipe Band and Jedforest Instrumental Band throughout the day.”

And Ronald says entries are looking good too, adding: “Livestock entries are on a par with last year, with cattle down but sheep up with three national shows, North Country Cheviot, Jacob and Hebridean, with an overall total of 993, 75 dairy goats and 184 shepherds’ crooks.

“The classes for these are held on the Saturday, not to mention around 1,000 more entries from the ladies industrial section, poultry and rabbits classes.”

Friday is the main equine day, with 85 classes for ponies, and a total of 496 entries, followed by another 33 classes for light and heavy horses on Saturday with a total of just over 200 entries.

And with the Donkey Society celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, it too has increased entries from 24 to 31, thanks to the introduction of miniature donkey classes.

Aside from the stock on show, the weekend boasts a roaming entertainer, climbing wall, bungee jump and funfair for youngsters and families venturing to the park.

The food fair will show off the best produce from both sides of the Border, with 45 stands in the exhibition hall, as will the craft and gift hall and around 200 varied outdoor trade stands which will fill the show ground.

Tickets are available now from the Border Union Show website, to be found at

Entry to the Springwood Park event on Friday costs £11 for adults and £9 for concessions, and on Saturday it costs adults £16 and concessions £14.

Admission is free to children under 16 accompanied by an adult.