The Border Union Agricultural Society was formed on January 12, 1813, under the chairmanship of the 5th Duke of Roxburghe – two years before the Battle of Waterloo and before Queen Victoria was on the throne.
The main resolution was: “That the meeting form themselves into a society: for giving premiums for the best stock of different kinds; for discoveries in agriculture, either in regards to tillage or in the management of grasslands and for new and improved implements of husbandry.” Consequently, the first show was held in Kelso on September 15, 1813.
The ram sales became a natural progression and the first exhibition of rams only was held on October 14, 1836. In addition to the show, the rams were sold by “private treaty”, with society officials as arbiters.
This method of selling was deemed unfair to the buyers from outwith the area, so the first auction of rams took place at Kelso on September 12, 1838. This was probably the first auction of rams in the world. Three auctioneers were present with 120 Border Leicester and Cheviot rams selling for between £3 and £6. In 2010 there were 4,616 rams sold for a total of £2,831,867.00 to average £622.56p.