More than 5,000 tups expected at ram sales

The famous Kelso Ram Sales attracts buyers and sellers from throughout the UK and beyond
The famous Kelso Ram Sales attracts buyers and sellers from throughout the UK and beyond

Plans are well advanced for the 2013 Kelso Ram Sales with a healthy entry of 5,107 rams, says sales organiser Ron Wilson.

Border Union Agricultural Society secretary Mr Wilson continued: “Weather conditions have been much more favourable since last year and confidence is growing again in the sheep industry and certainly the entries will give plenty of choice for buyers on September 13, from 17 breeds plus crosses.”

The numbers of the breeds to be offered for sale are 1,759 Texel, 1,370 Suffolk, 597 Bluefaced Leicester, 434 Charollais, 159 Lleyn, 105 Beltex, 91 Border Leicester, 70 North Country Cheviot and 121 pedigree sheep from the following breeds: Berrichon, Blue Texel, Charmoise, Hampshire Down, Oxford, Poll Dorset, Romney, Shetland and Vendeen. There are also 401 crosses.

All breeds will be sold in fourteen rings simultaneously by nine auction companies – Border Livestock Exchange, Cumberland & Dumfriesshire Farmers Mart, Glendale Livestock, Harrison & Hetherington, Hexham & Northern, Lawrie & Symington, North East Livestock Sales, John Swan Ltd and United Auctions.

As usual the large double marquees will house the rams and all the sale rings will be under cover ready for Mr Wilson, following tradition, to ring the bell at precisely 10 o’clock to start the sale.

Buyers can buy tups and export directly to Northern Ireland. Purchasers for export should make themselves known to Merlin Veterinary Group, found within the main hall, as soon as possible after purchasing to allow the inspection of tups and paperwork to be completed in good time. For further information contact Michael Kyle on 01573 224496 or 07813 692587. This service is only available to MV Accredited tups (Rings 1 to Ring 10).

The Border Union Society and a buyers’ commission subsidise the free tup taxis and the society has increased the number available this year to try to minimise waiting time.

Last year there were 4,552 rams sold for a total of £2,897,245 to average £636.48 with the top shearling (Texel) making £14,000 and top lamb (Suffolk) making £8,000.99.

To complement the sales there are trade stands including companies promoting sheep identification, handling equipment, feedstuffs, fencing supplies, clothing and renewables. The Moredun Research Institute and the Scottish Sheep Strategy will also be present.

Mr Wilson said: “The Border Union is indebted to Zoetis (formerly Pfizer VPS) who, through their Cydectin brand, are in their twelfth year as sponsors of the Kelso Ram Sales.

“It is very reassuring for the Border Union and the sheep industry to have a multinational company being so supportive.”