Farmers rejoice as the boys are back in town
Next Friday (September 10) sees the boys back in town with the return of the Border Union Agricultural Society Ram Sales to Springwood Park in Kelso, which, despite the pandemic has gained more than 4,200 entries.
Following the cancellation of the 2020 event due to the pandemic, this year is set to be an even bigger event than usual as sheep farmers lavish in the freedom to travel the length and breadth of the UK, and further afield, to handpick their rams ahead of the breeding season.
The sale, which dates back to 1838, will be featuring breeds including the Whitefaced Woodlands and local North Country Cheviots, as well as the ever-popular Suffolks and Texels.
With 20 breeds and 15 rings, the event has been received with enthusiasm by consignors and buyers, old and new, and has created a strong buzz in the farming community across the country.
This year, the sale will start at 11am. Ringing the bell will be Michael Walton; a noted breeder of pedigree Suffolk sheep whose family have farmed since 1934.
In previous years, Michael was an auctioneer at leading professional sheep sales such as the National Suffolk Sale and the Bluefaced Leicester Sale at Builth Wells.
The Walton family have consigned sheep at Kelso since the late 1930s and will be continuing this tradition for 2021.
Thrilled to see the event back on and raring to go, Dan Withall, executive director of the Border Union Agricultural Society, said: “We are delighted to be presenting this sale after the challenges of the last 18 months, with all the uncertainty due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Kelso is the heart of the Ram Sales history and proud of the part it has played in its legacy.
"The sale has a significant economic impact, locally and nationally, and will provide a great boost for businesses throughout the week.
"It is supported by farmers, auctioneers, and those with a commercial interest in the industry.
“This year will see 4,285 rams head through the rings, and we expect a busy and productive day.
"The sale, supported by Solantel, will be held in traditional style without marquee cover, so we have our fingers crossed for favourable weather.”
“Whatever the outcome, we look forward to it immensely and can certainly say that ‘the boys are back in town!”
Adam Grieve, auctioneer at Borders-based auction marts Harrison & Hetherington, said: “Kelso Ram Sales is a huge event for agriculture in the Borders.
"The quality of rams coming through the sale ring is second to none and it really is a one-stop-shop with so many breeds under one roof.
“Last year was challenging for everyone, but for us the ram sale was a very big miss.
"There is such a buzz about Kelso; it attracts buyers and sellers from all over Europe and I’m pleased to see it back to normal this year.”
Procedures will be in place to ensure the event can go ahead in a Covid-safe environment.
A full ballot listing can be found by clicking here.