Farming: Kelso ram sales return with record-breaking £65,000 sale

With the Kelso ram sales taking place once again in their traditional home this year, after the event which attracts buyers from the length and breadth of the country was cancelled on 2020 for only the second time in its 180-year history, a successful day’s trading saw over 3,500 rams sold – and a new centre record of £65,000, being set.

Kelso's back in business
Kelso's back in business

With the organisers deciding to host the event entirely outdoors, the 15 rings lacked the usual marquees this year in light of ongoing concerns over Covid transmission rates – and there had been fears that the threat of showers could dampen the enthusiasm of the buyers.

However, with the weather gods smiling, the dry day contributed to the success of the event which saw the overall average rise by £272 over the 2019 sale to stand at £970.09.

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The Texel breed dominated the leading prices, with the day’s top price coming from the last lot in Ring 9, the Campsie consignment from Jimmy and Donald MacGregor, Dyke Farm, Milton of Campsie. Surpassing the father and son’s previous top price of £5800, Campsie Drambuie, a son of Ettrick Cockney Rebel, sold at £65,000 in a two-way split to John Elliot, Roxburgh Mains, Kelso, and Ken Hodge’s Greenarch flock at Earlston.

From the same pen, Robert Rennie, Sydenham, Kelso, paid £8,000 for another son of Cockney Rebel.

Two Texels hit £20,000, with the first being Andrew Clark’s Teiglum Dirty Harry, from his Lanarkshire-based flock. A son of Knock Yardsman, he sold to large-scale commercial producer, Paul Slater, Whiteley Hey, Cheshire.

At the same money was one from Angus Kennedy, Mitchellhill, Biggar, a son of Canllefaes Bright Spark, which sold in a three-way split to James Gibb, Toftcombs, Biggar; Iain Minto, Townhead, Dolphinton and Jimmy Orr, West Walston, Carnwath.

On the other side of the coin, Iain Minto received £8,200 for the best from his Townhead consignment. That one, a son of a home-bred sire, went to Ian Hunter, Dalchirla, Crieff.

Neil Harvey, Blackadder Mains, Duns, sold his best Texel shearling at £15,000. A son of Walston Batman, he sold to the McAllisters’ Artnagullion flock in Northern Ireland.

The Gray family had a successful day with tups from their Ettrick consignment, from Lindean, Selkirk. They sold a son of Ettrick Cockney Rebel at £7,500, to Messrs Jones, Gwynedd, and a son of Ettrick Cockey Bob at £7500, to Messrs Robson, Yatesfield and Messrs McKay, Westhills.

Best for John Elliot’s Roxburgh Mains shearlings, was £7,500, for a son of a Canllefaes sire, which sold to DH Jones, Mid Wales.

The Bluefaced Leicesters sold to a top of £9,500, for a traditional Blue from Peter and Alan Forster, Lowes Fell, Hexham, which sold to Frank Johnston, Ashes, Co Durham.

Meanwhile, the Suffolk trade peaked at £6,000, for one from Alex and Russell Gray, Langside, Lanark, with that one selling to Messrs Roberts, Wales.

Cross tups met a steady demand, selling to a top of £,5800 to Messrs Roots, Kilnford Croft, Dumfries, for one from the Taylors at Heatheryhall, Thankerton.

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