There is no doubt the cancellation of the Border Union’s Kelso Ram Sales has come as a huge disappointment to all, but while the day is a Mecca for sheep farmers throughout the UK, the organisation is making plans for next year’s event to be staged on Friday, September 10, 2021.

In the meantime, several auctioneers have re-scheduled their sales’ calendar to accommodate their vendors and ram sale buyers.

Two of the auctioneering companies with the largest entries, Lawrie and Symington and Harrison and Hetherington, based at Lanark and Carlisle, respectively, have been working together to ensure none of their sales clash and that no two breeds will be sold on the same day, thereby enabling vendors and purchasers a chance to sell and buy as much as normal. All sales will be live and online.

Lawrie and Symington sell the largest number of MV-accredited Texels at Kelso, and its sale will go ahead, on Friday, September 11 – the official day for the ram sales – but at Lanark. With almost 800 Texel entries, they will be split between two rings, with between two to four areas where people can bid from live, using the new live online bidding system, to include the foyer and the exhibition hall.

Potential purchasers will again have to register prior to the sale to ensure sufficient social distancing. Those looking to attend to mark up a catalogue are being urged to do so from the luxury of their own homes.

The following Wednesday, September 16, which is the company’s official breed sale of Border Leicesters and non-MV accredited Suffolks, will this year also include the Kelso consignments of MV accredited Charollais with non MV accredited Texels and cross-breds entries sold in the second ring.

The club sales of Texels and Beltex rams at Lanark, on Thursday, September 17, will go ahead in teh same online format.

Meanwhile, the 450 Bluefaced Leicester rams sold by L and S, at Kelso, will take place on Saturday, September 26, to benefit more of the Irish buyers.

Most of Harrison and Hetherington’s Kelso ram sales have been brought forward, with St Boswells Market, playing host to their Ring 14, 15 and 19 consignors, or non MV Suffolk, crosses and Texels vendors, on Saturday, September, 5.

MV accredited Suffolk shearlings and ram lambs normally sold in Ring 8 at Kelso, will now be sold at Borderway Mart, Carlisle, on Thursday, September 10, with the same centre playing host to Harrison and Hetherington’s Ring 2 and 3, vendors of MV accredited Beltex, Dutch Texels and cross-bred tups, on Saturday, September 12.

Future sale dates for the Border Leicesters, Lleyns and Berrichons normally sold in Ring 1 at Kelso, are still to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, United Auctions is incorporating their Kelso Ram Sales’ consignors in sales already scheduled at its Stirling, Huntly and Oban centres.

“We have the facilities and the space to accommodate our MV accredited Suffolk ram lamb consignors at our MV accredited sale on Saturday, September 19 and we have other sales at Oban and Huntly, that can easily take additional tups,” said George Purves, managing director at United Auctions.

“It is a huge disappointment that the Kelso Ram Sales, which has always been a successful event, had to be cancelled. But, we have to be positive and we will be inviting our Kelso Ram Sales consignors, along with our usual Ram Sales buyers to these sales in due course. We will also look forward to returning to Kelso again next year,” he said.