The History of the Dectomax Kelso Ram Sales
KELSO RAM SALES
Thursday 20 December 2012
The Border Union Agricultural Society was formed on 12th January 1813 under the Chairmanship of the 5th Duke of Roxburghe, this being 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 15th September 1813.
The Ram Sales became a natural progression and the first exhibition of rams only was held on 14th October 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 out-with the area so the first Auction of rams took place at Kelso on Friday 12th September 1838. This was probably the first auction of rams in the world. Three Auctioneers were present with one hundred and twenty Border Leicester and Cheviot rams selling for between £3 and £6. ( In 2000 there were 5644 rams sold for a total of £1,891,867.00 to average £335.20 )
Some Significant Dates :
17th June 1850 : The Railway came to Kelso. This was a massive boost for the town and Society making it readily accessible from all parts of the UK. So much so that the following year arrangements were made with the North British Railway to have special trains, with suitable connections, scheduled to arrive at Kelso to suit Ram Sales starting times. Even the train time-table was printed on the front of the Catalogue !
1854 : Normal venue too small so new location found near Kelso for a rent of £5.
1863 : First Sale with over 2000 entries.
1870 : First time Sale held at Springwood Park.
1921 : First Sale with over 3000 entries
1945 : Sale moved to Springwood Park.
1953 : Society bought Springwood Park.
1984 : First Sale with over 5000 entries.
1988 : First Sale with over 6000 entries.
1991 : Record priced Lamb ( Suffolk ) £20,000.
1990 : First Sale with over 7000 entries.
1998 : Record Entry of 7730.
2000 : Record priced Shearling ( Texel ) £7,800.
2001 : First and only year there has not been a Ram Sale in 164 years.
2002 : Became the Dectomax Kelso Ram Sales : 5979 entries-14 Breeds -16 Rings - 9 Auctioneers.
2003 : 5588 entries – Record Average of £492.45p. Turnover exceeds £2,500,000.
2004 : 6932 entries – First time Texels exceed Suffolks. 18 Rings. 9 Auctioneers. 16 Breeds and Crosses