Six super shots from Kelso tup sales

Trade was up, two sale records were broken and over 5,000 lots were entered at the 180th Kelso tup sale on Friday (8 September), where footfall was estimated to be close to 10,000.

Farmers Weekly went along to get a flavour of the action in and around the 16 sale rings.

After 20 years of service for the Border Union Agriculture Society secretary Ronald Wilson will retire at Christmas.

See also: Record grossing Kelso sale tops at £12,000

He has seen the sale flourish with quality steadily improving over the years. Ringing the bell marks the start of the sale at 10am.  

Kelso in numbers

  • Tups averaged a record £709.63
  • Trade saw a record £3.159m change hands
  • Over 3,000 catalogues sold
  • There were 1,928 Texel entries, 1,113 Suffolks, 643 Bluefaced Leicesters, 265 Beltexes and 271 Charollais
  • Seven auction companies sold lots from 396 consignors
  • 16 breeds and crosses on offer

Ron Wilson rings the bell to start the record day’s busy trading.

ron wilson

© Tim Scrivener

With 16 breeds going under the hammer and 16 sale rings, the visitors didn’t want to miss out on the action. Trade was topped by Texels at £23,000 for a Sportsmans Unbeatable son from the Wights of Crawford.

busy texel ring

© Tim Scrivener

These Suffolk tups didn’t want to miss out on any of the action.

© Tim Scrivener

There were 36 “tup taxis” ferrying a total of 4,452 tups around the showground. However, some preferred to try and make their own way back home.


© Tim Scrivener

Between 8,000 and 10,000 people flock to Kelso every year along with 35 trade stands. An initial print run of 2,500 catalogues ran out and over 3,000 ended up being used on the day.


© Tim Scrivener

After a busy day’s trading there were only 16 tups still on the showground by Saturday morning, with more than 5,000 tups sold. Not everyone was up for a new home.

tup handling

© Tim Scrivener