TOMORROW sees the first of the re-scheduled ram sales rings after Covid-19 led to the cancellation of the biggest event in the sheep farming calendar - the Kelso Ram Sales.

Harrison & Hetherington's St Boswell's Mart will host the first ram sale with entries from all over the UK.

Instead of taking place at Kelso Showground, alternative mart venues and dates have been found to host the sales of the thousands of rams still to be traded.

With entry numbers just over 2,000, the sales are scheduled to take place at Borderway Mart in Carlisle, St Boswell's and Lockerbie marts in the Scottish Borders and Wooler in North Northumberland.

Saturday, September 5- St Boswell’s Mart, Newtown St Boswells: Suffolk’s (Non MV) 426; Crosses (Non MV) 103; Texels (Non MV) 146; North Country Cheviots (Non MV) 22; Beltex (Non MV) 3; Hampshire Down (Non MV) 7.

Thursday, September 10 – Borderway Mart, Carlisle: Suffolk shearling & lamb rams (MV) 405.

Friday, September 11 Lockerbie Mart: Border Leicesters (MV) 51; Lleyns (MV) 86; Berrichons (MV) 7; Hampshire Down (MV) 18; Roussin (MV) 4.

Saturday, September 12 – Borderway Mart, Carlisle; Beltex (MV) 255; Dutch Texel, Blue Texel, Dutch Spotted, Badgerface,Texel, Texel (MV) 85, Crosses (MV) 325

Tuesday, September 15 - Wooler Mart, Northumberland; Texel & Beltex (Non MV) 150; Suffolk & AOB (Non MV) 25.

Scott Donaldson, Joint Managing Director of Harrison & Hetherington, spoke about the change in plans: “It’s a real shame that the Kelso Ram Sales have been cancelled and are not going to take place this year. It has always been a focal point for the industry, and farmers really do save the best of the best for Kelso," said Scott.

He added: "Given the circumstances, H&H have worked hard to divide the sales, as it is our responsibility to schedule events so that producers can present their lambs to a large audience through our auction system and maintain social distancing.

"The difference is that this year, everyone will be working to very strict guidelines, following the rules set at government level. With this in mind, only two people will be allowed to prepare and sell the tups, and only one buyer from each business will be allowed into the ring. No non-buying visitors will not be allowed to enter at all."