Calgary – A change may be as good as a rest, but sometimes a rest is as good as a change. That’s the position Corey Lawrence found himself in at the Calgary Stampede’s International Livestock Auctioneer Championship on Saturday.
The last time the auctioneer from Thorsby, Alta. competed in the event, he earned the reserve champion spot. That was in 2000, the same year he was named the Canadian Livestock Market Auctioneer Champion. Since then, Lawrence has been on a break from the competitive auctioneering circuit. That’s not to say he’s given his voice a break, though.
“He does five, six sales a week. And he auctioneers all the time at home — in the shower, on the mic, in the shop,” said his wife Tracy just after Lawrence received his cheque for $5,000 and champion Stampede buckle. The win also brings with it a bye into next year’s World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Billings, Mont.
Twenty-three contestants — coming from as far afield as South Africa and Australia, in addition to the United States and Canada — faced off in the preliminary round at Foothill Auctioneers in Stavely on Friday. The top 10 finalists then talked their best games in front of a five-judge panel in the Agrium Western Event Centre on Saturday. While selling four head of brand consignment cattle and a black box item — ranging from rodeo tickets to rib-eye steaks to jewelry — the competitors were judged on a variety of criteria, including spotting bids, rhythm and timing, livestock knowledge and the ability to conduct a sale.
The reserve champion, Trev Moravec of Schuyler, Neb., received $1,000 and a Stampede buckle. Rookie of the Year went to Ron Dix of Naracoorte, Australia. Dix talked his way to the Stampede by winning the 2016 Australian Livestock & Property Agents Association’s Young Auctioneers National Competition.
Even though Lawrence is plenty busy as the co-owner of Thorsby Stockyards and his own auction company, he said it was time to get back into the game.
“You can sell five days a week and when you come to the competition, it’s a whole new thing. You have to learn to control your nerves,” said Lawrence, who has been bidding it up since graduating from auction college in 1992. “Even if you are nervous, you’ve got to hold yourself together and get ’er done.”
While Lawrence doesn’t put special effort into looking after his voice (it’s more a case of making sure he’s healthy), he does puts in the time to make sure he knows what he’s talking about when it’s time to ramp up his auction patter.
“The more sales you do, the more prepared you can be. Once you’re comfortable conducting a sale, the smoother it’s going go. Knowing your product is huge. If you know what you’re selling, and you know the value of it, that is a huge part of it.”
For the full results of the Calgary Stampede’s International Livestock Auctioneer Championship, please visit http://ag.calgarystampede.com/results
About the Calgary Stampede
The Calgary Stampede celebrates the people, the animals, the land, the traditions and the values that make up the unique spirit of the west. The Calgary Stampede contributes to the quality of life in Calgary and southern Alberta through our world-renowned 10-day Stampede, year-round facilities, western events and several youth and agriculture programs. Exemplifying the theme We’re Greatest Together; we are a volunteer-supported, not-for-profit community organization that preserves and celebrates our western heritage, cultures and community spirit. All revenue is reinvested into Calgary Stampede programs and facilities.
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