A national title is another stepping stone for a young Shepparton auctioneerGEOFF ADAMS April 22, 2014 3:20am
It was only a few years ago when a young and nervous Shepparton stock agent Shelby Howard was thrust into his first auctioneering role.
Now he is headed off to compete in an international competition.
‘‘I think the first time was a clearing sale, at Dookie on a Saturday morning, and they said: you’re next,’’ Mr Howard recalled.
‘‘It was just boxes of stuff and some furniture in a shed. I made about $2.’’
Five years later, on April 10, he won a national young auctioneer’s trophy at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show, after competing against the best from the other states.
For the 23-year-old Rodwell’s agent, it was his first national win but his second state title.
Yea auctioneer Ryan Sargeant was runner-up.
Mr Howard had to auction three cattle in front of a crowd of thousands in an arena at the show, after watching the NSW state title being judged.
‘‘They’re real buyers who are from the big companies or the small specialist butchers around Sydney,’’ he said.
‘‘Some of these butchers take personal pride in buying top cattle and being able to show off the ribbons and ask top prices for the cuts.
‘‘Some of the best lots have sold for up to $15/kg.’’
But Mr Howard did not necessarily have the top lots for his auction and initially found it hard to push prices up.
‘‘I couldn’t get into my patter that I usually do, in my own style. But everyone said it was okay, because it was a tough competition.’’
He credits his training to input from agents Bernie O’Dea and Tony Pianto, and said he admired nationally known dairy auctioneer Brian Leslie, who he described as the best in Australia.
He has watched in amazement as Mr Leslie reels off cow pedigrees at an auction.
‘‘His head is just an index of cattle. He can turn a crowd from falling asleep into just about jumping off the chairs.’’
Mr Howard said he enjoyed working with clients and that the goal of an agent was to get the best outcome for the vendors.
‘‘I spend a lot of time on the road, just talking to my clients, discussing how to get their cattle in the best condition for sale, that sort of thing.
‘‘Or trying to pinch new clients!’’
As well as a trophy, Mr Howard will be heading to the Calgary Stampede in Canada on July 6 to participate in the international competition.
He will be extending the trip to include a holiday with family and friends.
Mr Howard said a good auctioneer had the following attributes:
Great time had at this year's Barmah Muster.
The Mulwala Lions had satisfying and hard fought win, in difficult conditions, against last year’s grand finalists at Lonsdale Reserve on Saturday.
The second annual Bonnie and Clyde Rods, Rats and Rides Festival fired up at Tatura Park at the weekend (April 11-12), drawing thousands of petrol heads and rockabilly music lovers to Tatura.
Friday’s annual primary inter-school cross country meet will see a broader variety of students taking part, as well as the introduction of a new finish line.
Lockington Vintage Tractor and Stationary Engine Rally is on for the 18th time this weekend and there is something for everyone.
Kyabram and District Sportstar of the Year nominations finalised
Three local clubs get together at Kings Park.
Tributes flow for Finley's inspiring mother, friend and farming advocate Jennifer Hawkins
A visit by Coliban Water to Heathcote last week provided residents with a chance to quiz staff about water and sewer services.
A new book, Men from the River Bends, honours Cobram-Barooga and district soldiers who paid the ultimate sacrifice after enlisting in World War 1.
Deniliquin bowler Dennis O'Keefe lost 25-19 in his bid for a quarter-final spot in the Victorian Singles Championships this week.
Widespread rain late last week and on Saturday put a smile on the faces of farmers preparing to sow crops or waiting for weeds to emerge on early-sown rye-grass.
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