The Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association and the Livestock Marketers of Saskatchewan are hosting the annual competition, the Man/Sask Livestock Auctioneering Championship this Saturday in Virden. 

Sixteen auctioneers are competing from the two provinces, with 13 of those hailing from Manitoba. 

Executive Administrator of the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association, Rick Wright, says it's going to be a fantastic event in Virden with about 3,000 head of cattle running through the gate.

Each auctioneer takes their turn behind the mic and then the top five return for a second round.  Each of the six judges will give their score to the final 5 contenders. The top score and lowest score for each contender is nixed and the average for the 4 remaining scores is found, thus determining the winners and their places in the winning circle.

Man-Sask Champ of the 2023 competition, Jesse Campbell, is one of the six judges.  Campbell is well known in prairie circles through Brandon-based Fraser Auction Services.  

Rick Wright says Man/Sask Champions have gone on to win the International and the Canadian Championships.  Westman auctioneer with Heartland Livestock Virden and Brandon, Ward Cutler, is the perfect example of someone who has come through the ranks as rookie at the competition years ago, and continued on to become a Manitoba Champion, Canadian Champion, and international competitor. Cutler will be MC'ing the Saturday event in Virden.

"So, we've got a long history with this event, "shares Wright. "It's the longest-running auction competition in Western Canada, and it started as a fun event, and we've been running it for over 35 years.  It's a credit to our organization, and a credit to our auctioneers who continue to come back to support us, because we have over 35 champions in the bank. And so that means we have a lot of livestock auctioneers in Manitoba, for sure."

The public is allowed and encouraged to bid and purchase black box items which goes towards raising funds for the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association.

Champion Auctioneer receives $1000 cash that must be used to attend the Canadian Livestock Auctioneering Championship in Waterloo, Ontario May 24, 2024. Champion also receives a custom-made Buckle sponsored by Boehringer-Ingelheim – Devin Boitson Manitoba Rep.

Top Rookie (under 5 years selling cattle) wins the Bob Wright Memorial Buckle – sponsored by Rick Wright Cattle Consulting.  The Bob Wright Memorial Buckle is in honor of sons, Rick and Warren's, father who was an auctioneer for many years at Killarney Auction Mart.  "So, we put it up kind of as a memorial to him," says Rick, "and its certainly something that we're very proud of."

Top Five Auctioneers receive travel bags courtesy of J. Quintaine & Son of Brandon – Jim Quintaine and JGL Livestock of Virden Mb.

"So, the rookies have something to go for, and the veterans have something to go for," says Wright. "But it's a fun event!  Winning and losing is not important to these guys.  it's getting together with other auctioneers and promoting the way that we do business, and promoting what they do as a business."  

"We've got 4 guys this being the first time they've ever come," notes Wright, "and we've got some guys that have been coming for 15 years. So, we've got a really good mix between the veterans and everybody else!"

Auctioneer Competitors:

  • Johnathon Stratuliak from Ethelbert MB - Ashern Auction Mart
  • Ty Cutler from Moosomin SK - Whitewood
  • Kelly Wright from Melita MB - Wrights Auction Service
  • John Baier from Swift Current SK - Heartland Livestock Service Swift Current
  • Richard Bramley from Minnedosa MB - Heartland Livestock Service Virden
  • Blaine Houston from Gladstone MB - Gladstone Auction Mart
  • Allan Munroe from Killarney MB - Killarney Auction Mart
  • Kyle Howarth from Boissevain MB - Killarney Auction Mart
  • Robin Hill from Lenore MB - Rainy River Cattlemen’s
  • Josh Unrau from MacGregor MB - Gladstone Auction Mart
  • Brady Olson from Moose Jaw SK - Heartland Livestock Service Moose Jaw
  • Noah Njegovan from Brandon MB - Heartland Livestock Service Virden
  • Dan Elias from Elm Creek MB - Independent
  • Brock Taylor from Reston MB - Taylor Auctions
  • Austin Taylor from Reston MB - Taylor Auctions
  • Aurel Vodon from Pipestone MB - Independent

The winners will be announced at the awards banquet on Sat. evening at the Virden Legion Club Room. The winner will receive a custom-made buckle sponsored by Boehringer-Engelheim and $1000 dollars cash to be used to enter the Canadian Livestock Auctioneering Championship Waterloo Ontario, May 23 to 126, 2024. 

The Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association has been operating for over 45 years.