Livestock auctions aren’t new to Stavely, Alberta – but the Calgary Stampede’s International Livestock Auctioneer Championships are.
Before the top 10 finalists take over the Agrium Western Event Centre the morning of July 16, 23 auctioneers will compete at Foothills Auctioneers Inc. Among the contestants are auctioneers from Australia, South Africa and the competition’s first female entrant.
“The little town of Stavely is excited to be hosting this year, on the 50th anniversary of the market,” said Rob Bergevin, who heads up the Foothills Auctioneers mart.
Bergevin is no stranger to the Stampede. He’s been in the auctioneer business since 1988, auctioning off just about anything you can think of – from livestock to equipment to the Stampede art auction. It’s also his 15th year of doing the canvas auction!
Stavely may be a quaint little town – with only about 600 people, an hour south of Calgary and north of Lethbridge – but it services an area of 4,000 people, including many ranchers and farmers in southern Alberta.
There are regular sales every Friday, but Foothills Auctioneers also know how to put on a show when big competition comes to town. Stavely hosted the Canadian Championships in 2012, when 27 auctioneers from across the country came to compete.
The Stampede is upping the ante just a little bit more, with 28 total contestants and an international flare. The MP and mayor will be present to open the ceremonies, and they’re looking to have a pretty good run of cattle that day.
The preliminary round of the International Livestock Auctioneer Championships takes place throughout the day on Friday, July 15 at the Foothills Auctioneers mart in Stavely. The auction mart is right along Highway 2, just south of Nanton and north of Claresholm. The competition will be open to the public, so Stavely welcomes you to town!