It was standing room only at Heartland Livestock in Virden on Saturday, March 23rd for the annual ManSask Auctioneer Championships.

The event was hosted by the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association and the Livestock Marketers of Saskatchewan. 

Executive Administrator of the Manitoba Livestock Marketing Association, Rick Wright, says it was a fantastic event with 17 auctioneers contending for top spot in the competition, 3120 cattle through the ring, "at prices that were near record highs on a lot of the cattle on exceptionally good quality cattle at the sale!  The day went very, very well!"

"When all the dust settled, the winner was John Baier out of Swift Current, Saskatchewan," shares Wright. "He was reserve champion last year and a well-deserving winner."

Second place went to Paul Moore from Yorkton, SK.  Brady Olson from Moose Jaw, SK, achieved 3rd place.  Killarney Auction Mart's Allen Munroe claimed 4th place, and Reston's Brock Taylor landed 5th.

This year's Rookie of the Year was Ty Cutler from Moosomin, SK to win the Bob Wright Memorial Buckle.

"Ty just finished his first year of selling and did an excellent job," explains Wright.

"So, we had a really good turnout! It was a full house with spectators all day long.

John Baier will go on to Waterloo, Ontario for the national competition from May 23-26 to represent ManSask. Baier will be one of about 40 auctioneers vying for top spot at the nationals.  The competition is open to everyone who wants to participate, however Baier's winning will fund his trip and stay at Waterloo.

"But we do have 10 auctioneers who will be making their way to the nationals," explains Wright. "Again, some rookies and some veterans.  Tyler Slawinski out of Gladstone has always been a top-5-finisher and he's looking to take the crown this year. So, we have a real good support in the auction industry out of Manitoba!"

Please listen to more with Rick Wright below as he shares more on the Saturday event held in Virden!

"It was just a very, very enjoyable day with lots of auctioneers, lots of good cattle and the buyer support was incredible," adds Wright. "It's been a long time since we saw the auction mart full of people."

"When things were tough guys just sent their cattle and felt, 'Well, we get what we get'. It was kind of depressing to go and watch them sell. But on Saturday it was standing room only at the Virden Auction Mart and that's a big building.  It's got a lot of room and the people were there for the first one that was sold, and they were all there for the last one that was sold. So, it was exciting!"

(Photos submitted by Rick Wright. Photos below:  ManSask Rookie Ty Cutler and Champion John Baier - and - Ty Cutler Rookie winner with Kelly Wright and Rick Wright)