A prestigious Calgary Stampede belt buckle will head Down Under thanks to the efforts of Naracoorte’s Ronnie Dix.
The South Australian, who works for agribusiness company Elders Lucindale, has been named Rookie of the Year at the International Livestock Auctioneer Championship, beating a talented field of competitors from Canada, the United States and South Africa for the title.
Billed as "The Greatest Outdoor Show on Earth", the Calgary Stampede attracts more than a million visitors a year and features one of the world's largest rodeos, agricultural competitions and chuckwagon racing.
Dix said it was an honour to represent Australia at the event.
Dix won the SA ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition in 2015 before taking out the National competition for auctioneers aged under 25 at the Sydney Royal Easter Show in March to book his ticket to Calgary.
ALPA CEO Andy Madigan said Australian auctioneers had been competing at the Calgary Stampede for more than 20 years and this was the first victory by an Aussie in the event since 1999.
“Just going over there and having the experience of all the different styles of selling is great but the people in Calgary have been so hospitable and very helpful,” said Madigan.
“To win our national competition here in Australia is an honour in itself but then to go over there and wear the green and gold jacket is a very high achievement for any individual."
Last month the 2016 South Australia ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition was taken out by Elders Jamestown’s Jack Coleman over Dean Coddington from Elders Keith. The pair will take on the winners and runners-up from Queensland,
New South Wales and Victoria at the 2017 Sydney Royal Easter Show in April for the right to represent Australia at next year’s Stampede.