Left to right: Frederick Bodnarus

‘I’m a girl in a man’s world’

Karen Roberts-Bogstie of Airdrie was one of two women in a group of 20 competing for the trophy at the fourth annual All Around Canadian Auctioneers Championship in Red Deer on Saturday.

Karen Roberts-Bogstie of Airdrie was one of two women in a group of 20 competing for the trophy at the fourth annual All Around Canadian Auctioneers Championship in Red Deer on Saturday.

It can be tough and intimidating trying to make it in an industry largely male dominated, she said. But that doesn’t keep her from calling out her own rapid auctioneer’s chant on stage.

“I was running my own auction for about the last year and recently I changed its focus and now I’m selling livestock,” said Roberts-Bogstie, who graduated from the Auctioneers Training Centre of Canada in Saskatoon.

“My first livestock sale was in November and that was actually pretty exciting. I’m a girl in a man’s world and it’s been one of the biggest challenges of my life but so rewarding. I’m not concerned about winning. For me, it’s about being able to prove to myself that I have the confidence to get up there and do it.”

Roberts-Bogstie competed in the Alberta Auctioneer’s Association’s Vern Scown Memorial Tyro Competition once a few years before and nearly burst into tears after getting up on stage.

“So even though my voice cracked, I’ve come a long way today,” she said of her first All Around Championship performance.

There was no shortage of cowboy hats and western boots at the Black Knight Inn on the weekend during the association’s 80th annual convention where the championships take place.

Auctioneers from across Alberta, B.C. and Saskatchewan grabbed the microphones and showed off their rhythmic chanting talent to five judges, selling a number of items to the couple hundred people gathered.

Frederick Bodnarus of Saskatoon came in third place, followed by Cody Hayes of Strathmore in second. Brennin Jack of Price Albert took home the grand prize belt buckle, championship trophy and $2,000 cash.

Jack, 24, was raised on a family farm in Saskatchewan and made his debut in the auction ring when he was 9 years-old.

He had sold his first million-dollar cattle sale by the age of 12.

He was named the international livestock auctioneer champion at the Calgary Stampede in 2012, the youngest champion on record, and placed in the top six spots for the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Alabama last year.

Jack said he was grateful to be in Red Deer competing and for all the support of the association and that he was looking forward to next year already.

David Froese, a Fort Vermilion farmer, was another competitor in the ring. Froese has been trying his voice at the art of auctioneering for well over a decade.

“It’s something I connect with,” Froese, 37, said.

“I’d always drive the tractor and be practising. It’s great to be here, interacting with other members of the association this way and representing Fort Vermilion. This is my third time coming over the past five years and I plan to keep coming.”

The three-day convention wrapped up on Saturday night with a banquet and concert from Canadian folk and country singer Tim Hus.

rfrancoeur@bprda.wpengine.com

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