Kurow 22-year-old Madison Taylor enjoyed representing New Zealand in both his career and his sport.
Mr Taylor competed in an auctioneering contest and bareback rodeo riding at the Sydney Royal Easter Show. He has only about five years’ experience in each endeavour.
Raised in Rakaia and educated in Christchurch, Mr Taylor has worked for livestock company Peter Walsh and Associates since November 2012. Last year, he was named Heartland Bank Young Auctioneer of the Year at the Canterbury A&P Show.
His prize included the trip to Australia for its equivalent event, run by the Australian Livestock and Property Agents Association. It began with the Young Auctioneers Competition dinner and sponsors’ night in Darling Harbour.
“There were 350 people at the dinner and at the end of the night the 2016 Australian champion and myself had to do a charity auction,” Mr Taylor said.
“It was an absolute blast and we made about $20,000 off 12 items. I think the free beer and wine definitely made it easier to draw the bids out of the sponsors!”
At the show the next day, he had to study the cattle.
“After finding and researching the stock we’d be selling, we had to sell in an indoor theatre that seats about 3000 people. We sold three steers each.
“One of my Limousin steers made $3400 and only weighed 450 kilos. They had a lot of high-end butchers and steak houses there buying the steers.
“It was a great experience and I loved every minute of it.”
Winning the Kiwi competition has boosted Mr Taylor’s career.
“It’s really kicked open a few doors, allowing my boss and colleagues to have a bit more faith in my ability to sell confidently.
“I now sell at my own on-farm lamb sales, calf sales and ewe fairs and I hope my clients see this as another reason to trust me to get the best value for their stock.
“Entering and winning the Heartland Bank Young Auctioneers Competition has been a great social and learning experience. You get the chance to pit your skills against some of the best gavel-bangers in the country.
“Along with the great feedback from judges, you pick up a lot of different sayings and styles from listening to the others and it really broadens your horizons.”
The invitational rodeo event was one of the biggest in the southern hemisphere. Mr Taylor had always been interested in rodeo but his parents wouldn’t let him take part. As soon as he left home, he took it up.
“I couldn’t ride a horse when I started.”
He was good enough to secure a spot in Sydney.
“I placed fourth on the first night in the bareback riding but didn’t have much luck after that.”
Another part of Mr Taylor’s prize was attending the Beef Expo in Feilding earlier this week, where he was selling the heifer Queen of Hearts.
Mr Taylor said he liked being based in Kurow and would probably stay for many years.
It took a long time to build up the trust of his clients – something he valued and wanted to consolidate further.