Victoria Livestock Show auction hope to surpass $500,000 in sales

March 3, 2013 at 10:05 p.m.
Updated March 2, 2013 at 9:03 p.m.

   ALLISON MILES for The Victoria Advocate

He's battled bad guys throughout Gotham City.

He's remained shrouded in secrecy behind an alter ego.

OK, maybe that's another guy.

But Victoria's version of the Caped Crusader - a hog named Batman - has his own grand adventure ahead of him: the 2013 Victoria Livestock Show auction.

The hog, who got his name because of the dark mask markings around his eyes, is one of 275 animals that will go to auction Monday.

Billie Hessler, the auction's committee chairwoman, called the event "the biggest part of stock show."

She encouraged community members to support area youth who have invested their time and money into animal projects.

The event is open to the public, she said, and all contributions are welcome. Those who can't afford to purchase an animal themselves can enter into buying groups, she said. People can also offer add-ons - or additional money - to individual children.

Although Hessler said she did not have a specific amount she wanted to bring in, last year's auction broke the $500,000 mark. She said she hoped to see even more this time around.

This year's event will bring something different, she said, as a new auctioneer, Vance Runnels, joins the ranks. Runnels has experience in youth shows, she said, but has not participated in Victoria's.

"I hope Victoria welcomes him," Hessler said.

Kye Johnston's reserve champion market lamb, Sheldon, will also be among those auctioned off. Kye, 14, admitted it would be hard to let go of the animal, but said he enjoys the auction experience.

"It's exciting," he said, his banner held in one hand. "You've got people bidding and buying your animals. It's a lot of fun."

Cameron Marbach, Batman's owner, agreed it isn't easy to say goodbye to a show animal. Still, he said, Monday's auction means he will soon have a chance to relax a bit before he begins next year's project.

"That'll be nice," he said, setting Batman's water bucket on the ground. "But I will miss him."



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