Preliminary totals indicate livestock auction sales down from 2013

Jessica Priest By Jessica Priest

March 4, 2014 at 6:05 p.m.
Updated March 3, 2014 at 9:04 p.m.

   Tess Freeman for The Victoria Advocate

Preliminary records show that the 68th annual Victoria Livestock Show auction brought in $576,100, which is less than previous years.

The auction rewards participants who have taken care of broilers, hogs, steers and other livestock with checks to go toward their education or other agriculture-related projects.

"Our add-on numbers for just last night are already at $162,085. I have had probably 20 phone calls from people wanting to add on," Billie Hessler, the auction chairwoman, said Tuesday. "So I think overall, it will end up better than last year."

The auction had the same number of kids as last year, "but we were missing a few key buyers (Monday) who had scheduling conflicts. Those who were there were doing what they could," Hessler said.

Gary Loest, the assistant general chairman, said the excitement grew in the Victoria Community Center dome as the auction went late into the night.

"We've got plenty of experienced people, so it gets easier every year. It really does," Loest said of taking down the pens afterward.

He said if the show raises more money and gets more space, organizers would eventually like to bring in a rodeo and country music stars to perform each night.

Loest was proud that organizers solicited more companies this year to award kids with more than $10,000 in scholarships and handcrafted belt buckles.

"Ask any one of those kids - it's like Santa Claus came. They love them, and they're beautiful," Loest said about the belt buckles.

In 2013, the auction brought in $623,050. In 2012, it earned $570,700. Add-ons in 2013 were $167,550.

Will Lau's reserve grand champion hog, which was sold to H-E-B, Atzenhoffer Chevrolet, M&W Rentals and Sonic for $8,500, was the only grand or reserve champion animal to break a sale record.

In 2005, the reserve grand champion was sold for $7,500.

Add-ons will be accepted until March 17. Anyone who wants to add to the sale prices can email their pledge amount, name, phone number and address to Donors must also list the child's name they wish to donate to and how they want the student to receive it.



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