By Connor Lynch
COOKSTOWN — The 21-year-old Downeyville native, west of Peterborough, who took first place at the 2015 International Plowing Match’s first auctioneer’s competition in Finch and scooped up a $1,000 prize will be competing on the world stage this year.
After jetting down to Nebraska last month for a qualifying competition, Ab Carroll will compete in June at the World Livestock Auctioneer Championship in Kentucky.
Carroll, who works at Ontario Stockyards at Cookstown, north of Toronto, qualified in the top 10 for the midwest qualifier competition. He will be among 30 auctioneers at the world championship.
Competition in the qualifying match was fierce. “There were a lot of guys there who not only qualified in the contest but had made finals for the world (in past years),” Carroll said. “There wasn’t one person without an honest chance at the top 10.”
One other Canadian, from Prince Albert, Sask., will compete in the finals in June.
Carroll will be the youngest auctioneer to compete. Most of his competitors are at least five years older than he is, with a few auctioneers in their 60s, he said.
The world competition is going to be a different style than he’s used to. Instead of testing raw vocals and spotting bids, the competition will also test each auctioneer’s knowledge of the industry.
Carroll said he was happy just to qualify. If he wins, it’ll be the first win for Ontario since 1976, when Steve Liptay of Bowmanville, east of Oshawa, won the international competition. “I’m going to go in there with a there-to-learn attitude, do my best, and see where I place.”
Carroll was also a judge at last year’s International Plowing Match in Wellington County in Western Ontario.