A southern Albertan who has been selling cattle since he was 16 years old is the international livestock auctioneer champion at the Calgary Stampede.
At 21, Ryan Konynenbelt of Nobleford, Alta., is the youngest to win this contest that drew 36 competitors from Canada, United States, South Africa and Australia. The win earned him $10,000 and other prizes. He was selected rookie of the year a couple years ago and after winning at Calgary, he has earned a place at the world championships in Tulare, California.
Now that he has won at Calgary, he joins the alumni of champion auctioneers who have competed for the last 30 years at the Stampede.
“I’ll keep coming back. It is great to support everybody,” he said.
“Now I can sit back and relax.”
Konynenbelt attended the Western College of Auctioneering in 2015 but had already experienced selling at NBI Vermilion Livestock Exchange and Heartland Livestock at Lloydminster. Now he works for the Southern Alberta Livestock Exchange.
He came from a livestock family where they raised cattle and have a feedlot at Nobleford.
Reserve grand champion was Kyle Layman of North Platte, Nebraska, and rookie of the year was Tim Yoder of Montezuma, Georgia.