As the dust settled from the first round of bronco branding last Sunday, the time came to put Hugh Sawrey to the test and see how deep the pockets in the crowd were. Evidently, they were a little deeper than I thought. Don Rayment, the resident auctioneer, has a knack of finding bids in a crowd when all seems quiet, however I must admit that sometimes hands seem to appear out of nowhere and vanish before anyone sees they were there. It is this quirk of his auctions that ensures all itchs are left unscratched and all flies left unwaved until “Sold!” is shouted.
The print was titled ‘Discussing Tactics’ and was of horse riders camped at the Winton racetrack prior to the start of the Winton to Longreach endurance ride in 1982. Donated by the Australian Stockman’s Hall of Fame, the print managed to pick up a quick $600 for the RFDS and brought the fundraising total to well over $14,000. A huge thanks must go to Stratford Ellis who dug the deepest and walked away with the beautiful print. In a quirky twist Strat and I went to boarding school together 7 years ago and hadn’t seen each other since. A huge thanks also goes to Don for giving up his voice in the name of charity and for his entertaining auctioneering skills….”You put ’em up, I’ll add ’em up”!