Raised in southwest Oklahoma on a dairy farm, Bailey attended livestock auctions with his grandpa. Like many children he was enamored with the auction chant and would try to emulate it while at play. When he realized, as an adult, that he would like to make a career of the art of bid calling, he set out for auctioneering school in Missouri. That was in 2003.
Nine years later, he assumes the title of 2012 World Livestock Auctioneer Champion on his fourth attempt, having competed previously in 2006, 2008 and 2010.
In his acceptance speech, Bailey spoke of the auctioneers that took him under their wing and taught him the business. One of those early influences was 1974 WLAC champion Ralph Wade, who let Bailey come stay with him and worked with him as he developed his abilities and world-class chant.
Bailey is married to his junior high sweetheart, Heather, who was there as he received the WLAC title. As he travels across the U.S. and Canada this year as an ambassador for LMA and the livestock auction markets; he will be supported by Heather and their two children, Merrick, 5, and Brodey, 4.
Bailey was sponsored by Oklahoma National Stockyards, Inc., and Oklahoma City Livestock Exchange, both of Oklahoma City.
As WLAC champion, Bailey takes home a 2012 Silverado pickup to use during the year of his reign, $5000 cash, a championship sculpture, world champion Gist belt buckle, and a hand-tooled leather briefcase from LMA, world champion ring sponsored by Turlock Livestock Auction Yard, Inc., the Golden Gavel Award sponsored by the World Wide College of Auctioneering, and a James Reid, Ltd. money clip sponsored by CattleUSA.com.
Also making a great showing were the Reserve Champion Darren Carter of Ninety Six, S.C., and Runner-up Champion Brian Little of Wann, Okla.
Darren Carter was sponsored by Upstate Livestock Exchange in Williamston, S.C., and Wilkes County Stockyard, Inc. in Washington, Ga. From LMA, the reserve champion received $2000 cash, a Gist knife, and reserve champion Gist belt buckle.
Brian Little was sponsored by Coffeyville Livestock Market in Coffeyville, Kan. and Tulsa Stockyards, Inc. in Tulsa, Okla. He will take home $1000 cash, a Gist knife, and runner-up Gist belt buckle, sponsored by LMA.
The 2012 Audrey K. Banks “Rookie of the Year” Award winner hails from Canada, and is Brennin Jack of Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Brennin was sponsored by Heartland Livestock Services in Regina, Saskatchewan, Assiniboia Livestock Auction in Assiniboia, Saskatchewan and Weyburn Livestock Exchange in Weyburn, Saskatchewan. Brennin was awarded $500 cash by LMA, in recognition of an impressive display of talent at his first WLAC competition.
The seven remaining finalists all received Gist belt buckles, from LMA. Those finalists included Tye Casey of Plymouth, Ind.; Dustin Focht, Stillwater, Okla.; Brennin Jack, Weyburn, Sask., Canada; Blaine Lotz, Edna, Kan.; Brandon Neely, Southside, Ala.; Paul Ramirez, Tucson, Ariz. and Russele Sleep of Bedford, Iowa.
Each of the 33 semi-finalists received 1000 Series Quill pens from LMA and 2012 WLAC jackets sponsored by the host market.
This year’s event was hosted by Turlock Livestock Auction Yard, Inc., where attendees had the opportunity to witness a great livestock sale, an incredible auction market crew in action and the best in the business of livestock auctioneering.
Next year’s semi-finalists will be chosen from three qualifying events held during the next few months. The first will be held at Mid America Stockyards, Inc., in Bristow, Okla., on September 15, 2012. The next chance to compete for a spot will be at Southeast Mississippi Livestock AAL, in Hattiesburg, Miss., on September 24. The final opportunity to qualify will come at Stockland Livestock Auction, Inc., in Spokane, Wash., on October 29.
The 2013 World Livestock Auctioneer Championship will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the contest. The championship will be held in Montgomery, Ala., at Montgomery Stockyards, LLC, on June 14-15