The final tally is in for the Trinity Valley Exposition’s Youth Livestock Auction and the results are surprising even longtime organizers. Gina Worthy, a spokesperson for TVE, said that bidders paid a whopping $626,000 at the youth livestock and freezer sales on Oct. 24, a jump of $50,000 from the 2019 sales.
“This hit us out of the blue. We didn’t know what to expect going into the auction. We weren’t sure with all the stuff going on with the pandemic if buyers would actually show up and how their businesses had fared during the pandemic,” Worthy said.
The top bidder was Colony Ridge’s Trey Harris, who paid roughly $50,000 for show animals and entries. In second place is a group of bidders known as Partners of TVE and in third is First Liberty National Bank.
“Trey Harris also brought buyers with him and they contributed and did their part to help these kids,” Worthy said. “The Partners of TVE are a group of people put together by the board of directors. They pool money to buy items in the auction. Every youth in the big sale got at least the ‘minimum amount’ for their entry.”
While the year had some major disappointments with the canceling of the rodeo, rodeo parade, baby parade, kick-off dance, wine tasting, concerts and carnivals – events that are traditionally a part of TVE, Worthy said the youth livestock auction made up for it.
“The week that those kids were here was like no other year. There was an overall calm in the barn. Everyone was just happy to be here and were very appreciative. I think they were just ready to get out and do something,” Worthy said. “They have had so many shows canceled this year, so for us to be able to hold our event and do so well is amazing.”
Proceeds from the sale benefited 123 youths auctioning items in the premium sale and 97 youths auctioning items in the freezer sale.
With this year’s event now behind them, TVE staff are already setting their sights on next year.
“Hopefully by then we will be out of this crazy pandemic and things will get back to normal. Some of the things we had planned for this year have already been rolled over to 2021,” she said.
The schedule for next year is still shaping up, but the fair will be held from Oct. 15 to Oct. 23. The livestock parade, which draws thousands of spectators to Main Street in Liberty every year, will be held on Oct. 20. The rodeo will take place over four nights: Oct. 20 through Oct. 23. The first night of rodeo is for extreme bull fighting and the other three nights are the PRCA-sanctioned rodeo.
“I want to give many thanks to everyone who made this year possible. We are truly blessed to have a sale like this during a pandemic. We just can’t say thank you enough for coming out and helping these kids,” Worthy said.