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Thoroughbred racing has The Triple Crown which is made up of the Kentucky Derby, Preakness Stakes and Belmont Stakes races. Auctioneers have a similar Triple Crown in terms of auctioneer bid calling contests.

Although there are dozens of auctioneer bid calling contests in the United States each year, the three most well-known and prestigious are as follows:

The International Auctioneer Championship is sponsored by The National Auctioneers Association based in Overland Park, Kansas; the contest started in 1988.

The World Automobile Auctioneers Championship was founded by Bob Reed in 1989. In 1996, Scotty & Nancy Gray purchased the contest and then in 2005 Paul C. Behr became the current owner.

The World Livestock Auctioneer Championship began in 1963, and is sponsored by the Livestock Marketing Association.

All three of these contests are roughly the same in format, as the contestants sell property in a live auction format and are graded by judges on appearance, sound, accuracy, enthusiasm and overall bid calling ability. The International Auctioneer Championship also grades contestants on three interview questions in addition to bid calling ability.

Jeff Stokes of Federal Way, Washington is the only winner of the Auctioneer Triple Crown (1987: World Champion Livestock Auctioneer, 1993: World Champion Automobile Auctioneer, 2003: International Auctioneer Championship).

Only four auctioneers have won two of the three Auctioneer Triple Crown titles: Neal Davis (1990 International Auctioneer Championship, 1996: World Champion Automobile Auctioneer), Shane Ratliff (1992: International Auctioneer Championship & World Champion Automobile Auctioneer), Tom “Spanky” Assiter (1991: International Auctioneer Championship, 2005: World Champion Automobile Auctioneer) and John Nicholls (2006: International Auctioneer Championship, 2003: World Champion Automobile Auctioneer).

Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, CAI, AARE has been an auctioneer and certified appraiser for over 30 years. His company’s auctions are located at: Mike Brandly, Auctioneer, Keller Williams Auctions and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. His Facebook page is: www.facebook.com/mbauctioneer. He is Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School.