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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 1999, Scotty & Nancy Gray purchased the contest hosting their first in Atlanta in 2000; 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 interview questions in addition to bid calling ability.

There have been only two winners of the Triple Crown:

    Jeff Stokes of Federal Way, Washington
    1987: World Champion Livestock Auctioneer
    1993: World Automobile Auctioneer Champion
    2003: International Auctioneer Champion
    2013: International Auctioneer Champion
    2016: World Champion Livestock Auctioneer
    2017: World Automobile Auctioneer Champion

Only six auctioneers have won two of the three Triple Crown titles:

    Paul C. Behr

    1988: International Auctioneer Champion
    1989: World Champion Livestock Auctioneer

    Shane Ratliff

    1992: International Auctioneer Champion
    1992: World Automobile Auctioneer Champion

    1990: International Auctioneer Champion
    1996: World Automobile Auctioneer Champion

    1991: International Auctioneer Champion
    2005: World Automobile Auctioneer Champion

    2003: World Automobile Auctioneer Champion
    2006: International Auctioneer Champion

    Cheri Boots-Sutton

    1999: International Auctioneer Champion
    2012: World Automobile Auctioneer Champion

We would note that it is incredibly difficult to win any one of these contests — yet four auctioneers (IAC has two winners) do each year. We will endeavor to keep this list updated as further champions are crowned.

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, RES Auction Services and Goodwill Columbus Car Auction. He serves as Distinguished Faculty at Hondros College of Business, Executive Director of The Ohio Auction School and Faculty at the Certified Auctioneers Institute held at Indiana University.