A Day at the Saleyards


At 9am on Tuesday, November 21st an excited group of adults and Hororata Primary School, Year 6 students (Charlie, George, Joe, Cameron, Simon, William, Holly, Kiana and Livi) set off to the Canterbury Park Saleyards to see what the commercial outcome was after the School’s calf rearing enterprise.

The group arrived as the prime cattle were being sold before going out to the back pens to view their calves.

“They were penned amongst all the big stock, but we’re sure  they  were happy to see us,” reported a School spokesperson. “We then went out to the sheep pens to watch how they were selling, and made sure we stopped and said hello to Fred Fowler our ex-Hororata Agent who still visits for the local Church auction.”

The group settled themselves into the seating area to await the sale of their calves. As time passed it looked as if it would be a long wait until thankfully, a parent spoke with the auctioneer and the children were happy to see their lot brought forward.

“The regular ‘locals’ of Canterbury Park were fascinated by our group and asked many questions re the rearing etc.  “Next thing you will tell me they have all got names they joked”. Indeed yes was the reply and we proceeded to tell them these starting with…All Black, Reid, Barrett Boys, McCaw etc.”

At last the calves came into the ring accompanied by applause from the Hororata group, who then settled down to view what took place next.

With the auction underway and the secret under-bidder removing himself from the group, the Hororata students and supporters waited with bated breath for the outcome of the sale. The calves average weight came in at 126 kilograms and they were sold for $500, which was possibly the top price per kilogram on the day, something that was met with more enthusiastic applause.

“It was the best day ever,” George proclaimed. “The bulls kept us well entertained with their antics behind the boards in the ring,” he added.

The School said an enormous thankyou to parent Craig Blackburn who initiated this Discovery Learning Programme (as well as for his secret bidding skills too).

“We’d also like to thank the PGG/W Auctioneer on the day who not only managed to reshuffle the programme from that in the catalogue, but conducted the auction with panache, flair and lots of amusement,” they added.

“Parents and students give a huge thank you to all the programme’s sponsors and service providers, as well as all the wonderful helpers who assisted. It was a busy fifteen weeks rearing the calves, but on reflection we will miss seeing them in the paddock,” they concluded.