2018 Win a Pen of Santa Steers NSW

ONE lucky reader of The Land has walked away from the Gunnedah saleyards with $5223 after being named the victor of the Win a Pen of Santa Steers competition.

Retiree Tony Chaloner travelled from Vacy, in the Hunter region, to witness his share in six feedlot bullocks sell for 281c/kg during Tuesday’s sale, which was boosted by scattered rain reports. 

The steers weighed 619kg to return $1741/hd or $10,446 in total with the other half share going to the Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service. 

Mr Chaloner, who lives on seven hectares (18 acres) and has only ran a few head of cattle himself, entered three or four coupons into the competition before receiving the winning call last Thursday.

Tony Chaloner, Vacy, was the lucky winner of The Land's Win a Pen of Santa Steers competition and was on hand to watch them sell at Gunnedah on Tuesday.

“I got the surprise of my life, I couldn’t believe it,” he said.

While he has offloaded the odd vealer to saleyards in the past, his winning steers far outweighed them.

Despite having dreams of becoming an auctioneer, Mr Chaloner was drawn to the city but always had an interest in the agriculture industry.

“I was born in Trangie and my father managed successful properties and never owned them,” he said.

“When I was almost 21, I was getting paid by the neighbours getting paid by next door, and my father said, ‘You can’t stop here with me for the rest of your life, you have to go where the superannuation is’. 

“So that takes you to the city where you look after other people’s paperwork and money.”

He thanked the support of the steer sponsors in Tookey Creek and Jarrah Park, Bellata, Watasanta, Tamworth, Benelkay, Mullaley, Yulgilbar, Baryyulgil, Rockingham in western NSW and the Northern Santa Gertrudis Breeders.

Elders agents John Glover and Nik Hannaford, with Westpac Helicopter Rescue Service representative Robin Capp, winner Tony Chaloner and sponsors Andrew Orman, Benelkay Santas, Mullaley, and Allan Cherry, Northern Santa Gertrudis Breeders.

The steers were finished by the Wilga Feedlot at Bellata, moved by Martins Transport, and sold by Elders Gunnedah.

The Westpac Rescue Helicopter Service were equally rewarded from the competition.

Gunnedah branch president Robin Capp said they were very grateful for the opportunity to benefit from the event. 

“It helps keep the helicopter in the air and that is so vital to our rural communities because it saves lives basically,” she said.