Stud stock's top agent reminisces

STUD STOCK sales from the mid-1970s to the early 1990s could only be described as the halcyon days of prizestock auctions.

And from an Elders stud stock perspective, last Friday evening at the company's Goulburn office, heralded a celebration extraordinaire cherishing those wild and wonderful years.

In a party befitting also, the 180th anniversary year since the foundation of Elders when Alexander Lang Elder arrived in Port Misery (now Port Adelaide) in January 1839 when the fledgling colony of South Australia was only three years old, the Goulburn branch also hosted many of its long-standing clients.

The Elders story progressed as did the stud sales era with Tony Dowe as head auctioneer standing beside doyens of the stud stock breeding era on the selling rostrum at many a sale and on several occasions, knocking down Australian and world records among many beef and sheep breed records.

More than 100 people attended the official launch of Tony Dowe's autobiography titled "Sale O" that evening, all with many wonderful memories of Tony's workmanship.

Born at Tamworth, Tony Dowe first joined the stock agency world in the Tamworth local saleyards and further on, managed the Elders Goulburn branch for 20 years.

Inbetween, he increased his love of the stud stock industry, being the auctioneer at hundreds of multi-vendor and private on-property stud sales of sheep and cattle of all breeds.

One of his greatest achievements, according to Tony was selling for four generations of the Litchfield family at Hazeldean Merino and Angus on-property sales.

Tony said he had never had a single moment of training, and his pratter came naturally to him.

"Most of my pratter was trying to talk my way into the front door on a Friday night," he said.

"And if you could talk your way past Dimity, you would be a champion."

Dimity was Tony's beloved wife who died some years ago.

Tony Dowe recognised younger talent and helped promote several youngsters to higher places over the years, "and helped them rise to better themselves," he said.

One was Goulburn branch manager of several decades, Steve Ridley, who performed master of ceremonies duties with aplomb while several guests paid tribute.

In officially launching the book, Roger Hann, formerly of Courallie Herefords, Bellata, said when he was 17 he recognised the talents of a bloke who was about 27.

"And I still recognise that talent," he said.

""It was a wonderful privilege to work with Tony and Keven Norris and stand between them in the selling rostrum."

One client, Michael Kelly, Riverview Wallah, Rugby, recalled a Corringle Poll Hereford bull sale when there were no mobile phones and only telephones.

"An older gentleman sitting at the top of the hay bales was called to the phone and it took him some time to get down to the bottom," Mr Kelly said.

"As he passed the rostrum, Tony Dower said 'Good luck sir, I hope it's a boy' ."

Helping Tony write his thoughts was Sue Talbot, wife of Bob Talbot, a long-time workmate.

"I volunteered to help him and I hope the hours he spent in the torture chamber at our St Ives home have been worthwhile, and I give him credit for his state of memory," Mrs Talbot said.

Tony Dowe can be contacted on 0418 284 855.

This story Stud stock's top agent reminisces first appeared on The Land.