I’d never heard of a Calcutta Auction until my first visit to The Lower Lakes Stockman’s Challenge. This is a highlight of the Saturday night entertainment and very few people realise the fun to be had. It’s a common event in golf, apparently, but golf has never had the appeal of horse and rider action for me!
In short, we auction off our top 8 Men’s Finalists and, no, you don’t get to keep them, but you do get to share the cash prize pool if your Finalist is a winner.
It all starts Saturday night. The Finalists are announced and then the crowd is invited to bid for each Finalist; as the auction hots up, so does the bidding. You need to hand over the cash for your winning bid at the end of the auction.
The next day you cheer on your Finalist as the competitors battle it out in the Main Arena in the fast-paced challenges of the Poley Saddle Rough Ride and The Heritage Horse Catch leaving one man standing as The Legend of The Lower Lakes. The winners are announced at The Presentation Ceremony and, if the Finalist you won at auction comes 1st, 2nd or 3rd – you win too!
The total cash pool raised by the Calcutta Auction is divided up between the auction winners with 10% going straight to The Royal Flying Doctor Service.
If your Men’s Finalist came 1st, you win 40% of the total cash pool raised; 2nd wins you 30%; and 3rd wins you 20%. Best of all, you collect your winnings immediately and it’s the end of the best weekend you’ve had all year!
That’s the thing with this event, the Challenge is amazing to witness and stands alone as far as a great weekend goes, but there’s so much more fun to be had and you don’t realise it until you’re there 🙂