New blood and a new date bring a new era to the annual Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees game auction, which is one of the top three wildlife auctions in the country.
For the first 10 years of the Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees brought to you in 2012 in association with DSTV, the auction has been hosted on the Saturday.
This has been moved to the Friday of the festival weekend to accommodate out of town bidders – many of whom also want to bring their families to enjoy the many attractions at the Absa Kirkwood Wildsfees, according to auction organiser Johan Swart.
“We have listened to what the industry has told us, and moved the auction a day forward.
“The trend in the industry is to hold auctions on week days.
“This also helps with the movement of the game after it has been bought,” he says.
The auction is one of the few in the country where buyers are able to see most of the prize animals, which are kept in bomas for the sale.
This year around 40 disease-free Addo Elephant National Park buffalo will go under the hammer of new blood Brandon Leer of Brandon Leer Auction Services, who is widely regarded as one of the best livestock auctioneers in the country, and a specialist in game sales.
Roy Hayes handled the auctions for the first 10 years. “Roy helped put the Kirkwood wildlife auction on the map, and the fact that we could attract an auctioneer with the experience of Brandon is a tribute to the solid foundation Roy built,” says Swart.
Leer was schooled at the Grey Schools in the Eastern Cape and grew up in the Port Elizabeth area. Other well-known auctions in which he has been involved include Madikwe, Thaba Tholo, Piet du Toit,
Ezemvelo KZN Wildlife, SANParks auctions in Kimberley and Pretoria, the North West Buffalo Auction at Molemane Eye, the Polokwane Municipality auction, and auctions at the Shamwari and Kwandwe game reserves in the Eastern Cape.