After 45 years, auctioneer David Chester returns to Rocky where his career began.
After 45 years, auctioneer David Chester returns to Rocky where his career began. Allan Reinikka

Chester back to where it began

IT'S no bull that Australia's longest-working bloodstock auctioneer David Chester will be taking a trip down memory lane when he drops the gavel in Rockhampton today for the first time after a 45-year absence.

Chester, the acting-general manager of the world-recognised and Gold Coast-based Magic Million Sales Company (MM) will be selling the opening batch of yearling lots at the company's ground-breaking sale at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

“Honestly, I'm chuffed to be back selling in Rockhampton where my career commenced under Dave Watkins at Australian Estates selling bulls at Gracemere on the cattle sales circuit in 1966,” he enthused.

However, Chester has a genuine affection for Rockhampton for more purposeful reasons than just auctioneering bloodstock.

“My father Bob Chester was a veterinarian in Rocky during the Second World War. He was one of only two vets in Queensland at the time deeply entrenched in the cattle industry. I remember him telling me he used to get around the properties in a motor vehicle with a coal-infused engine,” he said.

The love of David's life – Patricia (nee Cocks) was a Moura girl whom he met when they both worked for Australian Estates in Brisbane.

“Pat's mum Grace still lives in Rocky and we are staying with her while here for the sales,” he said.

Although maintaining he developed his own style as an auctioneer, Chester said guidance from gun auctioneer Bob Templeton (Australian Rugby Union fame) and Watkins was invaluable.

From his first thoroughbred sales selling rostrum at the Brisbane Showgrounds in 1967, Chester's bloodstock management career took off with Australian Estates, which led to an appointment with destiny.

“We sold yearlings at the first Gold Coast sale in 1980 and in 1986 I joined the Magic Millions Company there. I actually sold the Lunchtime yearling who raced as Snippets and won the inaugural Magic Millions in 1987.”

From there the worldwide thoroughbred auctioneering circuit became his oyster.

Under the Magic Million banner in which he rose to managing director in 2001, Chester has conducted sales for the company in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, the Philippines and throughout Australia.

“I'm just tickled pink that Magic Millions is now the selling agent for the Capricornia Yearling Sales which dates back to 1982. Magic Millions is here for the long haul,” he said.

Chester said the 100 yearlings in the 2011 catalogue were eligible for three varied bonus race series, which offered more than $16 million in prizemoney.

IT'S no bull that Australia's longest-working bloodstock auctioneer David Chester will be taking a trip down memory lane when he drops the gavel in Rockhampton today for the first time after a 45-year absence.

Chester, the acting-general manager of the world-recognised and Gold Coast-based Magic Million Sales Company (MM) will be selling the opening batch of yearling lots at the company's ground-breaking sale at the Rockhampton Showgrounds.

“Honestly, I'm chuffed to be back selling in Rockhampton where my career commenced under Dave Watkins at Australian Estates selling bulls at Gracemere on the cattle sales circuit in 1966,” he enthused.

However, Chester has a genuine affection for Rockhampton for more purposeful reasons than just auctioneering bloodstock.

“My father Bob Chester was a veterinarian in Rocky during the Second World War. He was one of only two vets in Queensland at the time deeply entrenched in the cattle industry. I remember him telling me he used to get around the properties in a motor vehicle with a coal-infused engine,” he said.

The love of David's life – Patricia (nee Cocks) was a Moura girl whom he met when they both worked for Australian Estates in Brisbane.

“Pat's mum Grace still lives in Rocky and we are staying with her while here for the sales,” he said.

Although maintaining he developed his own style as an auctioneer, Chester said guidance from gun auctioneer Bob Templeton (Australian Rugby Union fame) and Watkins was invaluable.

From his first thoroughbred sales selling rostrum at the Brisbane Showgrounds in 1967, Chester's bloodstock management career took off with Australian Estates, which led to an appointment with destiny.

“We sold yearlings at the first Gold Coast sale in 1980 and in 1986 I joined the Magic Millions Company there. I actually sold the Lunchtime yearling who raced as Snippets and won the inaugural Magic Millions in 1987.”

From there the worldwide thoroughbred auctioneering circuit became his oyster.

Under the Magic Million banner in which he rose to managing director in 2001, Chester has conducted sales for the company in Hong Kong, Malaysia, Singapore, Macau, the Philippines and throughout Australia.

“I'm just tickled pink that Magic Millions is now the selling agent for the Capricornia Yearling Sales which dates back to 1982. Magic Millions is here for the long haul,” he said.

Chester said the 100 yearlings in the 2011 catalogue were eligible for three varied bonus race series, which offered more than $16 million in prizemoney.

The Magic Millions Sale has brought an influx of southern buyers to Rockhampton. It gets going at 2pm today.

The Magic Millions Sale has brought an influx of southern buyers to Rockhampton. It gets going at 2pm today. 



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