The 1300km trip from North Queensland to the Royal Queensland Show paid off for one young auctioneer on Wednesday afternoon.
Dustyn Fitzgerald from Queensland Rural in Charters Towers was named winner from a field of 10 agents, in his first crack at the Queensland ALPA Young Auctioneers Competition.
Someone who usually has the gift of the gab, particularly around the saleyards, Dustyn said he was still in shock when he was asked to make his winner's speech.
Speaking to Queensland Country Life following the announcement, he said he was "over the moon" with the win.
"I'm still in a bit of shock, to be honest," he said.
"This comp has always meant a lot to me, from starting off in this industry, it's something that you want to achieve.
"To come out and take the lead for my first hit out is good.
"The points would have been very tight, all of the boys did really well."
The 23-year-old was born in Roma and lived in Toowoomba, before working on cattle properties after high school, and then making the move to the Towers.
Having only been an agent for two years and auctioneering for one and a half years, Dustyn said he loved being an agent in the north.
"I love it up there, it's great being an agent in Charters Towers," he said.
"My old man is a commission buyer and my uncle is an agent, so it's always been in the family and it's always been something that I wanted to strive for."
Dustyn said he would like to thank auctioneer Wayne York for mentoring him in the lead up to the state final, as well as Nick Malone and Troy Trevor from Queensland Rural.
"I owe this to all of those fellas, they've been with me the whole way."
Simon Kinbacher from GDL, Rockhampton was runner up, in his fourth and final year entering the competition.
The 24-year-old was happy to add another sash to his collection, having won the runner-up title two years ago.
"I'm very happy to get a ribbon again," he said.
"This was my last go at it, but I've really enjoyed it.
"Sydney next year now, so that'll be very exciting."
Simon has been an agent since he left school seven years ago.
The competition made a return to the Royal Queensland Show for the first time since COVID shut downs.
The judges were Anthony Ball, Elders Studstock, Mackay, Jeremy Barron, Nutrien Blackall and Matthew Grayson, George and Furhmann, Warwick.
A record 40 young men converged on CQLX for the annual Australian Livestock and Property Agents' intensive school in June to compete for their spot at the final.
Both young men will travel to the Sydney Royal Show in April next year to compete for the national title.
"Hopefully we can beat New South Wales," Dustyn said.
"Simon and I will go down there and we'll give them a run for their money."
See the livestream of the event and all our Ekka news and pictures here.