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Entrants, who will take it in turn to display their rostrum skills on the night, must be members of or work for members of NAVA, NAEA, ARLA or ICBA, and they must be novice auctioneers, either having never sold at auction before or having conducted their first sale in the 12 months leading up to the competition.

The winner will be named NAVA Auctioneer of the Year and will be presented with the Clive Emson Auction Trophy Rosebowl, a £250 cash prize and £250 to go to a charity of their choice.

All entrants will receive complimentary accommodation and a free place at the NAVA Autumn Forum the following day, as well as overnight accommodation at the Stratford Manor, provided by the event sponsors.

The competition is free to enter, but numbers are limited and are appointed on a 'first come, first served' basis.

To enter contact NAVA on 01926 417 774 or email julieb@nava.org.uk.

Last year's winner, Ian Taylor of Carmarthen auction house Peter Francis, said: "I only entered the competition through Charles (the Saleroom Manager) who said I should if only for experience. At the time I felt I would probably let myself down by entering as I didn't have the confidence at that stage.

"It was one of the best nights of my life and I'm still in shock at the result. I am now auctioneering on a regular basis and have an area in Carmarthenshire where I visit potential clients who are looking to place chattels into our fine art or collectables sales.

"It hasn't changed my life financially, but I am enjoying the new career change and looking to progress as I am very ambitious in this field.

"If you are uncertain about applying to enter this competition, my advice is go for it - it's great experience and lots of fun."