Winchester Senior’s Steer Receives Record Bid at State Fair Sale of Champions

By Jeremy Coumbes on August 18, 2021 at 12:08pm

Landry Freeman stands with her steer Bob at the State Fair in Springfield. Bob was named Grand Champion for 2021 and received a record breaking bid at the Sale of Champions Tuesday. Photo credit: Winchester Schools Facebook Page.

A Senior at Winchester High School stole the show at the Illinois State Fair last night.

17-year-old Landrey Freeman’s steer was crowned as Grand Champion on Saturday, but the accolades didn’t stop there as her entry brought in a record bid during the Governor’s Sale of Champions last night.

Everything from the top cheddar cheese to the Grand Champion Barrow is auctioned off during the Sale of Champions. When the over 1300 pound bob the steer came out, Governor J.B. Pritzker and First Lady MK Pritzker entered into a bidding war, with MK coming out on top.

Following the record bidding, MK had advice for her husband. “He should know better than to bid against me.”

The First Lady won the tussle with a record-setting bid of $105,000 for Bob the steer. Landrey Freeman told the State Journal-Register that it “was the best experience of her life”, and Landry’s mother Jessica Freeman said she “couldn’t believe the numbers that were coming out of the auctioneer’s mouth.”

Governor Pritzker said after the event that he’s proud of Landrey.

She [Freeman] told me that she acquired the steer in November and ever since she’s been getting up very early in the morning, working late at night, she’s going to school in the meantime too. I’m so proud of these young people and what they are accomplishing, and Landry worked very hard to get here today.”

The bid blew past the previous record set by then-Governor Bruce Rauner in 2016 when he and his wife bid $104,000 for that year’s Grand Champion Steer.

According to the SJ-R Freeman will get half of the $105,000, with 10% going to the 4H and FFA, 15% going to the reserve grand champion steer, and 25% going to all the other breed champions.