Black Dog Ride Starts Conversations in the Cattle Yards

Long time Black Dog Ride supporters Peter and Judy Milton, producers in south west WA, collaborate with community members to arrange the purchase of a steer, which Peter raises and auctions at the Perth Royal Show with proceeds going to Black Dog Ride's beneficiaries.

The whole process, from purchase of the steer to auction, is designed to involve community members every step of the journey. The aim is to start conversations around depression and suicide prevention, to get farmers and agricultural workers talking about the hidden epidemic which impacts everyone in the regions: suicide. Once that ice is broken, farmers are more inclined to a yarn with the bloke on the farm down the road if they're having a rough time. They'll reach out for a hand, and building these help seeking behaviours is a vital step towards suicide prevention.

Noelle and Tayla Abbs with Peter Milton and Winston the 6th, the Angus Steer bought by the Abbs Family.In 2015 Landmark agent Jamie Abbs purchased the Angus steer for auction, specially chosen from a draft of 70 by his daughters Noelle and Tayla. The steer was christened Winston the 6th. Jamie's wife Kylie said it was, "a vitally important cause to support, particularly for those in regional communities....Isolation is one of the biggest things."

Winston the 6th spent several months with the Miltons and finally the big week at the Perth Royal Show arrived, the Miltons making the trek up to the Cattle Lanes at the Claremont Showgrounds with Winston the 6th in tow. Joining them in the cattle yards was Black Dog Ride Founder Steve Andrews, Bike & Dealership Liaison Graeme Raine, and Support Vehicle Driver Ross Scott.

Mingling with cattle producers, agricultural students and the general public, the big black Angus Steer and why he was being auctioned was a hot topic in the confined spaces of Cattle Lane.

The day of the cattle auction dawned, and when Peter brought Winston the 6th out of his stall, he was happy with the awareness raised so far, and hoping to raise $3000 on behalf of Black Dog Ride. For years, Michael Borrello of Borrello Beef had been generous with his bidding, and this day was no different. However, Harvey Beef's Kim McDougall was determined to be top bidder, knowing every dollar raised and every amazed comment in the stalls was for a great cause.

In minutes, the 436kg Angus Steer had been auctioned for $10,250!

Watch the video of the action below:

Every dollar of the $10,250 raised will be directed towards supporting Black Dog Ride's beneficiaries, and the conversations and awareness raised of depression and suicide prevention will leave deep and long lasting impressions upon the hundreds of people touched by this grassroots regional mental health initiative.

Black Dog Ride extends sincere thanks to the Abbs Family for donating the steer; to Michael Borrello for his continued generosity and spirited bidding on the day; Kim McDougall and Harvey Beef for their outstanding generosity and enthusiasm in getting behind the Black Dog Ride cause; The Royal Agricultural Society of WA for their continued support; and especially to Peter and Judy Milton, whose ongoing grassroots support in helping Black Dog ride raise awarenss of depression and suicide prevention amongst primary producers has evolved into a lasting and valued friendship.

Browse the media about the 2014 Black Dog Ride Cattle Auction:

Gift Helps Beat Black Dog | Farmer Peter Milton with Angus Steer | Steve & Peter | Farm Weekly

Browse the images of the 2014 Black Dog Ride Cattle Auction: