Harold the Hereford Steer Helps Fight the Black Dog

Take the humble cake stall, a group of people determined to make a difference, a Hereford Steer and voila, you have an uplifting tale of a township raising awareness of depression.

When Steve Andrews spoke to the Eaton Over 50's club about Black Dog Ride, he probably didn't have any idea of the imaginative and innovative way the community would help Black Dog Ride's mission to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention. Eaton is a small town about 170kms south of Perth in the Shire of Dardanup which has a total population of around 13,000. Depression is a rising problem amongst primary producers in the region and Eaton locals wanted to help raise awareness of this debilitating illness affecting so many in their community.

Instead of assuming they're too small a group to make a difference, or that many don't ride so they can't participate in Black Dog Ride, the locals decided to do whatever was in their means to help Black Dog Ride raise awareness of depression.

Local Dardanup farmer Peter Milton offered to raise a steer and auction it off at the Perth Royal Show, with the proceeds going to the Black Dog Institute. All he needed was the start up funds to buy the steer. The local ladies hit their kitchens, cake stalls were held, and within 7 days the Over 50's club of Eaton had enough funds to buy two steers which Peter raised and auctioned off at the Perth Royal Show.

BDR at the Perth Royal Show, 2011

Black Dog Ride at the Perth Royal Show, 2011

Last year, Steve Andrews manned a Black Dog Ride stall in the Cattle Lanes at the Perth Royal Show, spoke to hundreds of people about depression awareness, and watched the steers bought and raised by a small regional community ultimately raise $8,000 for the Black Dog Institute.

This year, the Eaton Over 50's Club have done it again, with local cake stalls and walkathons raising the funds to buy and rear a Hereford Steer which will be auctioned off at this year's Perth Royal Show. Peter Milton says he'd love to do a Black Dog Muster to get 10 or 20 steers to auction although he clarifies, "We're raising money, but more importantly, we're raising awareness."

Harold and Eaton locals featured in the South West Times

Harold the Hereford, Peter Milton and the Eaton Over 50's. South West Times, 20/09/12. Click image to view article.

Black Dog Ride is excited to be at the Perth Royal Show again this year with Peter Milton, Harold the Hereford Steer and Herefords WA. Judging the Herefords, including Harold, starts on Sunday 30th September from 9.00am and the auction is on Monday 1st October from 9.00am. If you're visiting the Show, drop by for a yarn and meet Harold, Peter and the BDR crew.

This inspirational community would love to read your feedback here: http://is.gd/Harold