MENTAL health charity the Black Dog Ride received a significant boost at the recent Royal Melbourne Show with the sale of an Angus heifer from the Golding's family's Little Meadows Angus stud, Dardanup, for $26,000.
But this $26,000 sum was boosted further to more than $40,000 with further donations to the cause at the event.
The sale was led by Peter and Judy Milton, Dardanup, who have become community leaders of the Black Dog Ride.
With an aim to raise awareness of depression and suicide prevention, throughout the country, the Miltons have travelled as far south as Northcliffe to as far north as Wyndham and Kununurra with cattle on-board.
They have collaborated with local cattle
producers and community members to arrange the preparation and travel of the animals, with one purpose in mind - to start conversations around mental health issues in rural and remote regions.
The Miltons decision to raise funds and shine a light on mental health issues affecting rural communities began at the 2011 Perth Royal Hereford Feature Show when four Hereford studs, Copplestone, owned by the Miltons, Kildarra, Westhaven and Countach, came together to auction off two charity steers for the Black Dog Ride.
In the initial sale they raised about $8000 and it was supposed to finish then.
"But it's kept going and we are now around $150,000 and I can't stop," Mr Milton said.
"I've met so many wonderful people, I have met sad people, I have met survivors, I have met people who are struggling.
"I have met people who have admitted to me they have had an issue, before they have told anyone else."
Mr Milton said the reception and reaction they received at Melbourne from breeders and the general public just passing by was overwhelming.
"What we achieved there was beyond our expectation and we are very grateful for the support of the Golding family and their donation of such a high quality female," he said.
The heifer was donated to by the Golding family's Little Meadow Angus stud and was sold as part of the Royal Melbourne Angus feature show, which was part of Angus Australia's 100-year celebration.
Little Meadows co-principal Tony Golding said the family was pleased to be able to offer one of its heifers of this calibre to the industry with all the proceeds going to the Black Dog Ride beneficiaries,
"A big drive for me, behind this, was depression and suicide, in rural Australia, with what's going on with the drought," Mr Golding said.
He said he was also moved by the plight of the dairy industry.
"The hardship it has put on livestock producers and their families is immeasurable and sadly its ongoing," Mr Golding said.
The heifer Little Meadows Wilcoola P7 (AI) was given the tag Clementine 6, after the wife of the late British Prime Minister, Winston Churchill, who coined the phrase "the Black Dog", when referring to depression.
The ET-bred heifer was sired by Pathfinder Genesis G357P and out of Coonamble D252.
It has EBVs of +5.6 BWT, +54 200-day weight and +129 600-day weight, +7.9 EMA, +0.9 rib fat, -0.1 rump fat, +0.9 retail beef yield and +1.2 IMF.
Semex general manager Jim Conroy led the winning bid on the heifer on behalf of a five member syndicate.
The syndicate included PJ Cattle Co, Hamilton, Victoria, Fernwood Angus stud, Gingin, Clift Angus, New South Wales and Eurozone Ltd, Perth.
This initiative was also supported by PJ Cattle Co, Quicksilver Transport, Angus Australia, The Royal Agricultural Society of Victoria, Cullen Marketing and Ridley Feeds.