The Black Dog Ride Charity Steer rewrote the record books again when it sold for $16,600 among strong results at this year's Perth Royal Show trade cattle sale.
Numbers continue to grow from the COVID-19 interrupted years in an excellent quality showing of British and European beef breed's straight and crossbred led steers and heifers with the State's educational facilities again representing a large percentage of the nominations.
The feature fixture attracted the most buyer registrations in the past six years, with the sale strongly supported by processors, major supermarkets and local retailers.
While it was expectantly back on last year's result given the subdued cattle market, buyers showed they were prepared to pay well in excess of market values to show their support.
The sale attracts a large crowd of interested onlookers and this year was no exception and at the completion of selling, the Nutrien Livestock, Elders and AWN Livestock selling teams, all extremely well represented at the King's Birthday public holiday sale, had notched up a complete clearance, for an overall average of $2586.
This was back $1058 on last year's average where all 63 animals sold for a $3644 average.
Excluding the charity steer, 80 steers and heifers averaged $2411 compared to last year where 62 head averaged $3453.
It was only marginally down by $354 on the 2021 sale, where 52 head averaged $2765.
Outside of the champion, winners which traditionally attract premiums, lightweights 325-386 kilograms sold to $1700 at 449 cents per kilogram, mediumweights 401-459kg sold to $2000 at 460c/kg, heavyweights 472-520kg topped at $2500 at 517c/kg and extra heavyweights 524-628kg sold to $3000 at 497c/kg.
Once the champion and reserve champions of each weight class had been led through the sale arena, it was time for the highly anticipated Black Dog Ride Charity Steer to shine and Winston 16th didn't disappoint.
The well-bred and prepared 566kg Limousin steer was donated by Barry and Cathie Burgess, Willendaise Limousins and prepared by passionate Black Dog Ride supporters and charity steer initiative founders Peter and Judy Milton, Copplestone Charolais, Dardanup.
Following a spirited bidding battle, Winston 16th was knocked down to Harvest Road (Harvey Beef) for the new record charity steer price of $16,600 at a whopping 2933c/kg.
The generous losing bidder on this year's steer was Michael Borrello, Borrello Beef, Gingin, who would finish the sale with a team of nine head to be a strong contributor.
Black Dog Ride raises awareness for mental illness and suicide prevention and the organisation's general manager Lawson Dixon said it's another fantastic result.
"The effort that everybody puts in to support what we do is really felt," Mr Dixon said.
"We appreciate what RASWA, agents, handlers, buyers and under-bidders do and our job of raising awareness is supported by this.
"It's great to get the money, but more importantly is raising awareness.
"The awareness lives on through the exposure we receive."
Harvest Road acting chief executive officer Tim Wood said the Black Dog Ride did a fantastic job of supporting mental health and suicide prevention initiatives at a grass roots level.
"The Black Dog Ride has an important message, that depression is an illness, not a weakness," Mr Wood said.
"Harvest Road is pleased to support the Black Dog Ride, so they can continue to spread the message that you do not have to battle these feelings alone."
Harvest Road collected a total of 14 head at the sale in another strong show of support.
The grand champion and champion heavyweight led steer or heifer is a favourite among buyers and the quality 520kg Square Meater steer exhibited by Ella Clarke, Harvey, went to script when it was knocked down for $8200 to The Meat Machine, Maddington.
A 477kg Angus cross steer exhibited by Murdoch University, sashed the reserve grand champion and reserve champion heavyweight steer, was knocked down for the next highest value of $6200 to Western Meat Packers (WMP).
WMP were strong supporters of the sale purchasing a total of 14 head, mainly steers, which included the champion extra heavyweight, a 620kg Murray Grey cross steer, exhibited by Tullibardine Angus, Albany, which sold for $5800.
Johnson Meats finished with six head and paid the next highest price of $4800 for the reserve champion extra heavyweight, a 578kg Angus steer exhibited by Murdoch University.
Other stronger sale supporters were Coles (10 head), Goodchild Meats (seven head) and Woolworths (five head).
Elders auctioneer Graeme Curry said it was a pleasing result given the current market climate.
"It was a well presented line-up of cattle showing the very best from regional Australia with a solid contingent again from schools and universities along with individual breeders from as far as the South Coast," Mr Curry said.
"The trade again supported the sale all the way through from the grand champions to the final lot with realistic values throughout.
"Congratulations to everyone involved in the Black Dog Ride Charity Steer."
Nutrien Livestock auctioneer Tiny Holly said the event was again well supported by exhibitors and the industry.
"It was a credit to the younger people in the industry from schools and universities and individual exhibitors, they handled themselves admirably and the cattle performed very well," Mr Holly said.
"There was excellent buying from the trade and one of the buyers said it wasn't about getting their costs right but more about promotion of the competition itself."
AWN Livestock WA cattle manager Phil Petricevich said all in all it was a solid sale given the state of the market
"It was an outstanding line-up of cattle and buyers should be congratulated for supporting the industry in what is a tough time," Mr Petricevich said.
"Heavier cattle made excellent prices and were clearly in demand compared to lighter cattle."
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