Not even 18 months old yet, Clementine and Winston – two cows – took a stroll down the Busselton Jetty on Wednesday morning to raise awareness about mental health for Black Dog Ride.
The beautiful beasts will be auctioned at the Perth Royal Show this year to raise money for the mental health awareness organisation, which was originated in Busselton by Steve Andrews.
Black Dog Ride was named after a term penned by Winston Churchull, who suffered depression, and famously said when he had a bout of depression the black dog was in the room with him.
Farmer Peter Milton, who organised the walk, said since they started selling the cows for Black Dog Ride he had noticed a huge difference in people’s attitude towards mental health.
“Back in 2011 people would not even talk about it, it was never discussed, and this sort of thing helps,” he said.
“I could stand here all day and no one would ever talk to me, but if I stand here and hang onto a cow people will walk up and ask what you are doing.”
In 2011, Mr Milton took the first steers to be auctioned at the Perth show for Black Dog Ride which they sold and donated more than $8000.
It was supposed to be a one off thing, but they had not been able to stop since.
“We now have people generously donating steers and heifers, we call each steer Winston, this one is Winston X,” he said.
A suggestion was made to get a female cow, which they named Clementine after Winston Churchill’s wife.
“Now we are up to Clementine III, we have already been promised Clementine IV,” Mr Milton said.
“We just mated Clementine I who was on her way to a special blue ribbon heifer sale in Dardanup in December.
“She will be sold as a mated heifer, commercially she is probably worth $2000 and she should make twice that because of the charity going towards Black Dog Ride,” he said.
“She will go out into a beef herd somewhere, or a hobby farm on a five acre block. At the moment she lives on green grass under the peppermint trees.”