Breeders backing mental health

Mental health has become a growing concern in New Zealand and the New Zealand breeding industry is doing their bit to try and address the issue.

As part of the AGrowQuip National Breeding Awards on Saturday, the Waikato Branch of the New Zealand Thoroughbred Breeders’ Association are holding an auction to raise money for a number of mental health initiatives the association is introducing.

“Mental health and wellbeing in our industry is something we think needs to be addressed,” Waikato Branch President Dave Duley said.

“Not only are we raising money for that, but also raising awareness that our industry has issues surrounding mental health that we need to work on.

“There is a programme that the national body are implementing. We are getting out onto the farms with this new programme, trying to raise awareness of mental health in our industry and to help out our industry participants.

“We have got some other things in the pipeline to help people individually and the money raised through this auction will help contribute towards that.”

Duley has been overwhelmed with the support shown by the industry towards this initiative and he is looking forward to seeing how much money can be raised on the night.

There will be five major items up for live auction on the night, while a further 28 items will be on from Tuesday.

“We have got five live auctions. AGrowQuip, our major sponsor of the night, has kindly donated a six-month lease on a brand-new John Deere 6110M Tractor and loader, which is valued at $27,000, and they are putting it up with a $1 reserve,” Duley said.

“Trio catering is offering a private dining experience in your own home, for 10 people, putting on a five-course dinner with all alcohol supplied by The Chosen One Syndicate.

“Te Rapa racecourse has donated naming rights for a race on Great Northern Day, which will be at Te Rapa on September 18 for the first time. That will come with a table for 10 with lunch and drinks supplied by Te Rapa racing.

“Sculptor Jamie Thomas has kindly donated a unique piece that will be an outstanding feature in any garden or parade area. Currently under construction, Jamie is creating a one-off ‘Rearing Horse’ made completely out of horse shoes.

“There is also an awesome Wairarapa getaway package which includes five nights in a 2021

Volkswagen Grand California 600. It features two nights’ accommodation at Little Avondale Stud, dinner with Sam and Catriona Williams, the Stud’s Bill and Ted’s glamping experience, bike hire from Green Jersey Explorer and wine tasting at Ata Rangi Vineyard.”

While he is expecting strong interest in the live auction, Duley said there are also some great items up for grabs online in the lead-up to the night.

“There will be 28 items on gavelhouse, which will go live on Tuesday,” he said.

“There are so many people in our industry that have come onboard with this initiative, from James McDonald donating a set of silks to Shaune Ritchie donating Bonecrusher’s shoes.”

While Duley is looking forward to raising money for mental health, he said the night is also a great way to celebrate the success of New Zealand breeders over the past season.

“It will be the first time that we will have a live National Breeders Awards. It was previously a Waikato awards night hosted by the Waikato branch (of the breeders association),” he said.

“It is phenomenal that we have bred 28 Group One winners from our little country (this season), it is a massive achievement. The All Blacks aren’t going that great, but our horses are.”

The Breeding Awards will be held at the Don Rowlands Centre, Lake Karapiro Domain, from 5.30pm on Saturday.

Gavelhouse Plus auction HERE

People wanting to bid on the live auction but are unable to attend can contact Dave Duley (021 563 400) to organise someone to bid on your behalf.


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