Rick Gabrielle remembered at 4-H sale

The family of the late Rick Gabrielle are overwhelmed by the show of support they received from the cattle industry and community during the recent Virden Interclub 4-H beef show and sale.

It all started during a sale at Virden’s Heartland Livestock location, when Kolton McIntosh and Robin Hill selected a steer from JJK Primrose Farms which the farm then donated to 4-H in memory of Rick, who passed away last August. Gabrielle was a big part of the local cattle industry having worked at Heartland and donated his time helping out with the local 4-H clubs.

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The steer was housed and processed for its first month at Routledge Stock Farm, with Ken Day providing feed for it. After leaving the Routledge Farm, it made its way to the home of Robin and Connie Hill where Alvin Radcliffe supplied the first tote bag of feed. The Hill’s continued with the feeding program until the 4-H sale with their daughters Jaylin and Ricki Hill coming onboard with the handling and breaking the steer to lead which took months of dedication.

During the 4-H show and sale, which took place Tuesday July 6, the steer was bought for $10,000 with many families, individuals, and businesses contributing to the purchase. The steer was put up for resale with Silverline Oilfield Service purchasing it for $3,900; Renard Meat Services then graciously donated an additional $2,000. At the request of JJK Primrose Farms, all proceeds from the sale of the steer were to be donated to Gabrielle’s grandchildren.

“Our family is so blessed to be surrounded by the love and support given to us,” says Rick’s wife, Diane Gabrielle.

“Rick has touched a lot of lives; we know he would be thrilled knowing people thought enough of him to do this for his grandchildren.”

Diane says the grandchildren were the light of her late husband’s life. He loved helping (grandchildren) Jayda, Myla, and Recklan with their 4-H steers, but he also was anxious for his younger grandchildren, Cooper, Blake, and Lane, to follow in their older one’s footsteps.

As part of Rick Gabrielle’s legacy, the “Rick Gabrielle Memorial Ambassador Award” has been established and is presented by the Gabrielle family to a 4-H member who embodies the meaning of an ambassador - someone who serves and honours others.

For 2021 the Gabrielle family chose Shane Anderson from the Lenore 4-H club, as the recipient of the award.

Anderson had, unfortunately, had his steer pass away before last year’s 4-H show and sale, but he rose to the occasion and continued to help other 4-H’ers - Peewees, Cloverbuds, or wherever he was needed.

As Diane Gabrielle noted, her late husband served many people throughout his life, and Anderson’s dedication to the competition last year was a prime example of serving others. Rick was dedicated to his local communities and at the time of his passing was a Councillor with the RM of Sifton.

“Rick would be so very proud of this young man receiving the award”, added Diane.

© Virden Empire-Advance