THE Ekka’s inaugural Wagyu Challenge proved a two way tussle between Allora breeder and genetics specialists Alan Hoey and long term colleague and major Central Queensland breeder Darren Hamblim.
Mr Hoey claimed top overall honours in the prestigious Paddock to Palate competition beating the Hamblin entry by just 0.22 points. Both the first and second F2-plus entries were by well known Michifuku genetics. My Hoey also came in third with a pen bred on equally famed Wightman Itoshigenami X91 genetics. Hamblin then secured fourth and fifth places with respective F2-plus Huruki 2 and Itoshigenami TF148 entries.
In a remarkedly close contest, just 2.25 points covered the spread of the top five entries, which had been fed for 350 days in Mort and Co’s Grassdale Feedlot at Dalby. The cattle were processed at Oakey Beef Exports.
Mr Hoey and Mr Hamblin have worked closely for much of the past 20 years, as pioneers of the Wagyu industry in Australia. Mr Hoey was also previously the livestock manager at Maydan Feedlot, Warwick.
Interestingly a purpose build camera developed in Japan was used to photograph each eye muscle, providing an objectively measurement of the eye muscle area, meat and fat colour, the amount of marbling, and the all important fineness of that marbling.
Wallumbilla breeders Selwyn and Jocelyn Mauller, Hamilton Park, Wallumbilla, placed sixth with a purebred entry and seventh with a F2-plus entry. Those cattle were bred on Lussvale, Mitchell, before being backgrounded at Wallumbilla.
The highest carcase value was the Hamblin entry, which placed fourth overall. The second placed highest value entry was Mr Hoey’s second placed entry.
The Hughes family’s Wentworth Cattle Company, Clermont, had the highest single value carcase with am F2-plus entry which came in at an impressive $5985.
The highest individual weight gain at 1.55kg/day went to an F1 entry from Stanbroke Beef.