Hoey wins Ekka’s Wagyu challenge

Paddock to Palate: Hoey wins Ekka's Wagyu challenge

Beef Cattle
WAGYU WINNER: Alan Hoey, Allora, with RNA president David Thomas and Matt McDonagh from the Australian Wagyu Association.

WAGYU WINNER: Alan Hoey, Allora, with RNA president David Thomas and Matt McDonagh from the Australian Wagyu Association.


Allora-based Wagyu industry genetics consultant Alan Hoey has once again the Ekka's Wagyu challenge.


ALAN Hoey’s exceptional selection skills have again come up trumps, winning the RNA Paddock to Palate Wagyu challenge for the second year running. 

The Allora-based Wagyu industry genetics consultant’s winning entry were six animals drawn from the herd owned by major Central Queensland breeder Darren Hamblin.

“I still can’t believe the entry one,” Mr Hoey said, after the announcement was made in Royal Queensland Steakhouse at the Ekka on Friday morning. “Looking at the carcases hanging up in the chillers at Oakey, I was certain the entry selected by Darren (Hamblin) was better.”

The entries were selected from about 100, F2 and F3 two tooth animals almost exclusively on genetics data and data relating to both the performances of the dams and sires and their progeny. 

The six animals were by Michifuku and TF148 Itoshigenani, two of the mainstay sires of the Australian Wagyu industry.  

In a repeat of last year’s competition, Mr Hoey and Sarina based producer Darren Hamblin placed first and second overall in the competition. Third place went to Selwyn and Jocelyn Maller, Hamilton Park, Wallumbilla.

Mr Hamblin also exhibited the highest value carcase at $7004 was an F1 animal by E10. The carcase with a 9 marbling scotre also placed third in the beef taste off section of the competition. The Maller’s third placed entry were fullbloods.  

The important beef taste off, which is worth 20 per cent of the points, was a repeat of the overall placings. 

The champion single carcase was a full blood exhibited by Darren and Leonard Henschell, Moola. That 356kg carcase was produced by a fullblood animal with  a 0.77kg average daily weight gain and was valued at $4887. 

Reserve champion single carcase came from the Hughes family’s Wentworth Cattle Company. That 407kg carcase was produced by a F2 animal with a 0.85kg average daily weight gain and was valued at $5036. 

Best weight was a pen from NSW Hunter Valley based Kuro Kin Wagyu. The F1 Angus steers averaged 1.156kg/day. The best individual weight gain was an F2 from the Wentworth Cattle Company, which had an 1.325kg average gain.

The 2018 competition drew 119 cattle from 10 producers in Queensland, NSW and Victoria. After being fed in Mort and Co’s Grassdale Feedlot for 370 days the cattle were processed at Oakey.

The Wagyu challenge has four phases involving weight gain, carcase value, the Meat Standards Australia (MSA) grading protocol, and Japanese digital camera technology which objectively measures marbling fineness. The beef taste-off is judged using MSA sensory criteria: juiciness, tenderness, flavour and overall liking.

The RNA’s 2019 Paddock to Palate Wagyu challenge is already underway with competition cattle already on feed in Grassdale Feedlot. The competition is open to Wagyu and minimum 50pc Wagyu blood cattle.

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