South Australia's de Bruin family had a memorable three days last week scoring a $280,000 record price for an Australian Wagyu and winning the top gong in the breed's branded beef competition.
First their Mayura Station near Millicent on SA's Limestone Coast snared the coveted grand champion award in the 2019 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition.
Mayura's Signature Series Wagyu beef scored 821 out of a possible 910 to take the top gong against a high-quality field.
The awards were presented during the Australian Wagyu Association's annual conference dinner at the Adelaide Convention Centre.
The next day a Mayura Station heifer, Mayura N1229 (AI), set a new Australian record when she was snapped up for $280,000 by a US buyer, Brian Stamps of Oklahoma.
Mayura N1229's pedigree feature's industry-leading sires including Itoshigenami JNR whose progeny consistently grade 9+ for marbling coupled with large eye muscle area and high carcase weight at a young age.
"My feet are only just hitting the ground," Mayura Station CEO, Scott de Bruin, said.
The de Bruins run 8500 fullblood Wagyus in a fully integrated operation which includes backgrounding, feedlotting and marketing their branded product to high-end restaurants, hotel and other buyers in Asia, the Middle East and other parts of the world.
In the past five years they have increased marbling score by 17pc (now averaging 8.34), carcase weight by 7.1pc, eye muscle area by 7.4pc while reducing the age at slaughter by 24pc.
The Elite Wagyu National Sale, conducted by GDL at the end of the national conference, grossed $1.67 million.
The sale was conducted live and interfaced online with AuctionsPlus.
GDL auctioneer, Harvey Weyman-Jones, believed the $280,000 price set a new Australian national mark for both beef and dairy females.
The bidding started at $50,000 and quickly climbed past $100,000 and through the $200,000 barrier.
Mr Weyman-Jones said Mr Stamps bought some top-class Australian Wagyu genetics last November and the cattle would be based in an export centre here with embryos and semen sent to America.
He said the underbidder for the record breaker, Geneflow, Tocumwal, on the Murray river, later paid $200,000 for Trent Bridge K0034 who has the highest marbling score for a female on Breedplan.
She was offered by the Perry family, Trent Bridge Wagyu, Armidale.
The female portion of the sale catalogue was the feature with 17 of 19 females offered selling for an average of $60,882, a gross of $1.035m and a clearance of 89pc.
Eleven of 23 bulls sold for a top price $55,000, an average of $25,773, a gross of $283,500 and a clearance of 48pc.
Embryos topped at $10,200 with 74 of 126 offered grossing $179,000 for a $2419 average and a 59pc clearance.
Semen was also in keen demand with 170 of 230 straws offered sold for a top price of $6730 (per straw for 10), a gross of $141,100, an average price per straw of $830 and a 74pc clearance.
Three calves in utero sold for an average and top price of $12,500 and a gross of $37,500.
Meanwhile, leading brands competed in fullblood, crossbred and commercial steak and gourmet sausage sections of the 2019 Wagyu Branded Beef Competition.
The judges described Mayura Station's prizewinning fullblood Wagyu steak as a "beautiful piece of Wagyu beef, tender, juicy with a great buttery flavour - an excellent example of Wagyu".
Bred from Mayura Jackpot, a son of Mayura sire, Itoshigenami Jnr, the intramuscular fat content measured 54pc.
If it could have been given a marble score, it would have been near 16.45 (marble scores now only go to nine).
"Being benchmarked against the best in the branded Wagyu beef in Australia and being awarded the grand champion is an honour," managing director, Scott de Bruin, said.
The Wagyu Branded Beef Competition features a gourmet sausage category with many of the entrants experimenting with complimentary flavours to enhance the Wagyu.
Taking the champion award was Sutcliffe Meats, producing a Korean barbecue sausage with hints of garlic, pear, honey, pepper and rice wine.
The competition was judged by a panel of peers on March 14 in Brisbane.
The winners were:
Gold Medal and Grand Champion: Mayura Station, Signature Series
Gold Medal: Stockyard, Stockyard Kiwami
Gold Medal: DMC Black Diamond
Gold Medal and Category Champion: Strathdale Wagyu
Gold Medal: Stockyard, Stockyard Black
Gold Medal: Mort & Co, The Phoenix
Gold Medal: Jack's Creek, Jack's Creek Wagyu
Gold Medal: Rangers Valley, WX 9
Gold Medal: DMC, Connors Wagyu Beef
Gold Medal: Pardoo Beef Company, First Growth Wagyu
Silver Medal: DMC, DMC Black
Silver Medal: Andrews Meat Industries, Tajima
Silver Medal: Kilcoy Global Foods, Carrara 604 Wagyu
Bronze Medal: Andrews Meat Industries, W.Black
Bronze Medal: Crown State Pastoral, Crown State Wagyu
COMMERCIAL WAGYU, MARBLE SCORE (5-7)
Gold Medal and Champion: Jack's Creek, Jack's Creek F1 Wagyu
Gold Medal: Jac Wagyu, Jac Wagyu Pure
Bronze Medal: Kilcoy Global Foods, Carrara 604 Wagyu
Bronze Medal: Harmony Agriculture & Food Co, Black Opal
Bronze Medal: Stockyard, Stockyard Silver
Gold Medal and Champion: Sutcliffe Meats, Korean Barbecue Wagyu Sausage
Silver Medal: Piero's Meat Merchant, Wagyu Chorzia
Silver Medal: Swansea Street Meats, Wagyu, beer, bacon and cheddar
Bronze Medal: Swansea Street Meats, Wagyu truffle and parmesan