Wagyu Sahara Park Yasufuku tops Melbourne sale at $240,000

Bryce Eishold
By Bryce Eishold
Updated May 3 2022 - 8:20pm, first published May 2 2022 - 2:30am
BIG BOY: Sahara Park Yasufuku fetched sold for $240,000 at auction in Melbourne last week. Photo: Kent Ward

A Queensland bull sold at the Australian Wagyu Association Elite Wagyu Sale in Melbourne will only have to travel a few hundred kilometres to its new home after being snapped up by a Central Highlands buyer.

Sahara Park Yasufuku fetched an incredible $240,000 at the prestigious sale last week, but it was not the sale-topping lot after a Wagyu heifer set a new Australian record, selling for $400,000 during the auction.

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The top-priced bull, Lot 19 R153, consigned by Dean and Sam Pollard, Rockhampton, Qld, is a December 2020-drop bull sired by prominent marbling superstar World K Yasufuku JR.

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Sahara Park stud principal Dean Pollard said he was blown away by the quarter of a million dollar price tag, smashing his previous top-priced record of $34,000 set at a beef sale in Rockhampton several years ago.

"It highlights that people are after quality genetics and it's great that we've been recognised for having those sorts of genetics," Mr Pollard said.

"It's a very humbling moment."

Marbling, a genetic trait renowned in Wagyu, is at the top of the future's sires list of leading qualities, according to Mr Pollard, who runs a full blood and crossbred Wagyu operation in central Qld.

"The whole breed is based on marbling and he's a good outcross in the Wagyu breed," Mr Pollard said.

His herd includes 650 cows, including 500 full blood Wagyus, and about 150 crossbreds which are made up of high Wagyu content cows.

"R153 is free of all known recessive conditions with positive carcase EBVs to back him," Sahara Park said.

"(He) was one of three full flush brothers who at weaning was 30kgs heavier than the other siblings."

The bull was out of Wagyu Genetics Aizakura.

The top-priced bull buyer, Que Hornery, said he was attracted to the bull for his maternal side and noted his prominent sire and promising genetics were an added bonus.

Mr Hornery owns Bar H Grazing at Comet, Qld, 50 kilometres east of Emerald, Qld, and only 200kms from the vendors of the top-priced lot at Sahara Park.

"His dam is what really attracted me because it's similar to what I already have," he said.

"That genetic make up I know works and I'm really focused on the cow line and the bonus was who he was by and free of all of his traits."

The second-generation Wagyu producer said the bull would be joined to a herd of about 50 low birth weight first-calving heifers.

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The bull will also be used in an artificial insemination program of between 80-100 weaner heifers.

"We will also potentially produce some new sires out of him in the future," Mr Hornery said.

The Comet property spans 8090 hectares and includes five staff who work across IT and admin and stock handling.

"I've bought from Sahara Park before and I really like their good vision and genetics they use," he said.

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Bryce Eishold

Bryce Eishold

Journalist

Bryce is an agricultural journalist for Australian Community Media's Stock & Land. He covers all aspects of ag from markets to politics and everything in between. Bryce is also the president of the Rural Press Club of Victoria. Email bryce.eishold@stockandland.com.au.

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