WA Wagyu brand steals show at competition

Zach RelphCountryman
Stone Axe Pastoral managing director Scott Richardson is on the lookout for land near Kojonup.
Camera IconStone Axe Pastoral managing director Scott Richardson is on the lookout for land near Kojonup. Credit: Picture: ????? ???????

A premium WA cattle producer has claimed the champion sash at Australia’s premier Wagyu branded beef competition for its finely textured steak.

Stone Axe Pastoral was awarded the eighth annual Wagyu Branded Beef Competition’s grand champion honours last Friday for its full-blood Wagyu product.

The first-time competition entrants eclipsed 30 other entries from WA, NSW, Queensland and Tasmania vying for the event’s full-blood, crossbred and commercial Wagyu categories.

With a maximum 910 points available, Stone Axe Pastoral’s entry received a competition-high 799 points from the judges.

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The steak from a full-blood Wagyu steer, which won the full-blood Japanese black gold title earlier in the judging, boasted an eye muscle area of 92sqcm.

The entry also posted a digital marbling fineness score of 58.4 and a 39 per cent digital marbling score.

Stone Axe Pastoral managing director Scott Richardson, pictured, said the West Perth-based company was overwhelmed to receive the gong.

“It is great recognition of the blood, sweat and tears that we have put in the last couple of years,” he said.

“I would like to thank our team and investors for all their contributions.”

This year’s winners were announced virtually, with the Australian Wagyu Association opting to hold the event online because of the COVID-19 crisis.

The awards celebrate three Wagyu classes — full-blood Japanese black, crossbred open Wagyu, and commercial Wagyu.

Gold, silver and bronze medals were awarded across the three classes based on tenderness, juiciness, flavour, overall liking, and visual.

The highest score for each class was awarded the class champion title.

Jack’s Creek, of Tamworth, eon the open crossbred Wagyu class, while Pilbara producer Pardoo Beef was the commercial Wagyu champion.

With Jack’s Creek posting 785 points and Pardoo Beef recording 733 points, Stone Axe Pastoral prevailed to be grand champion with its 799 points.

Stone Axe is among WA’s biggest Wagyu producers, with a pure-bred herd of about 18,000 cattle on properties between Esperance and Eneabba.

Albany’s Irongate Wagyu also celebrated success after Stockyard Beef’s Kiwami steak was awarded gold in the full-blood Japanese class.

The Kiwami steak, which scored 730 points, comes from Irongate breeding.

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