AFTER setting a world record with its inaugural online sale last year, Millicent-based Wagyu-stud Mayura has lifted the bar even higher at its sale on Thursday.
Two straws of semen sold for a record $70,000 each, topping last year's $68,000 record.
But that was far from the only highlight of the sale, with the "best all-round Wagyu heifer in the world" also up for sale, reaching $160,000.
The semen was provided by the same bull - Mayura Itoshigenami Jnr - described by breeder Scott deBruin as "the best Wagyu bull in the world".
The top price was paid for lot one by United States-based Dave Dreiling, Booth Creek Wagyu, Manhattan, Kansas - a restaurateur who started his own cattle stud in late 2020.
Another two semen straws were also sold at $60,000 each.
Mr deBruin said reproductive technology had taken such a leap forward that one of the straws sold last year resulted in 68 pregnancies.
The sale next reached a peak at lot 7 with the $160,000 paid for October 2019-drop unjoined heifer Mayura Q1436.
The heifer, a daughter of Mayura Itoshigenami Jnr, was ranked in the top 1 per cent of the breed for marbling and eye muscle area estimated breeding values of +2.2 and +6.3 respectively, as well as the top 5pc for milk, at +7, and 200 and 400-day weight gains.
Grant Daniel Long stud stock manager Harvey Weyman-Jones said the heifer was the best example of the breed.
"As a combination of major traits, there is no other animal in the world as good - male or female - in the Wagyu breed," he said.
"We were selling the best all-round Wagyu heifer in the world."
Mayura Q1436 was bought by Vic-based thoroughbred stud Yulong Investments.
All up, the sale offered 35 lots - a mixture of semen, embryos heifers and bulls, with full clearance and an average of $30,600.
The 16 heifers sold to $160,000, averaging $33,156; nine bulls sold to $57,500, averaging $33,055; the 20 straws of semen topped at $70,000, averaging $15,400; and 12 embryos sold to $5250, averaging $2917.
Other sale standouts were a second unjoined heifer at $57,500, bought by Lynn Berland, Abilene, Kansas, US.
Mayura Q1713, also by Mayura Itoshigenami Jnr, was ranked in the breed's top 5pc for all indexes, and 200-day weight, with a milk EBV of +5.
The highest price paid for a bull was $57,500 for Mayura Q2134, a November 2019-drop, bought by Laird Morgan, Arubial Wagyu, Condamine, Qld, in partnership with Wagyu exporter Matt Edwards, Edwards Livestock Agency, Oakey, Qld.
Mr deBruin said the 612-kilogram bull was very well-balanced, with "rock-solid EBVs".
"It's a really deep-bodied bull, with great weight for age," he said.
Mr deBruin said he was "ecstatic" with the result of the sale.
"I'm really thankful to all the people participating and honoured that our peers internationally view Mayura as number one," he said.
Mr Weyman-Jones, who conducted the sale, said it was great to see a number of new buyers this year, particularly from the US, showing growing interest in the breed.
Of the 35 lots offered, 35 sold to international buyers, including to Ireland, Switzerland and Canada.
The sale was held entirely online and conducted through Elite Livestock Auctions.
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