A LED steer sold for charity yesterday at Brisbane’s historic Breakfast Creek Hotel, one of Australia’s iconic steakhouse pubs, made what is believed to be a national record price for a non-stud animal sold at auction.
Geoff Atkinson, principal of Brisbane’s Beak a la Carte red meat portion-cutting and value-adding business, paid $45,000 for the steer, in what has become an annual fundraising tradition.
Auctioneer Darren Perkins knocked down the steer to Mr Atkinson after a fierce bidding duel with underbidder, Laurie Mayfield Smith, who was leading a bidding syndicate posse of Brisbane racing enthusiasts.
Last year, a similar steer made $21,000 and the year before that, $25,000, but nobody was expecting this year’s record-shattering outcome.
Affectionately known as ‘Bruce’, the steer was a 528kg 18-month-old Limousin x Murray Grey bred by the Kirk family of Wilworril Limousin Stud near Rylstone NSW.
He has been prepared and shown by Neil & Rachel Goetsch and their son Billy since arriving in Queensland at Ekka time. Previously he was prepared by Ben Toll and the students at St Johns College, Dubbo, where he was judged grand champion at the 2014 Dubbo Show.
Nolan Meats bought the steer from St John’s College and donated it to Breakfast Creek Hotel to raise money for Prostate Cancer Research at the Mater Foundation and PA Hospital Research Foundation through the QHA Hotel Care Project. Each September for the past ten years, 230 ALH hotels across Queensland have participated to collectively raise more than $2 million for the worthy charity.
‘Bruce’ was taken on a tour through the iconic Breakfast Creek hotel before yesterday’s auction, delighting groups of Japanese and English tourists enjoying a steak in the beer garden, and surprising patrons knocking-back a cold lunchtime beer in the public bar. The Breakfast Creek is easily Brisbane’s largest pub steakhouse, with one-time seating for more than 1000 patrons.
Gathered for the occasion was a large cross-section of meat industry and Brisbane business identities, who were treated to a lunch harvested from another led steer, ‘Grizzles’, a nine-month-old Limousin x Red Angus cross steer crowned grand champion led steer at last month’s Royal Queensland Show (the Ekka). Breakfast Creek Hotel’s Sam Gullo paid $42/kg for the steer during the steer auction back in early August.
The championship-winning steer was prepared and shown by 17-year-old Tyler Smith from the Cowgirl Cattle Company in Tamworth. Tyler said most of $10,155 she received from her Ekka show championship prizemoney and auction proceeds will go towards her tertiary education when she starts next year.
The benefits of agricultural shows do touch many lives in all sorts of different ways, it seems.
Yesterday’s auction and lunch attracted a lively crowd of beef industry stakeholders and supporters, from across Australia and overseas. Included in the crowd were likeable Canadian, Pearse Dolan, president of Dolan Foods out of Mississauga, Ontario, whose company markets large quantities of Australian portioned red meat cuts produced by Beak a la Carte into the Middle East. Also present was ‘Mr Everywhere’, Richard Rains, former managing director of Sydney’s Sanger Australia, who is showing no signs of slowing down since retirement. Nolan Meats director Terry Nolan was also present, looking resplendent wearing Hugo Boss.
Footie royalty was also present in the form of former Wallaby, Nathan Sharpe, and ex Bronco and Kangaroo, Chris Johns, both ALH Hotel ambassadors.
As visitors from England we accidentally found ourselves in the middle of a steer auction at breakfast creek. (Seen seated on the extreme left). It was very interesting and enjoyable. Bruce is a magnificent beast and deserves the respect the final bid showed. We’ll done Bruce!