The steaks are high at a charity auction for some top-quality ribeyes from a rather imposing Wagyu steer.

Last week First Light processed the biggest animal the business has seen in recent memory, at a whopping 946kg.

The impressive steer came from Evan and Clare Chapman of South Canterbury's Rockburn Farming.

One Rockburn ribeye had been held back from its scheduled shipment, sliced into steaks and will be auctioned for KidsCan, a charity supporting New Zealand children.


The beef, weighing approximately 6.8kg, would have sold to a US restaurant for a minimum of $500, First Light Managing Director Gerard Hickey estimated.

"We call these sorts of steaks 'unicorns' because to get anything above a marble score 7 is rare, and very much sought after," said Hickey.

"We're keen to see this remarkable meat go to a Wagyu enthusiast here in New Zealand – and to support a charity doing important work in our schools and early childhood education sector at the same time."

Clare and Evan Chapman of Rockburn Farming. Photo / Supplied
Clare and Evan Chapman of Rockburn Farming. Photo / Supplied

The Chapmans of Rockburn Farming have routinely produced huge 800kg-plus Wagyu steers and impressive marble scores, off their property near Geraldine.

The Chapmans – whose farm celebrated its centenary in January – are clearly doing something right, as Rockburn Farming was also named First Light's Finisher of the Year in 2019.

"This is the Wagyu beef dreams are made of – beautiful meat, incredible intra-muscular marbling, and a generous pay-day for the Chapmans," Hickey said.

"This isn't a one-off. In the last month, Rockburn has sent us some of the highest yielding animals we can remember."

What Rockburn Farming had achieved this season, was nothing short of extraordinary, said Hickey.

"The meat they've produced is outstanding – tender Wagyu beef, fantastic marbling – the sort of grass-fed meat that is extremely highly prized in our discerning offshore markets."

First Light Managing Director Gerard Hickey.Photo / Supplied
First Light Managing Director Gerard Hickey.Photo / Supplied

The ribeye up for auction came from a sibling to the Wagyu steer that delivered First Light's World Steak Award gold medal win in 2019.

The auction is being hosted online until Friday September 4 and bids can be placed at FirstLightRibeye.