Spur of the moment entries into Beef & Lamb New Zealand's Steak of Origin competition won gold and bronze for Pori Red Devon breeder Graeme Dyke.
He went into the grand final where he was placed fourth overall in the nationwide competition.
Out of all the 306 entries, Graeme's gold medal in Best Of Breed - British other, entry had the most tender reading from the tenderometer (3.54kg shearforce), which determines the amount of pressure to bite through a sample of cooked meat. This makes it the most tender steak in the country.
The other entry was placed 8th for tenderness at 3.80kg shearforce.
Graeme received an entry for the competition from Beef & Lamb New Zealand. He doesn't normally have MT heifers but this year had two. They weren't bred for competition but Graeme just sent them away. He later checked the intra-muscular fat levels - one was average and one was low. The marbling was average on one and the other was quite low.
Then he was notified that his entries had made it through to the semi-finals.
"I was really surprised both had made the semi-final," said Graeme.
The event was held at the Cloud on Auckland's Queen's Wharf.
"It was a night to remember." he said. "It is good beef, top chefs in the UK prefer to use Red Devon.
Red Devons are the quietest, easy handling cattle you will find. They are easy calving and fertility is second to none. I have had 100 per cent calving a number of times, with one farmer up north regularly achieving 100 per cent live calves born.
They are renowned for holding their weight during a drought. Cows can reach 15 to 16 years of age with bulls still working at 11 years old."
Graeme shifted up to his grandfather's farm in Feilding at the age of 13. His father started off with all sorts of cows and bought a Hereford bull which nearly killed Graeme's sister. He phoned the stock agent and bought a Red Devon bull that was really quiet.
Then Graeme spent 20 years working overseas on oil rigs when he returned to New Zealand around 2000.
He decided to lease the farm, went to Rotokawa Red Devon Stud and bought another bull and six in-calf cows.
In 2004 Graeme shifted his farming operation to Pori, Pahiatua. Ninety animals from the Rotokawa herd were flown to America - it cost millions to make crates and send them.
There wasn't a quarantine station big enough to handle them so the Americans built one with shade houses in Southern California.
Rotokawa progeny went for auction recently in America for NZ$32,000 - the top price for a cow and calf.
The big attraction in America is that the Devon cattle from New Zealand are grass-fed - top-end restaurants prefer grass-fed beef. Graeme says Devons were the first British cattle to arrive in America when the first sailing ships arrived.
When kauri forest was cleared a couple of Devons would be right up the front in bullock teams to train the others.
A member of the New Zealand Devon Council for a number of years, Graeme says it took a couple of years to make the distinction between South Devon and Red Devon. He has made several trips in the last 14 years, including a Devon conference, attending a Red Devon world conference and some cattle trips.
Rannoch Meats in Greytown supplies restaurants in the Wellington area and all over New Zealand or Shemshi Red Devon in Gisborne.
"There are only two outlets in New Zealand for Red Devon meat - its a top quality product," says Graeme.