Inspired by the recent announcement of Regancrest Elton Durham siring the most excellent cows in the U.S. (Read more – Durham Passes Elevation to Become the Leading Sire of Excellent Cows in the U.S.) and Braedale Goldwyn the most in Canada (Read more – Goldwyn First Ever to 1000 EX Daughters in Canada), we here at The Bullvine thought it would be a great time to take a closer look at these genetic giants to see who has had more impact on the Holstein breed.
Bred by Regancrest Farms, Waukon, Iowa, Durham was born in 1994 and would go on to be one of the most popular sires of the first decade of the new millennium. Durham’s pedigree combines Bell and Chief Mark bloodlines as he was by a son of Bell, and Snow-N Denises Dellia (EX). His dam was out of a Bell daughter. Also Dellia and Effie, his sire’s dam, were both from Chief sons and his pedigree shows four Ivanhoe crosses and two to Fond Matt. Durham has left a very consistent transmitting pattern in both his daughters and his sons. Due to his low production numbers, he was not used heavily as a sire of sons, but his daughters have seen extensive use as bull mothers.
For five consecutive years 2003-2007, Durham was Premier Sire at World Dairy Expo. This certainly establishes Durham as a once-in-a-lifetime sire of type. His pattern leaves long bodies, broad and flat rumps, udders that are well attached and wide rear udders. However what made him so successful in the show ring was that Durham also transmitted outstanding dairyness and style.
Durham sons were extremely consistent in their pattern and, at one point, eight of them were in the top ten spots for P.T.A.T (2005). Some highlights include:
Daughters represent the area where Durham has had his greatest impact. There are many great daughters to choose from. Here are just a few:
While Durham daughters were not typically the hardest milkers they were some of the most trouble free cows and, as more attention is being given to this, Durham decedents are gaining more attention again. Because of their health traits, Durham daughters have been appearing on the Net-Merit lists and have A.I. studs using them heavily as dams of sons, not just to get type sires, but to also get Net-Merit list toppers.
Goldwyn has been an extremely popular sire worldwide since his initial proof in 2004. This is not surprising given the strong maternal line behind him. His dam Braedale Baler Twine (VG-86 23*) was Canada’s cow of the year in 2007 and his second dam Braedale Gypsy Grand (VG-88 36*) was the Canadian Cow of the year in 2003. While many think that Goldwyn made the name for this cow family, long before Goldwyn was proven the family was already proving itself with Gypsy Grand sons Goodluck, Freelance, Spy, Freeman and Bold topping the bull list and daughters Cheetah, Second Cut, and Clairvoyant topping the cow lists. This explains why Baler Twine was contracted as a virgin heifer at a time when the family name was not as prevalent as it is now.
According to E.Y Morwick in his book The Holstein History, “The pedigree of Braedale Goldwyn offers a clinic on the art of successful line breeding. He carried three close crosses to Madawaska Aerostar: Sharemar James, his sire, was out of the Aerostar daughter, Stelbro Jenine Aerostar (VG); Braedale Baler Twine, his dam, was sired by Maughlin Storm, an Aerostar son; and Braedale Moonriver, dam of Braedale Gypsy Grand (Goldwyn’s maternal grand-dam), was an Aerostar daughter. In Goldwyn’s lineage were three crosses to Walkway Chief Mark: Shoremar James and Braedale Gypsy Grand were both by Mark CJ Gillbrook Grand, a Chief Mark son; while Gypsy’s maternal granddam was Sunnylodge Chief Vick (VG 2*), a Chief Mark daughter.”
By February of 2009, Goldwyn had racked up a pretty impressive list of accomplishments, including finishing in the top six on the Canadian LPI list 14 out of 15 times. He was number one once and number two twice. He was also the top rated sire for conformation 11 times. In 2008 when Goldwyn won Premier Sire at World Dairy Expo (ending Durham’s long reign), he was not only the youngest sire in 25 years to do so, but he was also the first bull who topped the LPI list to do so. With his win in 2012, Goldwyn has now tied Durham in achieving five consecutive Premier Sire awards at World Dairy Expo.
In addition to Goldday mentioned above, there have been impressive sons. While maybe not LPI or TPI list toppers, they have certainly passed on the high type traits that Goldwyn has to offer. They include:
Similarly to Durham, Goldwyn has made a bigger impact through the maternal side. Some of his most notable daughters include:
There is no doubt that Goldwyn and Durham are the two greatest type sires since the turn of the century. However, they have yet to leave that legacy son that tops the lists. While Goldwyn does have Atwood who is going to give him a run for his money at the upcoming North American shows, there is no top index sire to continue the tradition. For both sires the greatest impact is going to come through their daughters and in that area Goldwyn holds much more opportunity, since Durham was found to be a carrier for CVM and could not be used in countries like Canada, greatly limiting his potential impact. Which brings us to the question, “Is Goldwyn’s dominance because he has had a greater opportunity than Durham did (Read more – Braedale Goldwyn: Is He the Greatest Type Sire Ever?). What is clear is that Goldwyn daughters have fared much better in the show ring while Durham daughters have proven themselves more when it comes to proven sons. Though the quality of both these sires’ progeny is certainly of the highest level, it will take time to determine just which one of these two sires will have the greatest final impact.