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Many heads are perking up to the siren call of “Decrausaz Iron O’Kalibra *RC EX-96-SW.”  Bred by Fredy Decrausaz and Sons who also bred her dam, this Swiss Miss has set off much debate.“Many North American experts say she should walk on the colored shavings at Madison and give the North American cattle a run for their money”.

Decrausaz Iron O’Kalibra
Grand Champion 2013 All European Championship

O’Kalibra “Where the Wins Keep Flowing Like Champagne”

The speculation about her winning ways that started when O’Kalibra won Honorable Mention, Reserve Best Udder and 1st place at Lausanne in 2011.  Two months later she again took 1st place and Reserve Grand Champion at Expo Bulle.  She continued to develop and in 2012 won Supreme Champion at Swiss Expo at Lausanne which fueled even more speculation about how she would compare with the Hailey cow, Supreme Champion at the 2012 Canadian Royal Winter Fair and 2012 World Dairy Expo ((Read more: World Dairy Expo 2012 Holstein Show – A battle for the ages and The 2012 Royal Winter Fair Holstein Show – One of the greatest stories ever told!).  In 2013 she rose even higher in the ranks placing Grand and Supreme Champion at Swiss Expo and observers enthused. (Read more: 2013 Swiss Expo Holstein Show Results) “O’Kalibra from Switzerland was crowned Supreme Champion at the All European Holstein Show in one of the finest displays of black and white cattle ever gathered at one location.” There are many who are now prepared to crown her “the best in the world”. (Read more: Decrausaz Iron O’Kalibra Wins Grand at the 2013 All European Championship and The All European Championship Show: The Greatest Show On Earth)

Decrausaz Iron O’Kalibra – Mammary Photo from All European Championship Show 2013

Where is O’Kalibra Now?

At a cattle show in the Switzerland she stood out for Edwin Steiner, GS Alliance (Buerglen Switzerland) who bought her almost dry as a 2 year old. When she was fresh as a 4 year old a share was sold to Pat Conroy (Indiana USA). GS Alliance started with a predominantly Brown Swiss herd. Currently GS is 60% Holstein, 20% Red and White and 20% Swiss. To fulfill their goals of providing buyers with varied top quality breeding, they seek out exceptional cattle. Edwin explains, “Additions made to our herd are either show cows or bull dams and we invest in individuals with a deep pedigree. This way we seek to develop cows that satisfy every breeder.” Pat Conroy who partnered in the purchase of O’Kalibra, who still resides in Switzerland, adds to the story.  “We bought her when she was fresh and for Edwin and I, it was her massive frame, wide chest, and high quality udder that caught our attention. It was only a bonus that she had a pedigree that made her marketable outside the show ring.”

Decrausaz Iron O’ Kalibra *RC EX-94-SW Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2013 Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2012 Res. Grand Champion Expo Bulle 2011 Hon. Mention Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2011 Res. Grand Udder Champion Swiss Expo 2011

Decrausaz Iron O’ Kalibra *RC EX-94-SW (3rd Lactation Photo)
Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2013
Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2012
Res. Grand Champion Expo Bulle 2011
Hon. Mention Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2011
Res. Grand Udder Champion Swiss Expo 2011

And the Best Just Keeps Getting Better

Although not a common sire stack, O’Kalibra is backed by well proven sires. Her sire Boss Iron (Bookie x Chief Mark) was proven over a decade ago in Italy. He has many strengths, including high daughter fertility, fat percent, daughter calving ability, somatic cell score and productive life.  This easily makes him the kind of sire many breeders look for today. Beyond Iron her sire stack goes to Integrity (Blackstar x Chief Mark) who is known for his deep bodied show type daughters.  After that her sires are Milestone, Factor and Astre. Definitely the inclusion of Chief Mark twice in her sire stack is well expressed in O’Kalibra’s dairy strength and overall style.

Decrausaz Iron O’ Kalibra *RC EX-94-SW (4th Lactation Photo) Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2013 Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2012 Res. Grand Champion Expo Bulle 2011 Hon. Mention Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2011 Res. Grand Udder Champion Swiss Expo 2011

Decrausaz Iron O’ Kalibra *RC EX-94-SW (4th Lactation Photo)
Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2013
Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2012
Res. Grand Champion Expo Bulle 2011
Hon. Mention Grand Champion Swiss Expo 2011
Res. Grand Udder Champion Swiss Expo 2011

Five Generations Makes O’Kalibra Special

O’Kalibra traces back five generations to Cloverlands Skylar Cherry Red 11 Stars and two Superior Production records made famous by Granduc Holsteins, Quebec, Canada.  Her fourth dam Granduc Carla Astre  9 Stars was one of three outstanding Astres from Cherry. Her third dam was a Milestone embryo sold by Lystel Holsteins to David Clark, UK.  Originating from this same famous cows family are Dudoc Mr Burns (Thunder x Storm X Astre x Cherry) GLPI 1715 popular also as  red carrier and Granduc Tribute a full brother to Mr Burns’ Storm grandma who is 4Stars with three Superior Production lactations.  Her owners feel there are even more ways that she is special. Edwin proudly points out that “O’Kalibra has the build for longevity and a pedigree to go along with it. She is an extremely good day to day cow. She is the kind of cow that can look after herself, and never has a bad day. In addition to that, she milks like crazy.”



O’Kalibra Is An Excellent Swiss Hitter

O’Kalibra recently has been nominated for Excellent 96 and will see the panel next week. Her outstanding parts are Mammary and Frame.  Not far behind those top areas are great scores for Rump and Legs. She has fulfilled the predictions of many that she would move beyond 94.

First calving at 2 years 2 months, in305 days O’Kalibra produced a respectable 9166 kgs, 3.6 % fat and 3.3% protein. Her best record in 305 days was as a four year old: 14,247 kgs., 4.0% fat and 2.9% protein. Great production runs in her pedigree with her dam producing 13,372 kgs as a four year old.  Her grand dam produced 14,217 kgs as a seven year old. It goes all the way back to her fifth dam who produced 17,621 kgs as a three year old.

You’re Doing Fine O’Kalibra

Pat Conroy is happy with O’Kalibra. “We have sold a Sid daughter to a guy in Australia, a Sid bull to Select Star in Switzerland, an Acme son to Swiss Genetics, a Red Destry son to Swiss Genetics, and an Atwood choice in the USA to Morasci/Borba&Glaeser. We will also sell an Armani or MAS choice in the Field of Dreams sale May 24 in West Union Iowa.” Although he acknowledges that the best cross is yet to be determined he says, “All of her daughters and sons so far have been very good “do-ers”. We will decide which has been the best cross as the daughters freshen or sons transmit. Plans are to do a flush on her in 2 weeks to Armani (Goldwyn x Apple).”

It’s Beyond Okay for O’Kalibra in the Future

Both Pat and Edwin have a positive attitude toward O’Kalibra’s potential. “At this point, we will consider showing her again in the future” “when she really looks perfect.” When asked to compare her to cows in North America these proud owners remain positive but humble, “She has a bit more strength than most, however we do not want to take away anything from cows over there.”

The Bullvine Bottom Line

When encouraging breeders to breed the best Pat sums up his and Edwin’s theory. “Personally we would say that cows that have some power and strength, yet are still dairy, will ultimately outlast and out milk the high style younger cows that seem to be one hit wonders.” For both gentlemen it is obviously a shared opinion when Pat concludes, “I think that Iron O’Kalibra is one example that proves this fact to be true”.




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Recently Braedale Goldwyn became the 1st sire ever to produce 1000 Excellent daughters in Canada (Read more – Goldwyn First Ever to 1000 EX in Canada).  At this year’s Royal Winter Fair Goldwyn sired 27% of the animals shown, including Grand, Reserve, Honorable Mention, Intermediate, Reserve Intermediate and Honorable Mention Intermediate Champions (Read More – The 2012 Royal Winter Fair Holstein Show – One of the Greatest Stories Ever Told). It is no surprise that many enthusiasts declare Goldwyn to be the greatest type sire ever.

Grand Champion Selection at the 2012 Royal Winter Fair.  All sired by Braedale Goldwyn

Grand Champion Selection at the 2012 Royal Winter Fair. All sired by Braedale Goldwyn

At the Bullvine we wanted to determine the secret to Goldwyn’s tremendous success.  When you look at Goldwyn’s conformation values for Chest Width (-3) and Body Depth (-4) you don’t instantly assume that he would be such a dominant type sire.  In order to analyze Goldwyn’s type transmitting ability versus other great sires, we looked at his ability to sire the pinnacle of the breed – an Excellent cow.  To make it a level playing field, we looked at sires that had a significant number of their daughters that were 5 years or older.  In other words, that were eligible to go Excellent. Here is what we found.

ERBACRES DAMION23-Jul-001590104962125425774
BRAEDALE GOLDWYN3-Jan-0012851017108371449344502713
SHOREMAR BKB ALLEGRO1-Sep-001188221031363327
WILCOXVIEW JASPER5-Jun-991184159251739261211562
INNWOOD TERRASON21-Jun-96108223815832562914484
LADINO PARK TALENT-IMP31-Mar-9810795174624884335831943
BKB AFFIRMED17-Sep-0110843771444201
RENAISSANCE TRIUMPHANT7-May-9598810144643413159
FUSTEAD EMORY BLITZ2-Mar-969752132118439920621532
SUNNYLODGE LINJET1-Mar-928872823921244365712
EK-OSEEANA ASPEN4-May-00883241011615467
REGANCREST DUNDEE3-May-99883480387157371984914
ROYLANE JORDAN1-May-96881195159125831022474
WINDY-KNOLL-VIEW PRIMETIME8-Mar-007819152946831796
DUPASQUIER CARISMA25-Sep-0178359714137741792
BOSS IRON17-Jul-9677521427948439231
MARKWELL KITE12-Mar-99679776191017432274
VALLEYRIVER RUBEN REDMAN17-Jun-99680918141403536253
INDIANHEAD ENCOUNTER28-Nov-995791720035314872
OSEEANA ASTRONOMICAL15-Sep-9048121911571582638556
HANOVER-HILL-R SPIRIT26-Dec-92280127569783347167
HANOVERHILL STARBUCK26-Mar-79-171419725719324108181771
DONNANDALE SKYCHIEF24-Aug-86-2742772573442924231243
MARSHFIELD ELEVATION TONY6-Aug-72-67336776186996071

What stands out when looking at these sires is that, even though Goldwyn has a high conformation index, there are no less than 12 sires (Linjet, Triumphant, Allegro, Aspen, Spirit, Primetime, Astronomical, Damion, Terrason, Dundee, Jordan and Kite) that actually had a higher percentage of their classified daughters score EX.  Linjet, Triumphant, Allegro, Aspen, Spirit, Primetime, and Astronomical have more than double the percentage of their daughters scoring Excellent compared to Goldwyn.


2012 Supreme Champion World Dairy Expo
2012 Supreme Champion Royal Agriculture Winter Fair

Let’s take a closer look at Linjet, Triumphant, Allegro and Aspen.  These sires not only have a higher percentage of daughters classifying Excellent, they also have a lower percentage scoring Good or lower.  This highlighted something very interesting.  On average, the 2 yr old daughters of this group of sires actually scored lower than Goldwyn’s daughters, but as they matured, they tended to significantly increase in score.  Since the sire conformation index only uses classification scores as 2 year olds, this age improvement was not reflected in all of their conformation scores.  Not being able to foretell this age improvement had a significant effect on semen sales of these bulls because most breeders use conformation to determine what type sires to use.  As a result breeders missed out on these sires whose daughters matured later and scored higher later in life.  This was especially true for Allegro and Aspen, whose later-maturing daughters developed outstanding dairy strength post first lactation.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

There is no question that Goldwyn has had the most number of Excellent daughters, nearly double the number produced by second place sire, LADINO PARK TALENT-IMP.  But why is this? Is it the result of his great type transmitting ability, or is it his type proof combined with his high LPI proof resulted in much greater use.  In other words, is it volume or is it quality?  Undoubtedly,  Goldwyn has been the most dominant type sire of the past decade, the bottom line question is,”Does Goldwyn dominate because of ability or because of opportunity?”

Looking to find out what to breed your Golwyn’s to?  Check this out Breeding the Next Show Winners


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