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top read 14 iconThere is no question that breeding the next World Champion, World Dairy Expo Holstein Champion or even a Royal Winter Fair Grand Champion is the dream of almost every breeder who has ever entered the show ring.  The challenge is that achieving such a feat takes a combination of many factors.  First you have to have the genetics to win.  Then you need to have the will to win.  And of course, then everything must come together on show day if you are to achieve that dream.  In looking at the first part of this equation, there is no doubt that breeding is part science and part art form.  But at least from the science part, we thought we would take a deeper look.  So we went looking for two key things, first those sires that excel in those traits that are in demand in the show ring, and secondly those sires that  have the ability to produce the extremes, not just the averages.  You see we are not wanting those sires that will give you five out of  five VG-85-2YR olds.  We are wanting those sires that stand the best chance of giving you that 89 point2YR old that turns into your 97 point mature cow, which can then contend for all the big show awards.

An Explanation about Outliers

The easiest way to find outliers is to compare two sires for their daughters’ performance.  Then identify those sires that have the greatest deviation from their average daughter.  This is not to be confused with Type scores in the US that are expressed in Standard Deviations.  The best way to describe this is by an example.

Let’s say we have two bulls each with 10 daughters.  The following table shows their level of improvement for type across the 10 Daughters.


Both of these sires would have an average improvement of 12 points.  Hypothetically if this was the whole population of their daughters they both would get the same conformation score.  The problem is they are two very different sires and the numbers tell us that.  However these are not the numbers that most breeders get to see.

Looking closer we see that Bull A daughters have a range of 18 points while Bull B’s daughters only range 4 points.  Sure both bulls, on av
erage, will perform the same but, when you are looking to breed for the extremes (such as show breeders are), or you are wanting to produce the most consistent results possible, you need to know these differences between bulls.  (Read more: Duds and Studs – Why you shouldn’t use the same sires as the AI units).  This is also the reason you will often see AI units using a sire of sons that is maybe not #1 on the list, but rather a few places lower.  That is because he has exhibited the ability to show the greatest range in his progeny.  (Read more: The Number That Will Change the Way You Look at Genetic Evaluations Forever)

The following are the top 10 sires we found:



First let’s be clear about what we are talking about.  We are talking about breeding the next generation of World Champions.  There is no question that Goldwyn is dominating this generation, but who will be the next sire to achieve such greatness.  So it’s only natural that at least a couple of Goldwyn’s make the list.  Lauthority, a Goldwyn from the great Laurie Sheik family, may not be as much an extreme sire higher up on our list, as he is more of a mister consistent sire, but his tall dairy daughters are just too special to not have on our list.  His daughters can tend to be a little flatter in the loin than would be desired, but his extreme mammary systems, combined with wide rumps will certainly catch the eye of many judges.









The 2nd Goldwyn sire on our list is HEAVENLY GOLDEN DREAMS.  This full brother to Atwood had a very impressive showing at the recent Italian National Show (Read more: Cremona Italy National Holstein Show Results).  Golden Dreams actually has higher genomic tests for all the major conformation traits than Atwood, especially in rumps, an area that if I was going to fault Atwood on it would be thus area.  Golden Dreams daughters may not be as deep as Atwood’s.















It’s no surprise that the first genomic test sire on our list comes from one of the hottest genomic families in the world the Rudy Missy’s.  Maximus is an Atwood son from PINE-TREE SHOTTLE MINNIE, who is a sister to the popular type sire, Pine-Tree Sid.  It’s no surprise that when you put the cow family that produced Sid, combined with Atwood/Goldwyn bloodlines that the potential for greatness is there.  You can expect Maximus daughters to be tall, walk uphill and have extreme angularity, though you will need to protect him in the pin setting.  However, with a genomic conformation test that is 6 points higher than his parent average he certainly got the best these two great cow families had to offer (+20 vs +14).





#7 – SNOWY


For those of you who are not afraid of genomics, but rather see it as a way to get ahead, there is Snowy.  No surprise this genomic giant came from the De-Su, considering that De-Su seems to be the only breeder that is able to keep pace with the large genetic corporations.  (Read more: Dairy Breeders vs. Genetic Corporations: Who are the True Master Breeders?)  In Snowy you have some legends when it comes to producing sons.  Through Let it Snow (his sire) you have Broeks MBM Elsa EX 1* NLD and LYLEHAVEN LILA Z EX-94 18*, both Golden Dam Finalists. (Read more:  BROEKS MBM ELSA – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist and LYLEHAVEN LILA Z – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist).  Through his maternal side you have another Golden Dam finalist MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE EX-92 GMD DOM 6* (Read more: MD DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist) and DE-SU 7051 EX DOM.  It’s no wonder that Snowy is tied for the highest DGV Conformation test at +24.  Expect his daughters to be tall and dairy with great feet and legs.  While his rumps may not be great for calving ease, they should be fine for the show ring.




In an era when it seems that genomic sires come and go quickly or, more accurately, are constantly being surpassed by the new hot sire, Brokaw has been able to stand strong.  In Brokaw you combine the two greatest type families in the breed today.  On the paternal side you have Atwood and his dam MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE EX-92-4YR-USA DOM GMD 2*, 2012 Golden Dam finalist and Reserve Intermediate Champion at Madison in 2005 followed by her grand dam MS Kingstead Chief Adeen EX-94.  On the maternal side you have REGANCREST MAC BIKASA VG-87-2YR-USA who is the daughter of REGANCREST-PR BARBIE EX-92-7YR-USA DOM GMD 3*, also a 2012 Golden Dam Finalist.  Watch for Brokaw to be extremely tall and have the necessary frame, dairyness and bolted on udders to get the job done.  While his rumps may not be ideal for classification, expect them to be bang on when it comes to the show ring, demonstrating the necessary width and boxcar rumps that judges love so much.





For those who are willing to take a flyer on a non-show family and a sire stack that may not be proven in the show ring there is the extreme genomic index sire Stantons High Octane.  High Octane also has a DGV for conformation of +24.  While his sire stack does not say it, his genomic conformation break down has High Octane built for the show ring.  He ranks in the top DGV’s of the breed for conformation, Mammary System, Dairy Strength, and Rumps.  The challenge for many breeders will be that there isn`t any show pedigree behind him even though he does trace back to the Barbie’s through Golden Dam finalists REGANCREST S CHASSITY EX-92-4YR-USA DOM GMD 9* and her dam REGANCREST CINDERELLA EX-92-2E-USA DOM GMD 6*. (Read more: REGANCREST S CHASSITY – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist)




A third sire with a DGV for conformation +24 is CLAYNOOK DILIGENT.  This early Velthuis Let It Snow is from the WINDSOR-MANOR RUD ZIP EX-95-4E-USA DOM GMD 1* cow family.  Similar to High Octane, Diligent’s pedigree may not read as a who’s who of the show ring, with sires like Snowman and a double dose of Planet, but if you have confidence in the genomic system, this sire is sure to deliver.  The nice part about Diligent is that there is no Goldwyn in his pedigree.  Therefore he can be an outcross sire to use on your Goldwyn daughters.  In fact Diligent is a nice conformation cross on the typical Goldwyn as he excels in both pin width and body depth without sacrificing the mammary system.




While AFTERSHOCK daughters are not as silky or refined as many Goldwyn’s, he does make a great proven cross on your Goldwyn’s.  As proven by his Goldwyn brother, Atwood, there really is no question that the cross can deliver at the highest levels.  While you won’t typically get that all black heifer that the show ring loves, you will get extreme loin strength, feet and legs and dairy strength.  That is just what many Goldwyn’s require to take them to the next level.












The last of our genomic test sires and the greatest outlier in the breed for type is LADYS-MANOR SAVIOR.  This Lauthority son (#10 on our list), has insane genomic tests.  His genomic test for conformation +24 is tied for tops in the breed and is 10 points higher than his parent average (+14).  From the same cow family as that produced Shamrock, Savior’s third dam is LADYS-MANOR RUBY JEN EX-94-2E-USA DOM GMD.  When looking to produce an extreme outlier, you need to mate them to exactly such   an extreme outlier as this.  SAVIOR is that extreme outlier.  His linear is perfect for the show ring, and he will certainly leave a range in his daughters, as he is also a list topper when it comes to daughter deviation.









Call it playing it safe, or call it the smart choice, either way you look at it, Atwood and his extensive use and consistent transmitting ability will certainly leave the most daughters that will contend with those of his sire Goldwyn.  There are so many reasons to choose Atwood.  First you have the magic Goldwyn on Durham cross, then you add in his dam who was  the exceptional MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE EX-92-4YR-USA DOM GMD 2*.  Atlee also had extreme conformation herself, winning Reserve Intermediate Champion at Madison in 2005, and going on to be named unanimous ALL-AMERICAN SR.3-YR that year.  She comes by it naturally with her grand dam being MS Kingstead Chief Adeen EX-94.  Combine that with the greatest type sire of the past half-decade, Goldwyn, and you have yourself an unbeatable show-winning package.  Atwood offers the great mammary systems his pedigree would indicate but needs to be protected for flat loins and high pins, much like his sire.  While he may not pass his sire in accomplishments, there is no question that Atwood is establishing himself as the heir apparent.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

While playing it safe will certainly give you the most consistent type herd from top to bottom, sometimes you need to search for those outliers that can throw you the extremes.  In this list we give you a mixture of proven sires, genomic sires, and sires that are going to leave you some extreme ranges.  While you certainly must always consider corrective mating when breeding for the show ring, it’s also important to try some sires that will give you the extremes.



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Durham vs. Goldwyn: A Clash of Two Titans

Monday, January 14th, 2013

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.

The Regancrest Elton Durham Story

Durham coverBred 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

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:

    From the Saturday family, his dam was Sher-Est Emory Swanny (EX). Mr Sam is also the sire of the popular type sire Pine-Tree Sid, who is the sire of Micheret Alexandra Sid (VG-88-2YR) All-American (tied) and All-Canadian Senior 2yr old in 2010.
    Sampled in Spain, Duplex was the highest type sire in the US for several summaries, with high numbers for udders and feet & legs.  Similar to Mr Sam, Duplex was also from an Emory dam this time going back to Henkeseen Mark Marci (EX-94).
    Modest was Durham’s highest production son from Meadow Bridge Aero Missy (EX).
    At one time, Fortune was in the top 10 on the Canadian LPI list.  Probably best known now for being the sire of the winning 4 year old at the 2012 Royal, Macpes Fortune Koquine EX-94-Can.
    From a great maternal breeding family, Primetime was the Durham son of Windy-Knoll-View Peggy (EX-94), and had a high type proof and for a long time was among the top Herd Life sires in Canada.  He was also the sire of the 2006 World Dairy Expo Junior Champion and All-American fall calf, Wm Ariannas Pt Aesha.

Durham Daughters

Daughters represent  the area where Durham has had his greatest impact. There are many great daughters to choose from. Here are just a few:

    Probably best known for being the dam of KHW Kite Advent who was Premier Sire of the Grand International Red and White show for three consecutive years and KHW Regiment Apple who was Grand Champion of the 2011 International Red & White Holstein show.
    Probably best known for being the second highest selling cow in Canadian History (Read more – Lylehaven Lila Z: Was she really worth $1.15 Million? and 2012 Golden Dam Finalist) she is also the dam of 2012 Canadian Cow of the Year Nominee, Comestar Goldwyn Lilac (VG-89) who’s descendants led the way at the recent Genetics By Design Sale (Read more – Genetics By Design – Crosses the $4,000,000 Mark).
    All-American in her own right as a 3yr old in 2005, Atlee is probably best known for her sons who dominate the current type evaluations: MS Atlees Sht Aftershock (+18 Conformation Dec*12); Maple-Downs-I G W Atwood (+17 Conformation Dec*12) and MR Atlees AltaAmazing (+16 Conformation Dec*12).  Atlee herself traces back to the great brood cow AITKENBRAE STARBUCK ADA EX-CAN EX-94-2E-USA DOM 4* (Read more – MD DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE – 2012 Golden Dam Finalist).
    BARBIE is the sixth generation of the Regancrest breeding program combining both the Dellias and the Brinas.  Eleven of her daughters are ranked in the top 25 of the American type index list.  Barbie’s offspring consistently generate top prices at international sales.  In 2009, granddaughter and fellow 2012 Golden Dam finalist, Regancrest S Chassity EX 92, sold in a package with her offspring for $1.5 million.  Barbie is the dam of 14 EX & 16 VG daughters and, currently, one of the breed’s leading type sires – Braxton EX-95.
    Daisy does it all.  She has high production, fitness, longevity and outstanding type.  This Excellent Durham granddaughter of Markwell Bstar Raven EX-95, who as a young cow made many waves at Madison, also transmits it all.  Daisy’s dam Markwell Luke Rapture recently passed away at 18 years of age.  Numerous daughters, granddaughters and their sons distinguish themselves in the genomic rankings.  As a bull dam in 2010, Daisy had some fabulous results with the high-ranking O-Man sons Dakota (the Netherlands), Duke (Germany), and Osaka (Spain).  In 2012, Daisy’s first progeny sampled grandson, Danillo, provided an impressive sequel with top position in the Netherlands.  Also of note is her grandson Goldday (By Goldwyn) who is from A-L-H Destiny and currently the top International Sires on the BPI List (Read more – Bullvine Performance Index (BPI) – Top Sires December 2012)

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.

The Braedale Goldwyn Story

goldwyn test sire sheetGoldwyn 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.

Goldwyn Sons

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:

    Underrated by many, Fever is more than just a high type sire (+16 Conformation Dec *12) he is also a great mastitis and fertility improvement sire making him a great sire to address the major herd culling problems and should probably get greater attention from many breeding programs (Read more – From Fantasy to Reality – Top Sires to Address Herd Culling Problems).
    Similar to Durham, many Goldwyn sons did not excel in production but did offer great improvement in conformation and health and fertility traits.  Dempsey is one such case.  His daughters would not WOW you with their production, but their strong components, outstanding udders and legs, combined with long herd life and low somatic cell score, certainly make them favorites among their owners.
    Atwood is probably the sire that is going to give Goldwyn the closest run for his money, over the next few years, at the Royal and World Dairy Expo.  His daughters are already putting up some impressive show results (Read more – Breeding The Next Show Winners) and he was among our picks for one of the sires to breed the next World Dairy Expo Champion (Read more – 7 Sires to Use in Order to Breed the Next World Dairy Expo Champion).  Of course Atwood is from the magic cross of Goldwyn on Durham that has produced many great results.  His dam is one of the top Durham daughters MD-DELIGHT DURHAM ATLEE EX-92-4YR-USA DOM GMD 6* (Mentioned above).
    Lauthority combines two of Canada’s greatest cow families, the Gypsy Grand’s and the Laurie Sheik’s. His dam is COMESTAR LAUTELMA IGNITER who is proving she can leave top sons and top daughters as proven by COMESTAR LAUTAMIE TITANIC VG-89-2YR-CAN 14* who was Reserve All-Canadian Jr. 2yr old in 2006.
    Guthrie is currently Goldwyn’s highest proven LPI son at +2494 that has him in the top 50 MACE  gLPI sires.  Guthrie is one of the few Goldwyn sons over 1000 KG of milk and combines that with extreme type (+16 Conformation) and solid health and fertility traits.

Goldwyn Daughters

Similarly to Durham, Goldwyn  has made a bigger impact through the maternal side. Some of his  most notable daughters include:

The Bullvine Bottom Line

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.


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