Vieux Saule checks off many points on what could be described as a pre-flight checklist for an excellent Cow of the Year Nominee. It all started eleven years ago. Her birth in March of 2002 put her at an ideal age for a 4-H calf in 2003 and, in that year, she took her caretaker Jimmy Perreault all the way to second place in the National 4-H show and 5th at The Royal Agricultural Winter Fair. That was just the beginning. Vieux Saule Allen Dragonfly and her progeny propelled Vieux Saule Holsteins to Master Breeder Status in 2009 and lifted them to recognition as a world supplier of elite genetics. (Read more: Vieux Saule Holstein: Rooted In Family Values)
Dragonfly’s Pedigree Gives Her Wings
Great cows like Dragonfly come from careful constructive breeding by dedicated breeders. Not only is Dragonfly’s dam Excellent, but so too were her fifth, sixth and seventh dams. These were the bookends and in between were high-classifying two year olds by Charles, Astre and Tab. A close look at Dragonfly’s dam, Vieux Saule Outside Mary Sol EX95-3E 4* reveals great performance. She classified EX95 3E and completed 4 Superior Lactations, one of which was a Super 3 Lactation. Mary Sol has a 4* Brood Cow rating. In the show ring, she was 1st Mature Cow at the 2012 Rive Nord Exposition, after having been 1st Senior Two Year old ten years earlier at Beauce. Here Dragonfly’s pedigree brings persistence and performance together. It is repeated on the sire stack side as well where Dragonfly’s sire stack is loaded with bulls that Canadian breeders hold in high regard. These bulls are Allen, Outside, Charles, Astre, Tab, Elevation and Arlinda Chief.
Dragonfly’s Performance in the Barn Also Soars
As mentioned earlier, Dragonfly was a 4-H calf in 2003 and went all the way to becoming Junior Yearling. That was only the start of her high performing career.
Her classification scores are a steady progression from high to outstanding.
- July 2004 VG86-2yr
- February 2005 VG87-2yr
- October 2005 VG88-3yr
- September 2007 EX91-5yr
- January 2008 EX93-5yr
- August 2008 EX94-6yr
- August 2009 EX-2E
Dragonfly was also filling the milk pail at the same time as she was being extensively flushed.
Dragonfly’s Progeny are Flying High
Vieux Saule Allan Dragonfly has earned a 14 Star Brood Cow rating. She has 93 progeny. The majority are in Canada, with some in the US, Czechoslovakia and Germany. Dragonfly had two Excellent, three Very Good and two Good Plus Sons that have been used as private herd sires.
Thirty of her Canadian daughters, by eleven different sires, are an impressive group: 1 Excellent, 21 Very Good, 6 Good Plus and 2 Good. Their average BCAs are high and stand at 245-266-248. Five daughters have at least 1 Superior Lactation. Eighteen of Dragonfly’s daughters were Very Good as two year olds. No matter which sire Dragonfly was mated to, she produced quality daughters.
Dragonfly’s highest classifying daughter is Vieux Saule Modest Cleopatra EX90, with one Superior Lactation. Cleopatra herself as one daughter who has also earned one Superior Lactation.
Dragonfly’s highest gLPI daughter is Vieux Saule Bolton Halia VG87-2yr 2*. Bolton Halia’s production record at 1-11 (305D) was 11,912 kilos of milk, 4.7% fat, 3.5% protein, with BCAs of 317-399-348. That also makes Halia Dragonfly’s highest production daughter. Halia has six very high gLPI Freddie daughters. The top Freddie is Felicia VG85 gLPI 3166. Felician has a UNO son, Vieux Saule Flame who, at one time, was the #1 gTPI genomic sire.
Another superior Dragonfly daughter is Vieux Saule Toystory Haley, a VG85 2yr 2*. Haley has a VG85 2yr Man O Man daughter Haydie with a gLPI 3061. Haydie’s outstanding production record is 2-03 (305D) 17,341kilos of milk, 4.5% fat and 3.3% protein with BCAs of 437-523-451 and almost unheard of BCA deviations of +202 +275 +215. These are seldom seen records.
Vieux Saule Dragonfly was on an extensive flushing program and has many daughters born in 2012 and 2013 by bulls such as Goldwyn, Aftershock, Goldchip, Sid and Dempsey. She provided the takeoff for a cow family that will continue to soar high on the wings of her high achieving progeny.
The Bullvine Bottom Line
Although the Cow of the Year competition shines the spotlight on one individual, we are inspired by all of them. Each of the nominees is a winner in her own right simply for rising to this level. Over the past few days we have had the opportunity to get to know the nominees better. Obviously they are all worthy of cheering on to the finish line. Who is your pick for 2013 Cow of the Year?
Please like and share if you think Dragonfly should be the 2013 Canadian Cow of the Year!
The Cow of the Year nominee booklet which includes a resume on each finalist and a voting card will be mailed to Holstein Canada members in the February-March 2014 Info Holstein. Voting options include mailing the postage-paid, tear-off voting ballot; faxing your ballot; emailing your vote to email@example.com; or voting online from a confidential Holstein Canada online account.