Very seldom do you ever get to go out on the top.
It can happen on the sporting field: American footballer Peyton Manning, who’s been the league’s most valuable player five times and elite US footballer John Elway have done it. And legendary former world heavyweight champion boxer Rocky Marciano and American baseballer Joe DiMaggio have done it in the past.
But never before has one of the greatest herds in the world held a complete dispersal while they were on top of their game. Until now. Bluechip Genetics has announced that on October 13, 2016, they will do just that.
I can still remember watching Hanoverhill’s final sale in the summer of 1998, when legends Pete Heffering and Ken Trevena sold their herd for the last time. (Read more: “Hanover Hill Holsteins, Peter Heffering, 1931-2012”) One could easily argue that the herd was not at its peak; it certainly was a great day when as legendary pedigree man Horace Backus said: “In the history of the Holstein breed, there have only been four or five herds that have created a distinct bloodline. Today we are selling a distinct bloodline herd.”
Just like Pete and Ken, Dean and Dianna Malcolm are going to go out with a bang. Just as Hanover Hill Holsteins changed the game, Bluechip Genetics has changed the registered game within Australasia in the past decade. It has achieved three record prices at auction — peaking at $101,000 in 2012. It has set the tone for partnerships within Australia, also welcoming several international partners in great cattle. Its dominance in showing heifers has been hard for the industry to match. In fact, Dean and Dianna have put Australia on the Holstein world map. (Read more: DEAN AND DIANNA MALCOLM: FORWARD IN FIVE GEARS! THAT’S AUSSIE D.I.Y. and DEAN AND DIANNA MALCOLM: GOBSMACKED IN AUSTRALIA – LANDING RIGHT SIDE UP DOWN UNDER!)
When I look back at the Hanoverhill sales over the years, the one thing that stands out like no other is the number of foundation cows that were sold in those sales. Sure they might not have all been toppers, but they went on to be excellent breeding and showing cows for those breeders who bought in the sale.
That is the same opportunity Australian breeders have at The Big Bang sale at Bluechip. Often when herds of this calibre sell, something is held back, something is being kept as the foundation for their rebuild process. But not this time: the Malcolms are going all in.
Dean explains why.
“We’ve enjoyed a lot of success at the highest levels in this country, and we’re really grateful for that, but we’ve never been afraid to test the market, or to challenge ourselves.
“We feel the time is right. We’ve got a lot of great animals under us now, and we’re ready to give people the opportunity to buy them. We are selling everything that is saleable. We won’t be holding anything back.”
(The only animals that won’t be sold are baby calves too young to be included at this stage of their career.)
Dianna adds, “We also feel like it’s time for us to step back and have a change of direction. Bluechip is not all there is to us. We have our magazine, CrazyCow In Print, and cattle photography and we would like to have the flexibility to spend more time with my family, who live overseas.”
I have had the pleasure of seeing some of the best cows in the world walk into many of the greatest shows in the world, and the show at International Dairy Week (IDW) is certainly one of the greatest in the world. (Read more: SHOWCATION®: DOWN UNDER AT INTERNATIONAL DAIRY WEEK)
In particular, one cow stood out to me this year as probably the greatest two-year-old outside North America — and certainly one that could compete in North America — and that is Bluechip Goldwyn Frosty. While she stood a strong third in the class, fresh 350 days, Frosty is a young cow with an extremely bright future ahead of her, and one helluva pedigree. She is a Goldwyn x Dundee x from the legendary Harvue Roy Frosty, EX97. The Hanoverhill model was a sire stack on great show cows, and Bluechip has introduced that pattern to the Australian marketplace.
Dean says it has been a privilege to develop the young in-milk cows, which showed at IDW this year, including Frosty; the winning and second-placed senior-two-year-old (Bluechip Windbrook Noni and Bluechip Goldchip Bonnie); not to mention the second-placed junior two-year-old and back-to-back Junior Champion at the Victorian Winter Fair (Bluechip Finalcut Marion), and the winning four-year-old (Lightning Ridge Atwood Topsy).
“The reality is we’ve sold close to 400-head in our annual sales, and every time that has included half our high-profile show heifers,” Dean says. “So, it’s been hard, at
that point, to go out and dominate in-milk classes with Bluechip-prefixed animals.
“When we didn’t have a sale last year, we were able to finish our profile heifers off and calve them down this year. To have three of our four junior and senior two-year-olds finish first or second in the first two classes of the intermediate show at IDW this year — and for two of them to win Best Udder of class — was a great validation for our programme.”
Because everything is to be sold, Bluechip Genetics is also offering the Junior Champion from the most recent IDW in January — Bluechip Goldchip Beciee — indeed a foundation animal for any breeding programme. The Reserve Junior Champion will also sell. In fact, the whole IDW 2016 show team will sell. (Read more: 2016 IDW Holstein Show).
Bluechip has owned or co-owned Junior Champion and/or Reserve Junior Champion at IDW every year since 2011 (except 2014). In 2013 and 2016 it won Junior and Reserve Junior Champion.
Dianna explains their commitment to detail in the calf pens: “We’ve always put a lot of time into our young stock from birth — right through their development — it’s been a no-brainer for both of us.”
Dean adds, “It’s taken a lot of work, but I wouldn’t have changed a thing at this point.
“And nothing would excite us more than for our animals to go to great homes, continue to be developed to their potential, and for their owners to enjoy them and have success with them.”
The Bullvine Bottom Line
Opportunities to buy into the heart of game-changing herds come very rarely in life.
Dean and Dianna Malcolm took huge risks and changed the game; they seized the opportunity to take Australian genetics to a new level. For breeders in Australia and around the world, their sale on October 13, 2016, will be backed by proven performance and the influence of two game-changers.
Don’t miss this chance to become a game-changer.
This article originally appeared in the March Edition of Crazy Cow In Print