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International Intrigue: Forget the Records It’s About the People.

There wasn’t your million dollar cow…..There wasn’t your 2013 Intermediate or Grand Champion at World Dairy Expo or the Royal…..But the 2013 International Intrigue hosted by Ferme Blondin was a roaring success!

I guess it shouldn’t be any surprise considering that with Ferme Blondin (sale hosts) and Butler Fellers Auctions (auctioneers) you are bringing together two of the largest players in the North American Genetics marketplace.  But the interesting part wasn’t that the sale had an insane sale topper that instantly adds $10,000 to the sale average.  Neither was there a bunch of packages of 30 animals that could count as one lot in the final average.  In reality, the strong $15,844 average on 167 lots was earned the good old school way. International Intrigue earned it through a high quality line up with great consigners and extremely happy buyers. (For full sales results click here and for more pictures click here)

While yes, the top four  selling animals did sell in absentia, that was not because they were not pretty, but rather because in today’s competitive genomic market, these very valuable animals were on or preparing for the money making program, also known as IVF (Read more: IVF: Boom or Bust for the Dairy Industry).  But the animals that were there certainly had the crowd buzzing.

It’s about the People and the Passion

It was a very interesting crowd indeed.  Present at the sale was an almost perfect cross section of the North American genetics market.  Naturally, being hosted in Quebec, you had the very passionate French breeders that came out to support this great event being hosted in their home province for the second time.  But then you also had many of the top breeders from the east to west coasts of Canada and United States as well.


Simon Lalande and Kim Côté and their family

Everytime I go to Quebec I am impressed with the visible passion of the breeders there.  (Read more: Do We Speak the Same Language?) Maybe it’s because sometimes I find the rest of us to be somewhat dry and familiar.  Watching the Quebec breeders share their passion is invigorating.  The sale opened with as touching a welcome from the hosts as I have ever seen.  Normally reserved for those complete herd auctions where a long time breeder is selling their cattle for the final time (Read more: Ebyholme – The End of an Era), the welcome from sale hosts Simon Lalande and Kim Côté made me laugh but then also made me cry.  It made me laugh when Simon went to introduce Kim. He made us almost think that he was about to get down on one knee.  Even more touching was when Simon’s father shared how proud he is of his son and how everything that you see at Ferme Blondin has been inspired and built by the passion Simon has for the dairy business.  A great story of how a young commercial producer got the dairy genetics bug.


Future Stars – Shinning Bright

While it was often speculated that an early contender for this year’s fall shows, Willowholme Goldwyn Jessica would be added to the sale lineup, in the end there were no immediate contenders for Intermediate or Grand at the WDE or the Royal.  Highlights of the sale were Godin Bless Windbrook, Cameron-Ridge Atwood Beauty and Jacobs Sid Bamba.  All three come from outstanding pedigrees with Beauty tracing back to the great Rainyridge Tony Beauty and Bamba being an  own daughter of a cow that is sure to be a contender at WDE and the Royal, Jacobs Goldwyn Britany EX-96.


Godin Bless Windbrook sells for $62,000

Cameron-Ridge Atwood Beauty sells for $62,000

Cameron-Ridge Atwood Beauty sells for $62,000

Jacobs Sid Bamba sells for $50,000

Jacobs Sid Bamba sells for $50,000

On the index side there certainly was no shortage of animals to choose from.  Highlighted by the sale topper Welcome Jerod Gola, the April 2013 “Jerod” heifer calf who is the number 33 gTPI female in the breed at +2569.  Selling for $145,000 in absentia and consigned by Welcome Stock Farm, LLC, Schuylerville, N.Y., she is from Welcome Russell Gotcha (VG-85-USA), a “Russell” with 26,374 lbs. milk, 4.4% fat, 3.3% protein as a yearling who completes nine generations of Very Good.  She was #3 on the new gTPI female list in June 2013.  She stands #33 gTPI female in the breed.

Sidelines that will be future Headlines

A very interesting consignment in the sale was the first choice of a “Chevrolet” male from Bryhill One Sassy P, a December 2012, polled “Numero Uno” with a +3142 PA gLPI and +2313 gTPI.  This consignment came from Bryhill Farm Inc. and Riverbye Holsteins, Ormstown, Que. The buyer is guaranteed at least one male to be polled and above PA for gTPI.  Gone are the days when you could get $10,000 max for a top bull. The $100,000 paid by a syndicate shows that the cost for top bulls is only getting hotter (Read more: Who Is Selling Your Bull?).


Another interesting element to watch during the sale was the coming of age of the live webcast and real-time bidding. There were 177 Bids from 15 different online bidders, 37 contending bids, and total bids of $849,200.  The average of all bids taken online was $4,796.  The 37 contending bids is a new record!


Highest selling milking female at $92,000 to Alain Choiniere of Alna Holsteins, Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, Que., was 3-year-old Ms C-Haven Oman Kool-ET (VG-87).

On a personal note, I was very excited to see Ms C-Haven Oman Kool-ET (VG-87-2YR), the former number one gTPI “Man-O-Man” daughter in the U.S. and second highest protein cow at +80.  My parents had purchased a daughter of Kool at last year’s Sale of Stars in Toronto when Kool was still a maiden heifer and we were excited to see her and get a glimpse of the potential (Read more: Genomic Stars Shine at Sale of Stars).  Her new owners Alain Choiniere of Alna Holsteins, Notre-Dame-de-Stanbridge, Que, will be extremely happy as this family has the two most important components for any moneymaking investment.  They have high numbers and they flush extremely well.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

Don’t get me wrong, just like at cattle shows (Read more: Is the Show Ring the Center of the Dairy World?), I do love looking at great cows, but more importantly, it’s about the people.  The fifth edition of International Intrigue was built around the two most important things in the world – passion and family.  The sale hosts Simon and Kim set the tone.  Everyone in attendance had a great time at a great sale.  For in the end, it’s not about the records you do or don’t set, it’s the people that make events like these so great!


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