The 2012 Breeder’s Choice Awards – The Tanbark Trail Edition

Breeders Choice Awards 2012-300In the age of American Idol, Dancing with the Stars and countless other franchises where the fans decide the outcome, it’s about time for Dairy Breeders to join the decision-making fun..  That is why the Bullvine has created the Breeder’s Choice Awards.  The Breeder’s Choice Awards celebrates fan favorites in the show ring, index cows, sires and dairy celebrities.  It stands alone as the only major award where real people – not industry insiders – determine the winners.

The Winners are?

Over the past month The Bullvine has been conducting surveys on our Facebook page to see exactly  who the fans would choose as the top Holstein show cattle in North America for 2012.  To qualify the animals in each class needed to place in the top five spots at either World Dairy Expo or the Royal (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 Evert Told ). After thousands of votes here are the winners:

COBEQUID GOLDWYN DANNY - 2012 Breeder's Choice Spring Heifer Calf

COBEQUID GOLDWYN DANNY – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Spring Heifer Calf

Spring Heifer Calf

  1. Cobequid Goldwyn Danny
    (Read more: Who’s The Next Great One?)
  2. Siemers Gwyn Glam Thisup
  3. Cherry Crest Lavanguard
PETITCLERC GOLDWYN SIDNEY - 2012 Breeder's Choice Winter Heifer Calf

PETITCLERC GOLDWYN SIDNEY – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Winter Heifer Calf

Winter Heifer Calf

  1. Petitclerc  Goldwyn Sidney
    (Read more: Who’s The Next Great One?)
  2. Kingsway Lauthority All In
  3. Sunspark Windbrook Extra
MD-DUN-LOAFIN LAUTH ELLI- 2012 Breeder's Choice Fall Heifer Calf

MD-DUN-LOAFIN LAUTH ELLI- 2012 Breeder’s Choice Fall Heifer Calf

Fall Heifer Calf

  1. MD-Dun Loafin Lauth Elli
    (Read more: Who’s The Next Great One?)
  2. Idee Goldwyn Livia
  3. Siemers Dstry Sunraygal
CO-VALE FEVER CAMILA - 2012 Breeder's Choice Summer Yearling Heifer

CO-VALE FEVER CAMILA – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Summer Yearling Heifer

Summer Yearling Heifer

  1. Co-Vale Fever Camila
    (Read more: Who’s The Next Great One?)
  2. Belfast Goldwyn Lasenza
  3. Bismer Damion Jasmine
JACOBS ATWOOD LILLY BOY - 2012 Breeder's Choice Spring Yearling Heifer

JACOBS ATWOOD LILLY BOY – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Spring Yearling Heifer

Spring Yearling Heifer

  1. Jacobs Atwood Lily Boy
    (Read more: Who’s The Next Great One? and Breeding The Next Show Winners)
  2. Crestbrooke Gap Torrie
  3. Sharp Acres ST Jessy
Lafontaine Aftershock Arrie - 2012 Breeder's Choice Winter Yearling Heifer

Lafontaine Aftershock Arrie – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Winter Yearling Heifer

Winter Yearling Heifer

  1. Lafontaine Aftershock Arrie
    (Read more: Breeding The Next Show Winners)
  2. Springway Sassy Rae
  3. Kingsway Sanchez Armadillo
Kingsway Goldwyn Artichoke - 2012 Breeder's Choice Fall Yearling Heifer

Kingsway Goldwyn Artichoke – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Fall Yearling Heifer

 Fall Yearling Heifer

  1. Kingsway Goldwyn Artichoke
  2. Kingsway Sanchez Magician
  3. Crovalley Knowledge Akika

Junior Champion – MD-Dun Loafin Lauth Elli

R-E-W Happy Go Lucky - 2012 Breeder's Choice Fall Yearling In Milk

R-E-W Happy Go Lucky – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Fall Yearling In Milk

Fall Yearling in Milk

  1. R-E-W Happy Go Lucky
    (Read more: World Dairy Expo Winners: Investment Worthy and Exciting Times for Butlerview)
  2. Dougal Lea Goldwyn Danita
  3. Blondin Alexander Mariska
BVK ATWOOD ABRIANNA - 2012 Breeder's Choice Jr. 2yr old

BVK ATWOOD ARIANNA – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Jr. 2yr old

Jr. 2 year old

  1. BVK Atwood Arianna
    (Read more: World Dairy Expo Winners: Investment Worthy)
  2. Joleanna Gold Pourinrain
  3. Jacobs Atwood Melody
Valleyville Rae Lynn - 2012 Breeder's Choice Sr. 2yr old

Valleyville Rae Lynn – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Sr. 2yr old

Sr. 2 year old

  1. Valleyville Rae Lynn
    (Read more: Quality Cattle Look Good Evert Day,  Don Shwartz: Love what you do and do the best you can! and Quality Holsteins – Well Deserved Congratulations)
  2. Butz-Butler Gold Barbara
  3. Crate Indiana Goldwyn
Robrook Goldwyn Cameron - 2012 Breeder's Choice Jr. 3yr old

Robrook Goldwyn Cameron – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Jr. 3yr old

Jr. 3 year old

  1. Robrook Goldwyn Cameron
  2. Cobequid Goldwyn Leno
  3. Arethusa Jasper Velour
Cookview Goldwyn Monique - 2012 Breeder's Choice Sr. 3yr old

Cookview Goldwyn Monique – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Sr. 3yr old

Sr. 3 year old

  1. Cookview Goldwyn Monique
    (Read more: Exciting Times for Butlerview, RF Goldwyn Hailey: Cash Cow or Cash Hog and International Intrigue – The Secret is Exposed!)
  2. Debeau Jasper December
  3. Quality Gold Danzi

Intermediate Champion  – Cookview Goldwyn Monique

Macpes Fortune Koquine - 2012 Breeder's Choice 4 yr old

Macpes Fortune Koquine – 2012 Breeder’s Choice 4 yr old

4 year old

  1. Macpes Fortune Koquine
    (Read more: Durham vs. Goldwyn: A Clash of Two Titans)
  2. T-Triple-T Gold Prize
  3. Bourgival Goldwyn Oriel
Wendon Goldwyn Allie - 2012 Breeder's Choice 5 yr old

Wendon Goldwyn Allie – 2012 Breeder’s Choice 5 yr old

5 year old

  1. Wendon Goldwyn Allie
  2. Scientific Gold Dana Rae
  3. Rockymountain Talent Licorice
RF Goldwyn Hailey - 2012 Breeder's Choice Mature cow

RF Goldwyn Hailey – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Mature cow

Mature Cow

  1. RF Goldwyn Hailey
    (Read more: World Dairy Expo Winners: Investment Worthy and The Story Behind How Two Full Sisters Dominated Expo Quebec)
  2. Ebyholme Goldwyn Maricia
  3. Harvue Roy Frosty
Starbrite Lyster Lyndsay - 2012 Breeder's Choice Lifetime Production Cow

Starbrite Lyster Lyndsay – 2012 Breeder’s Choice Lifetime Production Cow

Lifetime Production

  1. Starbrite Lyster Lyndsay
  2. Goldenflo Lheros Bubble Gum
  3. Savage-Leigh Leona

Senior & Grand Champion – RF Goldwyn Hailey


The Bullvine Bottom Line

While cows like R-E-W Happy Go Lucky, Cookview Goldwyn Monique and RF Goldwyn Hailey rode their almost cult like followings to dominant victories,  it was really interesting to see the classes where there were different winners than at the Royal or  Madison (Spring Calf, Winter Heifer Calf, Fall Heifer Calf, Spring Yearling, Winter Yearling, Fall Yearling, Junior 3 year old and 4 year old).  Particularly surprising  was that  in two of these classes (Spring Calf and Spring Yearling) the winner was not a class winner at either the Royal or Madison.  The biggest shocker of all has to be Royal and Madison Sr. 2 year old winner, Butz-Butler Gold Barbara, falling to Valleyville Rae Lynn.   It was also interesting to see the battle between Madison Junior Champion, Lafontaine Aftershock Arrie, and Royal Junior Champion, MD-Dun Loafin Lauth Elli, going head to head as they did  both did not attend both  shows.   Elli was the Breeder’s Choice.

What’s next

Continuing in our Breeder’s Choice competition, over the next few weeks we will be conducting polls on Facebook in the following categories:

So be sure to “like” our Facebook page and Click on “Show” in the News feed as Facebook now only shows you about 20% of posts on pages you like. Don’t miss any of the great polls and great conversation.

The 2012 Royal Winter Fair Holstein Show Preview

It would be easy to just take the winners from this year’s World Dairy Expo (Read more – World Dairy Expo 2012 Holstein Show – A battle for the ages) and predict that they will win at the Royal.  But that is not always the case.  It’s a different day, different judge, and new animals have calved and others have been fresh longer.  Instead let’s take a look at the highlights of what is sure to be a truly Royal show.

The Judge

Callum McKinven - 2012 Royal Holstein Show Judge

Callum McKinven – 2012 Royal Holstein Show Judge

At Lookout Holsteins in North Hatley, QC, Callum McKinven, his wife Kathy Beerwort and their three daughters work hard to create a comfortable, low-stress environment for their herd of show winners and genomic stars.  When they first built their facility in the beautiful hills of Quebec, all details were put into place for sensible cow comfort.  Callum has shown well-known heifers and cows to victory at major shows, including World Dairy Expo and the Royal.  McKinven is a very active, respected judge, both domestically and internationally.  Lookout in partnership has had several  sale toppers lately including LOOKOUT PESCE EPIC HUE at the Planet Holstein Sale (Read – The Planet Explodes at World Dairy Expo – 2012 Planet Holstein Sale Recap) and RALMA-RH MANOMAN BANJO VG-88-2yr at the Gillette Visions sale (Read – Gillette Visions 2012 Sale – Great People, Great Cattle = Great Results)

The Contenders for Junior Champion

Lafontaine Aftershock Arrie - Junior Champion World Dairy Expo 2012

Lafontaine Aftershock Arrie – Junior Champion World Dairy Expo 2012

While the Junior Champion from Madison, Lafontaine Aftershock Arrie, certainly has to be considered the early favorite, it really could go any way.  Nowhere is there greater variance every year than in the nod for Junior Champion.  While many might go on to win their class at the Royal, winning Madison does not guarantee the Royal win that many would expect.  Other heifers to watch for include the recent Quebec International Holstein Show Junior Champion Jacobs Jordan Babe (Read more – Expo International Holstein Quebec Heifers Results).  Another one to watch for is Crovalley Knowledge Akika who looked very impressive winning junior champion at the recent Autumn Opportunity Show (Read more – Autumn Opportunity Holstein Show Results).  In addition, note that the Madison Reserve Junior Champion Jaslyn Aftershock Avila will not be there as she is owned in partnership by Lookout Farms.

The Contenders for Intermediate Champion

Cookview Goldwyn Monique (Right ) and Whittier Farms Jasp Kinetic (Left) - World Dairy Expo 2012

Cookview Goldwyn Monique (Right ) and Whittier Farms Jasp Kinetic (Left) – World Dairy Expo 2012

While Cookview Goldwyn Monique looked extremely impressive (Read more – World Dairy Expo 2012 Holstein Show – A Battle for the Ages) and is the early front runner, other contenders include fellow class winners from Madison, Butz-Butler Gold Barbara and T-Triple-T Gold Prize (Read more – World Dairy Expo Winners: Investment Worthy). Other contenders would have to be the recent Intermediate Champions from Quebec, Robrook Goldwyn Cameron and from Ontario Quality Gold Danzi (Read more – Quality Holsteins – Well-Deserved Congratulations).  Another X Factor might be Craigcrest Rubies Gold Rejoice.  While not looking her best at Madison, don’t let her fall too far off your radar.  With her massive frame and dairyness, the two times All-American and All-Canadian is always within striking distance.

The Contenders for Senior Champion

RF GOLDWYN HAILEY- Grand Champion Quebec International Show 2012

RF GOLDWYN HAILEY- Grand Champion Quebec International Show 2012

I would like to say it’s in doubt, but that simply is not the case.  If RF Goldwyn Hailey EX-97 comes out looking as good as she did at Madison and the recent Quebec International Holstein Show, there really is no doubt.  She is on a roll that doesn’t seem to be stopping any time soon, and she should easily assume the crown (Read more – The Story Behind How Two Full Sisters Dominated Expo Quebec).  Other cows to keep an eye out for include Boulet Goldwyn Chalou and Quality Goldwyn Flansco.

The Red and White Story

Blondin Redman Seisme EX-96 (98-MS)

Blondin Redman Seisme EX-96 (98-MS)

Just like Hailey, Blondin Redman Seisme, should be considered the strong favorite to win Grand yet again.

The Bullvine Bottom Line

While you never know how the cows will settle in and what they will look like on show day, this group certainly has to be considered the early contenders.


Quality Holsteins – Well-Deserved Congratulations

“Congratulations on winning!” That’s one of the nicest things you can hear when you show cattle.  Congratulations  is fine for winning the lottery or celebrating a birthday, but “well deserved” is reserved for people who put in the effort and the time and took the risk to get somewhere. Today we are looking at why the success of Paul and Ari Ekstein of Quality Farms Ltd. in Woodbridge, Ontario is well-deserved

Quality Shows to Win



Quality Holsteins is at the forefront of dairy cattle breeding and showing and Ari Ekstein of Quality Farms Ltd. attributes much of that to one cow, QUALITY B C FRANTISCO EX-96-3E-CAN 18*(Read more – The 8 Greatest North American Show Cows of All-Time). “Frantisco is having a great impact on our herd.  There is no doubt that the two years that she was Grand at the Royal the Quality herd became more famous in the world.  Her greatest impact is through her daughters and granddaughters (Read – Great Show Cows Can They Pass It On).  This family is one of the most consistent breeding families in the world.  The success of this family has helped keep Quality in the forefront of the Holstein industry. Both the Grand and Reserve grand cows at this year’s Autumn Opportunity go back to the Frantisco family.” (Read – Autumn Opportunity Holstein Show Results)



QUALITY GOLDWYN FLANSCO EX-94-CAN – GRAND AUTUMN OPP. 2012 – Grand daughter of Frantisco

Quality Winners Don’t Happen by Coincidence

You can’t count on luck or chance in cattle breeding. You have to make a plan and stick to it.  When you breed show cows, you’ve got to prove it with winners at the major shows.  Ari is familiar with analyzing and planning for show success. “There is no doubt that WDE is one of the greatest shows in the world.” However he points out that Quality’s plan was different.  “The last time we exhibited at Madison was with Quality Astro Sheri.  She was second prize three year old in 1988. We are only a half an hour from the Royal and we decided to continuously show there rather than Madison.”  They have had tremendous success at the Royal.  Perhaps this will be doubled in the future as Ari reports “You will see Quality at Madison again in the next few years.” Obviously, the key is to know where you’re showing and how to win there.

Winning today (vs. winning tomorrow)


QUALITY GIBSON FINSCO EX-95-3E-CAN 4* – HM. ALL-ONTARIO 5-YR 2008 – dam of Flansco and daughter of Frantisco

There can be high excitement and frustrating disappointments in the show ring … but everything you do today has an impact on tomorrow’s successes.  Quality’s winners, in the barn and in the show ring, start before each cow is mated. Current stars in their lineup are,Quality Goldwyn Flansco, Quality Gibson Finsco, Quality Gibson Ficoe, Quality Gibson Fantisco, Quality Carlton Pam, Quality Gold Danzi, Pine-Tree Finley Minnie and Valleyville Rae Lynn.



The Quality Strategy

“We try to breed the best type cow possible that will milk easy with no health issues.  We are very particular in what bulls we use and we try and make sure we make the best mating every time.  We love great type cows and we will continue to try and breed a “champion” cow every time.” Quality sets the benchmark high.

Change is Part of the Breeding Business

Everyone must find a way to deal with change and usually it starts with recognizing that it is happening. “I am sure everybody involved in this industry will tell you that genomics has had a huge impact in the value of cattle.”

Ari feels it isn’t’t just the sales ring but also the show ring that has seen change. “We have also seen a dramatic change in the style of today’s show winners. Goldwyn has set the new standard in today’s show ring.” says Ari, who then goes on to point out the benefits brought to the dairy industry because of evolving genetics. “Today’s modern dairy genetics have also bred cows that are profitable because they have the ability to milk throughout their lactation.  The days of cows peaking in the first three months and barely milking in their last three months should come to an end.”



Genomics Is a Quality Tool

Ari reports that Quality Holsteins uses genomics. “We have concentrated more on the bulls that combine the extremely high type with high production and health traits.” This may surprise those who feel genomics and type are mutually exclusive.  The top 10 bulls that Ari lists are: Windbrook, Sid, Goldchip, Fever, Dempsey, Braxton, Atwood, Brokaw, Bradnick, Brawler. When you break down their attributes you see that they are all high type and that there is a 70/30 split between proven and genomic sires.  (Read more – Does Genomics Belong in The Show Ring and 7 Sires to Use in Order to Breed the Next World Dairy Expo Champion)


PINE-TREE FINLEY MINNIE EX-91-CAN DOM 2* – Dam of PINE-TREE SID – Owned by Quality Holsteins

Type Leads the Way

Ari points out that even with genomics, he focuses on type. “We believe that type is still very important and we refuse to give up type for the sake of numbers.  Whether you are a commercial breeder or someone who is trying to breed a show cow, the better typed cows are always worth more. When you go to a commercial sale barn the better typed cows always sell for more than the poor typed cows. Needless to say the cow in first is usually worth more than the one in 10th.”

Quality Formula Based on Hard Work

You could be forgiven for assuming that it has been easy for Quality Holsteins to achieve their outstanding show ring success.  After all they are in the winner’s circle year after year.  Sometimes we forget that the hard work really begins long before the ribbon is awarded. There is no book, “The Lazy Man’s Way to Champions!” Ari attributes success to this finely honed formula: “The combination of dedication, hard work and passion from the Ekstein family and some of the best employees in the world has contributed to our success.”



Only Elite Breeding will have Value in the Future

Experienced in the seed industry as well as the dairy industry, Ari knows that all businesses evolve with changing markets. Ari points out where the future is headed. “The farms keep getting bigger and the importance of high producing, healthy typey cows continues.” Rather than fret about this and worry about the impact, Ari analyzes what lies ahead. “As we move forward we will see that only the true elite animals will hold their value.  Anything that is rare will always be valuable. The extremely high genomic animals and the great show cows of the breed will always be valuable.  It is very hard to breed both of these and the cows in between will not increase in value.” Simply put, when all of your competitors are busy increasing value by cutting prices, Ari points out that you can actually increase your returns by breeding only the cows that are valued in the marketplace.

Quality Focuses on Success

Sometimes we assume that if we just copy the bull selection of an elite breeder like Quality Farms Ltd., our herd will rise in the rankings too.  Ari’s advice disproves this simplistic idea. “I think it is important to realize what your goal is as a breeder, and make sure you focus on what your idea of success is.” You have to know your herd, your cow and yourself before you make even one mating decision. Of course, there are some basic rules to follow. “It is very important to try and breed from the most consistent breeding families in the breed.” Ari says. “There are many good cows with good pedigrees but very few have the ability to consistently breed.” The third piece of advice is probably the most important, “Once you realize what family you want to focus on it is equally as important to use the right bulls.  Making the proper mating is very important and do not just use a bull because he has a good proof.  It is important to use the bull that is the best mating for each cow or heifer you are breeding.”

The Bullvine Bottom Line

You might think a breeding discussion with Quality Holsteins would boil down to a choice between genomics or type.  Again, the assumption would be wrong.  The Quality answer is that, based on your own clear goals, there is something of value in the proper use of both tools. The real foundation of success Ari points out is that,”The will to succeed, devotion and hard work will eventually pay off.” That’s when the title “Quality” is well-deserved.

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