It was a blustery winter week-end in Central Alberta as Transcon hosted the finale of “Alberta’s Simmental Week-end.” Their two-in-one bonanza of Fleckvieh Equation and Ultimate Red & Black were held at Westerner Park in Red Deer. With challenging road conditions, it was nice to be back inside the extensive Westerner facilities, where people could view cattle and visit in comfort. Despite Mother Nature not being overly cooperative, there was a steady stream of traffic throughout the barns all weekend, and a healthy crowd on hand Sunday, to watch 33 Fleckvieh lots pass through the ring to average a very impressive $10,152.
One of the ‘calling cards’ of Equation has been a bit of a focus on polled genetics. Between ourselves and several of the other consignors who have focused on developing polled cattle over the past number of years, this sale may be gaining a bit of a reputation! After only bringing open heifers for the past couple years, Beechinor Land & Livestock were back with an exceptional string of bred heifers. Stefon & Rebecca Beechinor have quickly risen to prominence for producing some of the best full Fleckvieh genetics in the world, so it was no surprise to see their lot 116 heifer, BLL Sugar Rush lead off the sale. This big volume polled Sugar Ray daughter was a unique blend of power and femininity, and created a palpable buzz in the audience, as she ended up selling to Mason Faulkner of Faulkner Farms from Centre Ridge, Arkansas, for $40,000. We had the pleasure of visiting with Mason when he was in Alberta touring cattle operations this fall, and are quite impressed with the foundation females he has selected to build his herd. After the BLL offering were a pair of outstanding heifers from the Keato Meadow string, followed by two powerful heifers from Keet Simmentals. Both being long term consignors, their heifers also had a robust following, with highlights including lot 102 ‘Keato Pld Ivy 24J’ being selected by West Gold Farms Ltd for $15,000 and lot 121 ‘Keet’s Harlequin 51H’ selected by Pheasantdale Cattle Company for $18,000. As Equation represented probably the largest selection of polled full Fleckvieh cattle available all fall, it was great to see the enthusiasm and success of our fellow consignors!
Our very own Lot 114 (Applecross Ivy) and Lot 113 (Applecross Pixie) were next up. These two NUG Delmonte 81D daughters had been head turners all week-end, so we were rather excited to see how they would perform. When the gavel fell, Applecross Ivy had been selected by Robb Farms for $17,000. Robb Farms is part of a truly elite bull sale in SK, (Robb/Hoegl/Greenwood) in late February each year, so we will be looking for Ivy’s progeny to hopefully be future features!. Applecross Pixie ($10,000) got to enjoy an extended truck ride, as she is headed all the way to Quebec, to Kelvin and Ory Egan of Egan Home Farms. I had talked to Kelvin a few times over the years regarding our bred heifers, but there was always a fair bit of uncertainty with our late sale date and early calving dates on the heifers. Pixie fit the bill, being a cycle later gives her more time to adapt to her new environment. With Ory also spending the summer in Alberta working for Anchor D Ranch, he appears to have firmly caught the ‘purebred cattle bug’ and was the driving force behind acquiring Pixie. It is always great to see another generation be encouraged enough to invest in the industry!
For Equation 2022, we tried something ‘different’ and brought a pair of open heifers to town. I am old enough to remember the Fleckvieh sales of the 1990’s predominantly featuring open heifers but, gradually over time, the sales mix across the industry has shifted towards bred heifers. The combination of a late in the season sale combined with early calving dates, meant we did have some out of province buyers express concern about a heavy in calf bred heifer travelling an extended distance, so offering a few select open heifers was certainly something we had thought about in the past. With 2022 representing a 2:1 heifer to bull calf ratio, and an exciting new herd sire to showcase, we felt it only made sense to ‘test the waters’ with a couple open of heifers at Equation 2022. We were not disappointed with our decision! Our two heifers led off the Fleckvieh heifer calf division, with Lot 110 ‘Applecross Giselle 2K’ receiving the honour of being the lead heifer. When the gavel fell, she was selected by Robb Farms for $15,500, and will get to head to the same home as Ivy! A few minutes later, Black Gold Simmentals selected lot 111 ‘Applecross Dixie 20K’ for $10,000. Randy and Vanessa Noble were in Red Deer after a hectic (and very successful!) few days at the Friday Night Lights event, so it was awesome to see them pick out Dixie to walk their pastures! Bringing open heifers to Equation 2022 was certainly a smashing success for us, so that option will certain need to be considered again for Equation 2023!
Overall, the open heifers sold extremely well, with 5 lots topping that $10,000 threshold. The Skywest heifers were stabled right beside us, so we were able to take a long look at their two exceptional heifers that did very well, with lot 129 ‘Skywest Kamala’ selling to Corley Land & Cattle from Charleston, Tennessee for $13,000, and Lot 130 ‘Skywest Kamilia’ landing at Brock Ranches for $11,000. Sierra Ebbeson is another ‘next generation’ breeder at Brock Ranches, so super exciting to see that ‘purebred cattle bug’ spread!
A little later on in the sale, our Lot 112 heifer ‘Applecross Dotti 53H’ and lot 115 ‘Applecross Lydia 13J’ also got to share the sales ring. ‘Dotti’ was up first and she was selected by Jonathan Kittlitz of Keato Meadows for $12,000. We recall bidding against each other back when we acquired our Anchor T Impact semen at the same sale quite a number of years ago, so perhaps it shouldn’t have been a surprise when he was the successful bidder on a direct daughter! ‘Lydia’ also found a great home with the legendary Maxwell Simmental program. We have got to know Glen Maxwell over the past few years, specifically since acquiring our NUG Delmonte bull from them back in 2017. Delmonte sure shaped our program, so it was pretty cool to have Lydia heading to Maxwell’s. In all, our six heifers found homes across Alberta, Saskatchewan, and into Quebec. All five buyers acquired the APLX prefix for the first time, so we look forward to seeing how their progeny develops for their new owners.
In addition to the above noted high sellers, I thought it also worthwhile to share a few additional thoughts:
- One of the neat things about being part of a consignment sale is seeing everyone have success. A quick scroll through the Equation high seller lists represents practically all of our fellow breeders, each of whom have been long term consignors to the sale. Certainly lots of smiling faces after the sale!
- I also want to suggest that despite the number of programs in the barn, the Fleckvieh cattle all lined up in very similar condition. This is an incredibly difficult feat when there are many different operations coming together to showcase their programs. We have always found it a challenge to get the correct balance. We don’t want our cattle ‘green’ nor do we want them ‘fat’ – especially bred heifers that are three weeks from calving – so it was neat to see the consistency across Equation.
- I do wonder if the combination of the Covid pandemic and increased quality of the Internet experience may be leading to a permanent change in attendance at sales. On a week-end where weather was uncertain, and at a time so close to Christmas, I did notice people tour through the barns that were then content to watch the sale virtually, and either bid online or via phone. With sales results being posted online within a couple of days (if not sooner), it also improves ‘access to information’ available without needing to be there in person.
- The improvements and acceptance of technology and social media during the pandemic certainly has its pro’s and con’s. The efficiency gains of immediate access to information and ‘time savers’ can be offset by a seemingly decreased amount of person to person contact. Which is a change not always for the good! I may be getting to the stage of ‘old man shaking fist and suggesting things were better in an earlier time’, but sometimes a great conversation can provide nuance and shape opinion – while the internet (or even texting) simply doesn’t provide the forum for deep discussion. I may not always seem like the most social person, but simply being part of conversations, and listening to great advice have really helped improve our operation over the years. I do worry that the opportunity is being lost for new to the industry breeders aiming to find their own voice and direction, if there isn’t at least some focus on the ‘in person’ part of the purebred cattle business.
- I also wonder if there is opportunity for further evolution of Simmental Week-end itself. With the highly successful Friday Night Lights, followed by a Saturday sale and then National Trust Saturday night, prior to Equation / Red & Black on Sunday, it is an extremely long (and incredibly busy) week-end, specifically for those of us consigning cattle to any of the events. For those consigning to FNL – Moving in Wednesday, prepping cattle and then sticking around until Sunday can be an extensive time commitment; with most of us having work pile up back at the farm. So maybe with increase in online presence, it might make sense to move to a more condensed weekend schedule in the future.
- For the first time in a number of years, we weren’t successful in adding a new heifer from Equation. We always like to ‘save a bullet’ to use to support our fellow breeders at our own sale, but weren’t successful in getting one bought this year. We did get some shopping done both earlier in the season (Starwest Pol Harmony) and in adding a new AI option via the New Year’s Resolution Sale. We are always looking to add something different that we think will be an ‘improver’ to our herd, so were happy to achieve this goal again in 2022.
- Finally, as we look towards 2023, we will need to dig pretty deep and scour a lot of options in our search for another herd bull. If 2022 has taught us anything, it is that quality polled genetics (specifically those that are ‘outcross’ to our existing genetic base) command a premium. It can be somewhat intimidating trying to find options that make economic sense for our smaller cow base, but at the same time, the search is part of the fun! (And a super successful heifer sale certainly puts us in a position to re-invest in our future!)
I can’t close without saying a few words about Transcon, our Sales Management team. Jay, Darren, Glen and Cody always do a quality, professional job – and spend significant amounts of time on the phone – talking – while walking animals out of their pens to check feet, and allow buyers to select animals with confidence. Sales Management is a long term gig – if a prospective buyer on order isn’t happy with their purchase they won’t be back. It is foundational to have mutual trust in a Sales Management team, and we have that with Transcon. Another really neat part of the Transcon team, is Jay’s willingness to offer a spot to people ‘new to the breed’. It might be more recently showcased within Red and Black, but as I mentioned earlier, it is super cool to see new people enter the purebred business. And everyone needs to get their start at their ‘first sale’; Jay has been tremendous in offering people that opportunity (which he also offered to us back when we first started!)
Overall it was another great year to present Applecross Cattle at auction. We were honoured by the compliments received, and the amount of interest in our program is rewarding. With calving nicely underway (the heifers are leading 7-1, so maybe we will have more opens to offer at Equation 2023!), we look forward to the excitement that 2023 will bring, and another step forward in our ongoing efforts to produce high-quality genetics that we can share with the industry.
We are absolutely delighted to present four bred and two open heifers for consideration at Transcon’s Fleckvieh Equation 2022, on December 18th at 1pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer , Alberta. Thanks to a return of some long term consignors, and the continued evolution of the breed, Equation ’22 will showcase the broadest selection of polled Fleckviehs for sale in Canada this fall. We look forward to the return of the Saturday social at National Trust, and just the chance to visit, catch-up and talk all things cattle in a great facility while inspecting the awesome diversity of the Simmental breed. It should be a great week-end!
Our theme this year immediately jumps off the page: DLD Lady Western 48R. When we established Applecross back in 2006, we wanted to start our herd with some of our favourite cow families from Ontario. Mom & Dad (Dora Lee), graciously granted us the choice of any four females on the farm. My first pick was ‘Lady’, a direct King Arthur daughter from SRN 2Y, who played her own starring role in establishing the Dora Lee Fleckvieh program in the early 1990’s. Dad often shared that letting ‘Lady’ go west was the most difficult cow he ever had to part with. (And when asked why he did let her go, he simply stated ‘because I was his son’). Through her long career at Applecross, Lady is probably most distinctly recognized for being the dam of APLX Envoy 2Y, who went on to leave his mark at Lone Stone after being selected out of the 2011 National Trust sale as a bull calf. We also retained every single one of her daughters. When we acquired Lady, we also managed to convince Dad to breed her Antonius (!!) before sending her out – which promptly turned into Applecross Diva and what is now an extensive ‘D’ – cow family, as evidenced by both ‘Dixie’ and ‘Dotti’ in this years offering. A couple of years later she gave us ‘Bella,’ who still walks here as the matriarch of our ‘B – cow family’ (and as a sneak peak will have a super neat grandson show up at Red Deer County 2023 Bull Sale), followed by ‘Lady Grace’, ‘Isabelle’ and ‘Frauline’, who are represented by ‘Giselle’, ‘Ivy’ and ‘Lydia’ respectively at Equation 2022 (we already had a F-cow family when Frauline came along, so Frauline’s daughters get L’s). While we are clearly pretty biased towards the 48R progeny, there is a consistency in volume and udder development across her daughters, who also showcase longevity, pigment and length of spine. Excluding our sale heifers, EIGHTEEN Lady decendants will calve at Applecross next spring. (I haven’t even mentioned that 48R also shows up in the extended pedigree of our exciting young herd sire, Black Gold Battleborn 44H – so this number will only move higher!) I think Dad would have been pretty tickled by the legacy of DLD Lady Western 48R.
The sixth of our sale heifers is the ironically named ‘Pixie’ (who is anything but tiny), who is from our 2nd most prominent cow family. Spruceburn Pauline was our choice of Bill & Donna McMurty’s bred heifer pen back in 2009. She founded our ‘P-line’ and gave us two stand out daughters that still walk here in (poundmaking) ‘Poppy’ and (pretty) ‘Paula’. Poppy cruises our pastures at an even 2,000 lbs and has produced high selling progeny on both sides of the ledger, while Paula is Jeanne’s favourite (and ironically weighed 5lbs more than big sister this year). Jeanne keeps vetoing Paula’s daughters, (and I have a tendency to do the same to Poppy’s), so while not quite to Lady’s threshold, we do have seven P’s calving out in 2023. I am bad at math, but on our fifty cow herd, it appears an even 50% of the calves born in 2023 will trace back to either Pauline or 48R. What can we say – we like our cow families!
Individual pages have been created for each of ‘Giselle’, ‘Dixie’, ‘Dotti’, ‘Pixie’, ‘Ivy’ and ‘Lydia’. Short-cut links are on the right – or simply enter their names in the search bar at the top of our home page – and their page will pop up. On the individual pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings. We try to take a camera with us on pasture tours – and while not always ‘professional quality’, hopefully sharing pictures provides a better glimpse into the extended pedigree.
The heifers all have quiet temperaments and are used to being around people. We like quiet cattle. We preg-checked in mid-October and the vet feels that three are safe to their AI dates, with the fourth bred potentially a cycle later. Also, due to the late sales date of Equation, we expect all of our bred heifers to be very heavy in calf – specifically as Cavill appears to have a little shorter gestation. For any out of province buyers, we are willing to take the heifers home and calve them out. While ‘stuff’ can happen, we would much prefer that ‘stuff’ to happen at our place, instead of having a disaster occur during the stress of a truck ride.
The Heifers are also vaccinated with ViraShield and Covexin Plus. They will be treated with Dectomax and the breds will have their first shot of Scourguard prior to sale day.
The 2022 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on December 18th at Westerner Park.
March 12th was another great day to hold the Red Deer County Bull Sale at the Innisfail Auction Mart, Innisfail, Alberta. Unseasonably mild temperatures created beautiful travelling weather to see a great group of bulls sell. Customers had the opportunity to have a hot lunch and inspect a high quality, diverse group of bulls presented by a number of great consignors, before watching them strut their stuff in the sales ring.
In all, eight bulls ended up topping the $10,000 threshold at this years’ event which included bulls from each of the Fleckvieh, Purebred Simmental, Black Angus and Hereford divisions – truly a strong multi-breed sale! The overall high seller was a polled Fleckvieh bull from Keato Meadows – Lot 49 – that sold for 21,000 to Lakeview Simmentals of Meacham, SK. This is the second consecutive year that Jonathan & Ebony Kittlitz of Keato Meadows have brought the high seller to town. As we have worked beside their program in both the Fleckvieh Equation and Red Deer Bull Sales for quite a number of years, it is awesome to witness their continued success! Overall 68 lots sold for an average of $6,899, with the fullblood bulls averaging almost $8,500.
While our own string suffered some setbacks during semen testing, the highlight of the day for us was our Lot 42 bull – APLX Coach 37J. We think very highly of the potential of this homo-polled, herd builder, and were excited to have him sell to the deep south of the United States! ‘Coach’ was acquired for $15,000 by a partnership of Red Oak Farm / Josh & Hilarie Gardner of Greenville, Alabama and Little Creek Cattle / Jason & Nikki Gress of Starkville, Mississippi! It is always a great feeling to have your genetics selected for international use, and we look forward to seeing how ‘Coach’ performs for his new owners.
Coach wasn’t the only bull who got enjoy a lengthy truck ride, as our lot 41 bull ‘Impulse’ is New Brunswick bound after being selected by Mike Groom / Kenridge Farm, Leverville, NB. Our other two bulls both stayed close to home. John and Terry Matheson of Red Deer County selected our lot 47 bull ‘Wrigley, and Dallas Phillips acquired our Lot 40 bull in ‘Intrigue’. Dallas was a repeat buyer for us, after selecting ‘Dundee’ from us back in 2019. It is always special to see customers return for more bulls!
Once again we need to recognize the team at Transcon for doing a tremendous job working the phones and managing the sale. The Red Deer County Bull Sale is part of an extremely busy stretch of events, and we appreciate the time and energy Jay Good and his team invest to ensure we have a successful sale. We look forward to working with them again later in the year at Fleckvieh Equation!
With both the bull sale and calving now behind us, our thoughts move directly to breeding season. While we haven’t been successful in adding a new walking bull this year, we do have a couple of new options for AI so that we can continue to diversify our offering. It is an exciting time for Applecross Cattle to continue in our quest to provide new, better, and different genetics to share with the industry.
We are pleased to present three herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2018 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on Thursday, March 22nd at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is our eighth year at this event, and we are proud to be included in the strong offering that is always presented by this progressive group of breeders.
This years’ offering can be summed up in a word: three. We are in the middle of three consecutive years where our heifer calf numbers have dramatically exceeded our bull calves, which has resulted in three intriguing herd sire prospects being offer for Red Deer in 2018. This is also the third consecutive year that FGAF WowEffect sons will lead our string, and we have been extremely pleased with his consistency. His calves all show lots of length, great muscling and have tremendous hair coats, and our customers have been very happy with their purchases.
Our three bulls are backed by very strong cow families. ‘Wrangler’ comes from the same ‘P’ line that created waves at Equation 2017, and his dam ‘Poppy’ is our heaviest cow. ‘Wyatt’ is the third straight full brother to be headed to Red Deer – the Cassie x WowEffect cross has been popular in the past – and she seems to be the one cow we can always count on for an awesome bull calf. ‘Rocky’ is also an intriguing individual – a smooth polled head comes courtesy of his sire, APLX Rambo, while the dam ‘Eva’ combines Pharoa and old C&B Western into a real stylish package.
Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for ‘Wyatt’, ‘Wrangler’ and ‘Rocky’. The bulls have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, have been tie-broke, and have quiet temperaments. On the individual pages, we have also pictured the sires, dams and grand dams. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding cow family. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
The 2018 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on March 22nd at Westerner Park.
After a one year hiatus, we are absolutely delighted to present four bred heifers at Transcon’s 2017 Fleckvieh Equation Sale, on December 17th, at 1pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is always such a great weekend to market Simmental cattle in Alberta, and we are proud to once again be part of this progressive group of breeders.
At the top of our group, are the first FGAF WowEffect heifers to sell at auction. While we have marketed bulls from WowEffect for several years now, 2017 will represent the first opportunity for the heifers to strut their stuff in public. Since forming a partnership with my parents (Dora Lee Genetics) to utilize WowEffect, we have been very impressed with the balance of his progeny. It is rare that a bull produces both great sons and awesome daughters – so we are certainly excited to present heifers for perusal after the sons have been so readily accepted. As WowEffect is backed by two famous cows – JB CDN Kananaskis and FGAF Barbarella – it maybe isn’t that big a surprise that his offspring are so consistent.
Our lead WowEffect daughter is ‘Cynthia’, a big barreled head turner, who is a direct daughter of Dora Lee Christina 28S. Christina has consistently produced top end cattle for us – daughters, grand-daughters and great granddaughters walk our pastures, and she has developed her own modest list of progeny topping the sales ring in Applecross Candice (our high selling bred at Equation 2015) and high selling bulls APLX Javar and APLX Santana. We feel ‘Cynthia’ has tremendous potential as a front end female.
‘Cynthia’ is closely followed by ‘Ivy’ who is a WowEffect x Gidsco Appollo and goes back to the Beechinor Imperia cow we selected as one of the high selling opens at Equation 2010. This cow family have been consistent producers for us, with an aunt (Applecross Iris) being our high seller at Equation 2013, and a maternal brother APLX Cairo 1C being selected by Gordon Leslie from the 2015 Red Deer Bull Sale. With lots of pigment and a great haircoat, ‘Ivy’ is another great example of the consistency of our WowEffect progeny.
Our third heifer is ‘Flora’, a daughter of the popular JB CDN Hennessey and Anchor D Fergus. Fergus was our pick of the 2014 Pasture Treasures sale, as I was pretty excited when I confirmed that her physical profile matched the depth of her pedigree. Backed by the cow families of Kananaskis (I guess I like her), K2 Fergie and RH Patricia and sire groups that stack Legend, Arni 8M and Jahari, I knew that Fergus would be another great addition to our cow herd. Her first daughter, ‘Flora’ has combined well with Henessey to form a heavily pigmented, dark red beauty.
Our final heifer on offer in 2017 is ‘Pippa’, a double polled stunner that I really struggled to include in our sales string. It is clear to anyone that follows our program, that we are gradually taking the horns off of our cattle, while striving to retain all the power, performance and mothering abilities Fleckvieh are known for. We still breed horned cattle horned (‘Flora’ is a perfect example), but polled is the direction that we are committed to moving the cow herd over the long term. Breeding polled has been a slow process, and selling concrete building blocks like ‘Pippa’ will make it slower yet. That said, I do think it essential that we showcase the progress we have been making, and ‘Pippa’ is the perfect example to do just that. Pippa’s sire, dam, grand-dam, and maternal grand sire all carry our prefix, so she should give a pretty clear indication of what our program is all about.
Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of our four sale heifers: ‘Cynthia’, ‘Ivy’, ‘Flora’, and ‘Pippa’. On the individual pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings. With maternal lines so very important to us, we hope pictures that support the extended pedigree will help provide an idea of how the sale heifers will look as cows.
The heifers all have quiet temperaments and are used to being around people. We enjoy spending time with our cattle, so they are used to attention, and some of them do not mind a ‘scratch’. We preg-checked in late September and the vet feels that all four are safe to early breeding dates. The Heifers are also vaccinated with ViraShield and Covexin Plus. They will be treated with Dectomax and given Scourguard prior to sale day.
The 2017 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on December 17th at Westerner Park.
2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale Report
A gorgeous week-end with sunny skies formed an appropriate prelude to the 2016 Edition of Transcon’s Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on Monday March 21st, where a very strong set of Simmental Genetics were presented to an enthusiastic group of commercial and purebred cattlemen.
The excellent selection of quality bulls from both purebred and traditional Simmental breeders led the sale to maintain the strong results achieved in 2015. 62 bulls sold with an average of $6 859, an increase of $100 over last year.
Sale highlights included another great lead-off string from Starwest Farms, who provided the high seller with lot 31 Starwest Pol Combine, an impressive heavyweight that combined their top Fleckvieh and purebred genetics. For the second consecutive year, the renowned JNR program brought 4 of the top bulls to town – averaging a very consistent $12,625. On the purebred side, new consigners Red Top Livestock also had a very exciting debut – their top two bulls averaged $16,000, and they had a very impressive overall line-up.
The Applecross bulls continued to be well received. Some highlights are as follows:
- Our high-sellers on the day were two WowEffect sons, as both APLX Warner 5C and APLX Waylon 8C were selected for $8,000. Waylon is now at work in the legendary Eagle Ridge herd, under the close eye of Danny and Loretta Blain. Warner is headed north to Kaitlyn Matters and 4 Matt Simmentals at Vermillion
- Gordon Leslie ‘swept the page’ and purchased all three of our more moderate calving ease bulls that were lots 68-70. APLX Phoenix, APLX Reno and APLX Cairo will all be making their home near Leslieville, AB.
- In total, 7 of our bulls found homes within 30 minutes of Applecross, so we look forward to being able to keep a close eye on their progeny.
We would like to thank all the bidders and cattlemen who took the time to inquire and inspect the bulls we had on offer. With our larger numbers this year, we experienced a tremendous amount of interest – both in visiting with us on-farm prior to the sale and then through the pens on sale week-end itself. We felt our bull string really showcased our breeding philosophy, so it is very gratifying to see their acceptance in the industry.
Once again we also thank Transcon for all of the work that they do working the phones and managing the sale. Jay Good and his team always put on a first class, professional event that we are proud to take part in.
With bull sale season wrapped up, our attention turns to breeding season, and our never-ending quest to provide new, better and different genetics to share with the industry.
2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale: Our Deepest and Most Diverse Bull String Yet
We are pleased to present nine herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on Monday, March 21st at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is our sixth year at this event, and we are proud to be included in the strong offering that is always presented by this progressive group of breeders.
We are proud to say that our 2016 offering will be our deepest and most diverse bull string yet – clearly showcasing our breeding philosophy. We firmly believe that the future will bring an increased herd size on the same amount of available labour. This means that with less labour available on a per cow basis, birth weights will come down to improve calving ease, and that gradually more and more horns will be bred off the cattle. We have moved slowly to incorporate the polled gene into our herd, as our goal is to try and accomplish this while maintaining the strong performance and mothering ability the Simmental breed is known for. In a market that suggests the North American cow-herd is (at long last) expanding, we think our bulls on offer all provide the maternal characteristics that will produce tremendous replacement females.
Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for all nine of our bulls on offer.
At the top of the pen are the first sons to be offered at auction from FGAF WowEffect, an exciting young sire selected by (my father) Ross Small of Dora Lee Genetics as his pick of the Gagnon 2013 bull calves at their September production sale that year. We were successful in obtaining an exclusive interest in the bull, and these first WowEffect calves are really impressive. ‘Warner’, ‘Waylon’, ‘Windsor’ and ‘Watson’ all come loaded with hair and are heavily pigmented. The bulls showcase plenty of power while maintaining moderate birth weights and we are very excited to see what they will bring to the industry.
The ‘Wow’ sons are joined by 5 other polled herd sire prospects, out of some of our foundation cow families. The youngest bulls in our offering, ‘Sawyer’ and ‘Eastwood’ are sired by APLX Sampson and APLX Escalade respectively, whose daughters were very well received at the recent 2015 Fleckvieh Equation sale. ‘Phoenix’ is a really intriguing son by Dora Lee’s Platinum – another exclusive pedigreed sire developed in Ontario. Rounding out our bull pen are two bulls that bring highly maternal packages to the table; both are out of first calf heifers. ‘Reno’ is a Radium son by a Bronson/Arnold’s Image dam, while ‘Cairo’ combines the calving ease of Sanmar Pol Pharao with Gidsco Appollo and Sunny Valley Sargeant.
We want to ensure our bulls will work for many years, so feet, legs and temperament are very important traits for us. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, and have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction. All nice bulls are quiet and used to being around people. We like working and walking through docile cattle, and feel the herd bull should be no exception.
On the individual pages, we have also pictured the sires, dams and grand dams. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding cow family. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
The 2016 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on March 21th at Westerner Park
2015 Fleckvieh Equation Sale Report
Transcon’s Fleckvieh Equation Fullblood Simmental Sale wrapped up the Alberta Simmental Week-end with a bang on Sunday, December 20th. Sunny skies and a standing room only crowd watched as 70 lots of Fleckvieh genetics rolled through the ring to average just shy of $9,200.
In what is becoming a sale tradition, 6 heifers from the impressively deep Beechinor Brothers string led off the sale with 4 of the first 6 heifers topping the $20,000 threshold. The highseller was Lot 4, a massively volumed daughter out of the outcross Great Guns TX Mac bull.
After a very successful 2014, the number of herd bulls on offer at Equation continued to expand, with no decline in quality. The lead bull was once again from the renowned JNR program, who presented TITANIUM to the industry, and who in turn sold for $54,000 to Black Gold Simmental and Beechinor Brothers.
Not to be outdone, the selection of heifer calves on offer was the strongest it has been in years. The high seller was Lot 45, an impressive open from Jayshaw Simmentals, that was acquired by Anchor D Ranch / Dan & Karen Skeels for $10,500.
Our six Applecross heifers were very well received, with our high seller, Applecross Candice, being selected by Sunville Simmentals, McCreary MB for $11,750. Applecross Tessanne ($10,000) is also changing provinces, joining Brett Keet’s polled program in Dalmeny SK, and we are quite excited to have Applecross Pearl ($9,000) join the highly regarded Eagle Ridge operation here in Alberta. ‘Carly’, ‘Gabrielle’ and ‘Emerald’ also found great homes in Central Alberta, and it is great that they will be close by for us to keep an eye on.
In addition to the above noted high-sellers, I thought we would share some additional thoughts on the 2015 Edition of Fleckvieh Equation:
– we cannot say enough about how impressive the Beechinor bred heifer string was. 8 lots representing 7 different sire groups averaged an awesome $17,280; which amazingly topped their $15,780 average on 8 breds a year ago. Sustained fantastic results for a great family, which only showcases the depth of their program.
– The Big Sky offering was also quite notable. Ever since they started bringing cattle from Manitoba to the first National Trust event, we have kept a close eye on their program, and it was great to see their very deep string have a great day – their 5 Fleckvieh bred heifers averaged just shy of $13,000. We were fortunate enough to bring one (lot 38) home to Applecross, and are quite happy to now have the ‘Big Sky’ prefix walking here.
– Bring back the Bulls! After re-introducing a couple of herd bulls at Equation in 2014, the prices on the 6 Fleckvieh bulls offered in 2015 were very impressive. Even after excluding the $54,000 high seller, the remaining 5 bulls averaged $11,400 – outstanding results for a number of great breeders, and hopefully just a hint of good things to come as we move deeper into bull sale season.
– We were also successful in acquiring lot 63, Parview Ms Rayen to add to our open heifer pen. We have always been impressed with the Bar None Bernadette cow family, and had followed the genetics from Big Sky to Virginia Ranch and then jumped at the opportunity to select this female from Brad Parker. An outcross pedigree for us, with the intriguing JB CDN Windwalker as a sire, gives us plenty of options for this fine little lady.
We would be remiss not to recognize the team at Transcon for doing a tremendous job working the phones and managing the sale – They are always a quality, professional sales management team. I don’t think I have ever seen them as busy as they were this week-end – there was tremendous interest in the cattle, and all of the sales staff were consistently on the phone while inspecting cattle for prospective buyers.
It was another great day to present Applecross cattle at auction, and we are honoured by the compliments received on our cattle from all the bidders and buyers that took interest in our program. With 2016 just starting up, we look forward to calving season and another step in that ongoing effort to produce high-quality genetics that we can share with the industry.
Applecross Presents our 2015 Fleckvieh Equation Females
We are pleased to present six bred heifers at Transcon’s 2015 Fleckvieh Equation Sale on December 20th, at 1pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This will be our third year selling females at this prestigious event, and we are proud to be part of this progressive group of breeders.
All six of this year’s bred heifers are sired by our two senior walking bulls, APLX Escalade and APLX Samson. Although, it can be a challenge in maintaining genetic diversity when utilizing bulls that carry your own prefix, advantages can be found in having detailed knowledge of the respective cow families. As mentioned many times in the past, cow families are important to us and, for both of these herd sires, we have almost 25 years of experience working with their genetic lines. We feel this approach adds a lot of consistency to our program.
The three Escalade heifers – ‘Tessanne’, ‘Emerald’, and ‘Pearl’- represent three very different cow families that have blended together to form an intriguing group. ‘Emerald’ is from the Dora Lee Elexis cow family and looks very similar to Applecross Emma that was our high seller in last year’s Equation Sale – not a surprise when they are closely related on both sides of their pedigrees! ‘Pearl’ is a direct daughter of Spruceburn Pauline, a powerful Painter cow that has a little more frame than her pen mates. And finally, ‘Tessanne’ is the only polled heifer we have in our offering, going back to the HEMR Tasha cow family that has been very successful for us. Together, these 3 Escalade daughters provide great examples of the kind of offspring he is creating for us.
As you would expect from a star-headed sire, Samson’s three daughters are all dark red and heavily pigmented. From a cow-family perspective, it is now Dora Lee Christina’s turn to shine in the spotlight. Having sired two sons (and a grandson) working in purebred herds, it great to finally be able to showcase her cow-making ability in daughter ‘Candice’ and grand-daughter ‘Carly’. The third Samson daughter, ‘Gabrielle,’ is also out of a Dora Lee dam – and yields an intriguing combination of Arnold’s Image and Sim Roc C&B Western. When you see these three in a pen together on sale day, you will notice the great daughters Samson is leaving us.
Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of ‘Tessanne’, ‘Pearl’, ‘Emerald’, ‘Candice’, ‘Carly’ and ‘Gabrielle’. On the individual pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings – hopefully, sharing pictures will provide a better glimpse into the extended pedigree.
The heifers have all been tie-broke and have quiet temperaments. We preg-checked in mid-October, and the vet feels that all six are safe to early breeding dates – if not AI, then only 3 weeks later.
The Heifers are also vaccinated with ViraShield and Covexin Plus. They will be treated with Dectomax and given Scourguard prior to sale day.
The 2015 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on December 20th at Westerner Park.
Our Entries to Transcon’s 2015 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale
We are pleased to present four herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2015 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on Monday, March 23rd at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is our fifth year at this event, and we are proud to be included in the strong offering that is always presented by this progressive group of breeders.
Our 2015 offering continues to showcase our breeding philosophy. We firmly believe that the future will bring an increased herd size on the same amount of available labour. This means that with less labour available on a per cow basis, birth weights will come down to improve calving ease, and that gradually more and more horns will be bred off the cattle. Our goal is to try and accomplish this while maintaining the strong performance and mothering ability the Simmental breed is known for. In a market that suggests the North American cow-herd is (at long last) expanding, we think our bulls on offer all provide the maternal characteristics that will produce awesome replacement females.
Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for our four bulls on offer: ‘Clancy’, ‘Encore’, ‘Boston’ and ‘Stirling’.
At the top of the pen is Clancy – a well-made Canyon son from Virgina Ms Zillow, the high selling Fullblood at the 2013 Cow-A-Rama Sale. Heavily pigmented and cherry red to his hooves, Clancy packs a punch while also strutting out with style. With two generations of calving ease stacked in his pedigree, we have been very impressed with the thickness and depth Clancy has developed.
Our second bull, ‘Encore,’ is this years’ standout Dora Lee’s Equinox son. This is the fifth year in a row that an Equinox son has topped our performance tables. We may be biased, but we believe Equinox to be the best homozygous Fleckvieh bull available. Like his sire, Encore showcases the tremendous volume and length of spine that Equinox is known for.
‘Boston’ has the most frame of our bulls on offer, and has developed a massive square hip that extends well down his leg. A direct Bronson son, Boston is out of a very moderate dam who puts everything into her calves – she also produced our high-selling heifer at the 2014 Fleckvieh Equation sale. Boston will be fully filled out at sale day, and we expect him to be very impressive.
The last bull in our offering is ‘Stirling’ who, while almost a month younger than his pen-mates, has kept up with the big boys all winter. A unique, double polled package comes together in this cherry-red, heavily pigmented bull.
We want to ensure our bulls will work for many years, so feet, legs and temperament are very important traits for us. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, and have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction. All four bulls are quiet and have been tie-broke. We like working and walking through docile cattle, and feel the herd bull should be no exception. All four bulls have also been tested free of the diluter gene via Igenity.
On the individual pages, we have also pictured the sires, dams and grand dams (Boston’s page in particular has 6 generations of the cow-family pictured). Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding cow family. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
The 2015 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on March 23th at Westerner Park
2014 Fleckvieh Equation Sale Report
The 2014 Alberta Simmental Week-end wrapped up with a bang on Sunday December 22nd, with Transcon’s Fleckvieh Equation Sale placing the exclamation point on an amazing week-end for the Simmental industry.
Unseasonably mild temperatures, combined with a record cattle market and very deep set of cattle, led to the largest crowd in attendance for quite a number of years. The sale was led off by the first four lots (lots 2-5) from the high-end Beechinor Brothers string, which averaged an incredible $19,000. Their group was highlighted by Lot 5, a Radium x Viper bred heifer carrying a BRINKS BULLETPROOF pregnancy, that sold for $31,000 to Starwest Farms of BC. Overall, the first string of 13 bred heifers showcased the incredible depth to the sale, averaging just under $14,000.
For the first time in a few years, two elite herd sire prospects were put on offer. JNR brought two burly rascals to town; JNR’s Philosophy sold to Crossroad Farms for $40,000 and JNR’s Warrior sold to Ricochet Stock Farms for $11,500.
Our five Applecross Females were all in the second group of bred heifers to move through the ring. Dora Lee Eclipse continues to get it done for us, as his two daughters led off our string, with Applecross Emma being selected for $9,000 (our high seller) by the Beechinor Brothers of Bentley, and her running mate, Applecross Alicia ($6,100) is slated to join the polled program of Brooks Simmentals from Turtleford, SK. O Double E Simmentals from Grande Prairie purchased Applecross Whitney for $6,750; Applecross Rhianna was acquired by Riley Edwards, Skywest Simmentals, from Didsbury for $6,700. We were especially pleased to see repeat customer, Barney Beechinor (who is currently walking APLX Edge in the renowned 400-cow-strong Beechinor commercial herd), select Applecross Glory for $6,000. Overall, it was a tremendous day in Red Deer on December 21st. Once again Transcon put on a tremendous event – working the phones and showcasing the cattle to ensure a top quality, well managed sale.
It was a great day to present Applecross genetics for auction, and we were humbled and honoured by the amount of interest we had in our program. With 2015 just around the corner, we look forward to the start to calving season, and another step in that ongoing effort to produce high-quality genetics that we can share with the industry
Applecross Cattle Present our 2014 Equation Females
We are pleased to present five bred heifers at Transcon’s 2014 Fleckvieh Equation Sale on December 21th, at 1pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. After an exciting debut in 2013, we are proud to once again be part of this prestigious event.
Our 2014 sale string really showcases the genetics that form the core of our walking group. Cow families are very important to us, and as such we have taken a slow approach to building our herd. This way, the maternal lines can develop, and we can watch and compare as the younger generations work alongside their matriarchs.
Progeny from three of our founding cow families will be represented for the first time – Applecross Emma is a barrel of an Eclipse daughter tracing back to the Dora Lee Evangaline (Sim Roc C&B Western) cow family; Applecross Glory is a very feminine Anchor T Ikon daughter going back to the Dora Lee Gretchen (Arnold’s Image) cow family; Applecross Rhianna is a dark red, heavily pigmented Bronson daughter, out of our Dora Lee Jewel (Rangemore Carrousel) cow family. Not to be outshone by their running mates, we are also offering Applecross Alicia who represents progeny from the JB CDN Amethyst cow family, as well as Applecross Whitney, who is descended from the master breeders at Brock Ranches. All five heifers are solid coloured with moderate frames, yet tons of volume – exactly the types of females we think will turn into awesome cows.
Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of ‘Rhianna’, ‘Emma’, ‘Alicia’, ‘Glory’ and ‘Whitney’. The heifers have all been tie-broke and have quiet temperaments. We preg-checked in late October, and the vet feels that all five are safe to their AI breeding. With a later sale date this year, we do expect all five to be very heavy in calf, and should any purchasers be from out-of-province, we would be happy to bring them back to Applecross and calve them out. The Heifers are also vaccinated with ViraShield Gold and Covexin Plus. They will be treated with Scour-Guard prior to sale day. On the individual pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings. Maternal lies are very important to us, and we feel that behind each outstanding female, is an outstanding cow family. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual heifer profiles that can be e-mailed and printed or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
The 2014 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on December 21th at Westerner Park.
2014 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale Report
Sunny skies, and mild weather welcomed the 2014 edition of Transcon’s Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on Monday March 17th, where a very strong group of Simmental genetics were presented to commercial and purebred cattlemen alike.
Almost 50 bulls were on offer, and averaged a very respectable $4,800. Sale highlights included a very impressive string of bulls from Starwest Farms of Chilliwack BC, who led off the sale with the $13,500 high seller going to Eagle Ridge Simmentals of Olds, Alberta, and had several other high sellers through-out the day.
We were quite happy with how our three Applecross bulls were received:
– Our high seller of the day was APLX Javar 18A, who sold for $8,000 to Troy Cerny / Diamond T Simmentals of Barrhead. We think Javar has tremendous potential, so it will be exciting to see what he does on the strong cows at Diamond T.
– APLX Bradshaw 20A was selected by the Letts Family / Bar None of Westlock for $6,200. We are excited to see our genetics go to work at such a legendary breeding program.
– Connie Crouch of Sundre selected APLX Elway 5A for $4,000 – Elway was our ‘heavyweight’ bull of the day, weighing in at 1565lbs.
We would like to thank all of our bidders and buyers for supporting our program. It is our goal to bring a set of bulls to town every year that showcase what our breeding philosophy is all about. We feel we accomplished this objective in 2014, and it is reassuring for us as producers when long time purebred and commercial cattlemen express interest (and are successful) in acquiring our genetics.
We would be remiss if we didn’t also recognize the job that Transcon does in working the phones for bids, and managing the Red Deer Bull Sale. Jay Good and his team always put on a first-class event that we are proud to be a part of.
With our bull sale now in the rear-view mirror, we look forward to the start of breeding season and our ongoing challenge of developing more and different genetics for future years.
Our Entries to Transcon’s 2014 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale
We are pleased to present three herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2014 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on March 17th at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is our fourth year at this event, and we are proud to be included in the strong offering that is always presented by this progressive group of breeders.
This year’s group features the Dora Lee Christina cow family. Christina was one of the founding females we selected from Dora Lee (with daughter Caitlin at side) to form the core of our herd. She has two daughters working here, but is probably best known for being the dam of APLX Santana, the $11,000 bull selected by Vaughn Gibbons at Cow-A-Rama in 2011. Christina sends a Dora Lee Jake son to town this year – ‘Javar’ is a really intriguing dark red, heavily pigmented, moderate frame bull that has developed into a real head turner (and is pictured above). Her daughter Caitlin also has a neat bull on offer – ‘Bradshaw’ a dark red Bronson son, loaded with volume and style. We think you will be impressed with what this cow family has to offer.
Our third bull, ‘Elway,’ is this years’ standout smooth polled Dora Lee’s Equinox. Like his sire, Elway showcases the tremendous volume and length of spine that sire Equinox is known for. We may be biased, but we believe Equinox to be the best homozygous Fleckvieh bull available. Now with four calf crops on the ground, his daughters are also coming into production, suggesting that Equinox also excels as a cow maker.
Our 2014 offering also showcases a glimpse into our breeding philosophy. We firmly believe that the future will bring an increased herd size on the same amount of available labour. This means that with less labour available on a per cow basis, birth weights will come down to improve calving ease, and that gradually more and more horns will be bred off the cattle. Our goal is to try and accomplish this while maintaining the strong performance and mothering ability the Simmental breed is known for.
We also want to ensure our bulls will work for many years, so feet, legs and temperament are very important traits for us. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, and have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction. All three bulls are quiet and have been tie-broke. We like working and walking through docile cattle, and feel the herd bull should be no exception.
Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for ‘Javar’, ‘Bradshaw’, and ‘Elway’. Please note that all three of the bulls are later born (Jan 27-Feb 7) so they will be almost a month younger than a lot of their peers at the sale barn. The tightly grouped birth dates, and moderate birth weights (92-95lbs), should allow for ready appraisal of the different characteristics these three bulls possess. On the individual pages, we have also pictured the sires, dams and grand dams. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding cow family. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
Transcon’s Fleckvieh Equation Fullblood Simmental Sale wrapped up on Sunday, December 15th, and overall we are quite pleased with how our first ever female sale turned out. Despite a prior-to-event setback, which resulted in Cassie withdrawing from the sale, Iris and Mariah carried the Applecross prefix very well.
A gorgeous, sunny December day meant a capacity crowd was on hand to see this triple header – 44 lots of fullbloods and 44 lots of purebred Simmentals were joined by a massive frozen genetic selection to create a unique genetic opportunity in a one day event. A pair of awesome bred heifers from Langer Fleckvieh of Edson, AB led off the sale with Prospect Hill earning the right to pick for $20,000. The Beechinor Brothers of Bentley followed that up by presenting a pair of donor caliber breds, the choice of which was also selected by Prospect Hill for $19,750. Our very own Applecross Iris was next in the ring, and sold for $7,500 to James Creek Simmentals of Heaton, North Dakota. We are quite pleased with the result, and will be calving out Iris prior to sending her to her new home. We are also quite happy that later on in the sale, Applecross Mariah was selected by Ashley Berkholtz of Berwest Simmentals at Bittern Lake for $4,800. Mariah is already at her new home, and we look forward to hopefully seeing some progeny at future Fleckvieh sales.
In addition to the above noted high-sellers, other Equation highlights include:
– Crossroad Farms selected a powerful bred heifer from Wolfe Fleckvieh for $12,000
– Keato Meadows sold choice of herd bull prospects to Jason Boone for $11,500
– Alliance Simmentals were successful bidders on an excellent bred heifer from BLI Simmentals for $11,000
We found it quite impressive that the nine high-selling lots came from 6 different programs, showcasing the tremendous depth and diversity of this Fleckvieh event. Including semen and embryos, this years’ Fleckvieh Equation Sale grossed just under $350,000 on 68 total lots, for an average of $5,147. We would be remiss not to recognize the team at Transcon for doing a tremendous job working the phones and managing the sale – They are always a quality, professional sales management team.
As this was our first time selling females to the public, we were both humbled and honored with the number of compliments our heifers received throughout the week-end from peers in the purebred industry. We strive to produce top quality cattle, and it is truly wonderful that both heifers landed in top quality programs where, hopefully, we will see their genetic influence down the road. With our first ever females now sold, we are currently enjoying a short break over the Christmas season, which will be followed directly by the onset of calving. Next years’ calf crop is just around the corner!
Applecross Cattle Present our First Three Females to Sell
We are pleased to present three bred heifers at Transcon’s 2013 Fleckvieh Equation Sale on December 15th, at 1pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This will be our first time selling females to the public, and we are proud to be part of this prestigious event.
For our first year, we thought it important to showcase females with genetics that form the core of our herd. Applecross Mariah is a polled, moderate framed heifer out of a Wellhouse Kestrel dam and sired by Dora Lee Eclipse – A bull that has certainly left his mark on our program. Applecross Iris is a powerful Sanmar Polled Pharao daughter that cranks up the volume in an intriguing double polled package. The youngest heifer, Applecross Cassie, may represent the only opportunity to publicly purchase a Spruceburn Starfire daughter. All three heifers are dark red, heavily pigmented females with moderate frames yet tons of volume – exactly the types of females we think will turn into cow-makers. It is also no surprise that the two females from the Eclipse line are bred Pharao, and the other is a Pharao bred Eclipse. Good bulls that are more than just ‘heifer bulls’ are extremely hard to find, so when we find ones we like, it is no surprise they get crossed back on each other. We like predictability!
Individual pages (short-cut links are on the right), have been created for each of ‘Mariah’, ‘Iris’ and ‘Cassie’. The heifers have all been tie-broke and have quiet temperaments. We preg-checked in mid-October and the vet feels that all three are safe to their AI dates. The Heifers are also vaccinated with ViraShield 6 and Covexin Plus. They will be treated with Dectomax prior to sale day. On the individual pages, we have also pictured their sires, dams and siblings. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind each outstanding female, is an outstanding cow family. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual heifer profiles that can be e-mailed and printed or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
The 2013 Fleckvieh Equation promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on December 15th at Westerner Park.
Our Entries to the 2013 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale
We are pleased to present three herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2013 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on March 18th at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is our third year at this event, and we are proud to be included in the strong offering that is always presented by this progressive group of breeders.
This year’s group consists of two Gidsco Appollo sons (Axel, Ajax), and one from Dora Lee’s Equinox (Edge). The Appollo sons both combine their sires’ dark red colour and maternal strengths and each are backed by outstanding cow families. Ajax also has the intriguing twist of being scurred/polled. As an Equinox son, Edge is also scurred/polled, and showcases the tremendous volume and length of spine that Equinox is becoming known for. Please note that both Ajax and Edge were registered as polled calves, but since that time they have each developed small scurs, which we have left on and that you will notice in the pictures. All three bulls show lots of muscling, and have tremendous hair coats.
Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for ‘Axel’, ‘Ajax’ and ‘Edge’. The bulls have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, have been tie-broke, and have quiet temperaments. On the individual pages, we have also pictured the sires, dams and grand dams. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding cow family. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
The 2013 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on March 18th at Westerner Park.
Update: As of February 28th, all three bulls measured up nicely and have passed their semen test. Scrotal Circumferences have been addded to their respective individual pages. Next Stop: Red Deer.
The Applecross Year In Review
2012 was an incredible year for Applecross. We hit a lot of milestones and are very pleased with how our operation continued to grow and evolve during the year.
We had some mild weather to begin the year, and that certainly made calving easier. It is not every year that calves can be born outside on the straw-pack without losing their tails or freezing their ears! We were almost three-quarters heifers to bulls in 2012 – which is great when you are trying to increase your herd numbers. While the mild weather created its own set of (health) challenges with the calves, we were quite happy with how they developed.
Bulls sales in 2012 far exceeded our expectations. Unexpectedly, at the end of 2011, Envoy was selected for the National Trust sale. As a result, we began the year with a visit to Lonnie & Karen Brown in late February, to deliver him to his new home and tour their operation. Not long after that, we got the chance to deliver Santana up to Edson, giving us the chance to see both the Wa-Na-La-Pa and Langer herds (and check out APLX Ensign in his home). Touring herds is one of my favourite things to do, so it doesn’t matter if it is February – seeing good cattle and visiting with great people is always a great way to spend a day. We were also pleased by how our bulls sold at auction in 2012. We were both honoured and humbled to see both Jackson (who sold in March at the Red Deer Sale for $12,000 to Westgold Simmentals) and Santana (who Wayne sold in the 2012 Cow-A-Rama sale for $11,000 to Vaughn Gibbons) represent the APLX prefix so well. It always takes time for bulls to make an impact in a breeders program, but we look forward to visiting all of these operations in 2013 to see how Envoy, Jackson and Santana are doing.
Lots of moisture in June and July led into a warm August and plenty of grass for the cattle. We didn’t vacation this summer, so there was plenty of time to halter break calves in July and complete farm improvements in August. We added space to winter mature bulls this year, so that was a major accomplishment for us. We also spent time improving our rotational grazing program, and making more efficient use of space and labour to help us manage additional cow numbers.
Heading into the fall sale season, it was great to see such excellent results, and see our fellow breeders having the success that they enjoyed. On the home front, we were successful in aquiring an additional bred heifer privately from my parents operation. Dora Lee Martina is a big, strong Broadway daughter that I think will fit in nicely with our young herd. The sale season also brought the opportunity to travel to Brandon to the National Trust sale, and while there I really enjoyed both visiting with fellow breeders and touring some world-class purebred operations. The sales seemed to get stronger as the year went on, and we weren’t successful purchasing females closer to home. The market for quality cattle has become very strong, and it is a great sign for the Simmental breed as the cattle market takes a much needed turn for the better.
I commented last year on the success of our website – and I thought it only fitting to provide an update again this year. 2012 brought additional visitors; with almost 10,000 views from over 87 countries during the year. We also worked with my parents to launch an updated Dora Lee website (www.doraleegenetics.com) utilizing the WordPress platform. Mom and Dad are able to manage and post updates to their site themselves, so it is another example of how easy establishing and maintaining a current web presence has become. We look forward to another exciting year in 2013 of providing updates on our operation, and sharing our perspective on topics that interest us.
Looking forward to 2013
For 2013, we are excited about what should be our largest, most uniform calf crop yet. We start calving about the 10th of January, and thanks to some good luck with our AI program, and having our walking bulls go right to work, we should be done calving in 2 months. We are expecting calves from 10 different sires, so there should be lots of diversity, but the similar ages of the calves should allow us to effectively compare the genetics. We have a number of cows bred to sires that have proven to work here in the past (Eclipse, Equinox, and Pharao to name three), but have also added some new sires, including a group bred to the great Bronson bull, as well as the first calves from our two young walking bulls – APLX Escalade and APLX Samson. It should be a awesome 2 months.
Early in the new year has also become the time of bull sales, and it appears like several events have moved earlier in the season. Based on how purebred heifers sold this fall, strong cattle prices, and the gradual rebuilding of cow numbers in the industry, I expect bull sales to be exceptional. Getting a different catalogue in the mail (seemingly) every day, is an exciting part of our search for new and outcross genetics. We also look forward to watching our three bulls develop in preparation for the Red Deer Sale in late March. We think Axel, Edge and Ajax all have something to offer the industry, so it will be great to watch them continue to develop.
Hard on the heels of bull sale season, comes some tough breeding decisions. While we still plan to AI extensively, we are planning on increasing our use of both of our walking bulls. With Escalade and Samson wintering here, they have continued to impress, and I think they will be more than up to the challenge of breeding a few more cows each in 2013.
In a lot of ways, the next few months are critical to the success of an operation. Getting healthy calves on the ground (and off to a good start), followed immediately thereafter by breeding decisions that can shape a program for years to come. Those night checks might get old after a few weeks, but the excitement that comes with seeing that healthy new-born calf, from a mating that you had such high hopes for, will make it all worthwhile.
As 2012 wraps up, and 2013 is about to begin, we pause during this holidays season to reflect with family and friends on the challenges and successes we have enjoyed over the past year. We are blessed to live in an amazing country, with fresh air, clean water and the means to put food on the table. We have a passion for breeding quality Fleckvieh cattle, and we are very fortunate to be able to pursue this dream through our operation here at Applecross. We look forward to an awesome 2013!
2012 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale Report
With a winter storm blowing into the eastern part of the province, we were pleased to see sunny skies and a capacity crowd in Red Deer to watch 94 bulls sell on Monday, March 19th. First into the ring was ‘Beech Bro Booster 52Y’ an impressive Upgrade son, who created lots of excitement and ended up topping the sale for $25,000 to Kopp Farms Simmentals in Manitoba.
Our very own APLX Jackson 3Y was the 5th bull in the second group of Fullbloods. After strong interest from some fellow purebred breeders, Jackson was purchased by West Gold Simmentals of Minburn, AB for $12,000. We were both humbled and honoured with the result, and look forward to Jackson getting to work with the fine herd that Ken Gilbert has developed over the years. We would also like to thank Keato Meadows, Little Willow Creek and Big Sky Simmentals for all showing interest in Jackson on sale day. We have added Jackson to our ‘Applecross @ Work’ section, and look forward to providing updates on his development.
Other sale highlights include: Lot 20 ‘Beech Bros Anarchy 604Y’ – a nice red IPU Revlolution son that sold to DGR Cattle Co. for $14,500 and Lot 1 ‘Beech Bros Cobra 69Y’ an impressive Anchor D Viper son that sold to Champ Simmentals for $12,000. As you can see from the high seller list, the Beechinor cattle were extremely well received. Overall the sale grossed $455,000 on 94 lots, for an average of $4,840. Bulls sold to all the Western Provinces, with 6 bulls topping the $10,000 threshold; emphasizing the deep pool of breeder quality bulls that were available in Red Deer.
Once again, we were pleased to be a part of this great showcase of the Simmental breed.
We are pleased to present two herd bull prospects at Transcon’s 2012 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale on March 19th at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. This is our second year at this event, and we are proud to be included in the strong offering that is always presented by this progressive group of breeders.
Both of this year’s entries are sired by Dora Lee Jake. I was with Dad when he purchased Jake’s dam, MRLN Josette, as an open heifer from the 1995 Fleck Select sale. We were incredibly happy when the legendary Bob Gordon selected Jake, her first son, to go to stud at ALTA in 1998; and now, 12 years later, we are able to tap into these proven Fleckvieh genetics in our own herd here at Applecross. While Jake may be better known for his daughters (Dora Lee Amelia – a flush cow at Wa-Na-La-Pa, and Dora Lee Elexis – dam of Dora Lee Eclipse and donor in the Anchor D program), we are quite impressed with how these two sons have developed. Both bulls balance the performance of their sire with strong maternal traits from their young dams.
Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for both ‘Joshua’ and ‘Jackson’. Both bulls are heavily pigmented, have moderate (90-100 lb) birth weights, show lots of muscling, and have tremendous hair coats. The bulls have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay, combined with a forage based pellet by Country Junction. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, have been tie-broke, and have quiet temperaments.
On the individual pages, we have also pictured the dams. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding mother. We also have additional information and pictures available about the maternal grand dams; should it be of interest. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
The 2012 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale promises to be another exciting event. We look forward to a great day on March 19th at Westerner Park.
Individual pages (short-cut links are located in the right-hand column) have been created for our three bull entries to the 2011 Red Deer Bull Sale to be held on Monday, March 21, 2011 at 1:00pm at Westerner Park, Red Deer, Alberta. The 2011 edition will represent our first genetics to sell by auction, and we are pleased to be a part of this great event.
The three bulls selected represent the best of our 2010 bull calf crop. We weaned September 3rd, 2010, evaluated the calves, and then culled thoroughly. These three bulls are all solid colour, heavily pigmented, have moderate (90-100lb) birth weights, show lots of muscling, have tremendous hair coats and are backed by strong, often unique, pedigrees. The bulls have been developed on a ration of free-choice quality first cut hay combined with 10lbs/day of mixed grain, formulated to 12% protein. To ensure they are in shape for breeding season, the grain ration was increased to 12lbs/day on February 1st. The bulls are housed in a 5 acre paddock to ensure lots of exercise, they have all been at least tie-broke, and all have a quiet temperament. In short, we have raised them to be the type of bulls we would wish to buy for ourselves, and feel they will go out and get the job done.
Thanks to their sire, all three bulls are scurred and may pass the polled gene along to their offspring. In 2009 we were selected to help ‘prove’ an exciting new homozygous polled bull that was the result of 10 years of development – Dora Lee’s Equinox. We are very pleased with how his first calf crop has performed, will continue to use him extensively. Thanks to his development in Ontario, we also believe his genetics are outcross to the vast majority of Fleckvieh lines in Western Canada. These three bulls will also represent the only Equinox sons to sell publicly in 2011.
On the individual pages, we have also pictured the dams. Maternal lines are very important to us, and we feel that behind every great bull is an outstanding mother. We also have additional information and pictures available about the maternal grand dams; should it be of interest. As some people prefer paper copies, we also have individual bull profiles available in PDF format that can be e-mailed and printed, or sent by regular mail. Please let us know if you would like any additional information on any of our animals.
The 2011 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale will be a very exciting time for us. We look forward to seeing the first Applecross genetics sell March 21 at Westerner Park.
Picture Note: The above picture of ‘Ensign’ taken in October of 2010. We really like this picture of Ensign, as it showcases his tremendous volume and heavy muscling, but wanted to use a current ‘winter’ picture in order to have consistent maturity with the other bulls in the catalogue and on his web-page.
We are officially half way finished calving – so far, so good. We survived a couple of really brutal weeks of weather; during which, we were fortunate enough to convince the cows to calve inside. The calving barn is at least out of the wind, and not quite as cold. This week has been mild, so it has been nice to see the calves bouncing around the yard playing.
There have been a number of interesting calves to date; both bulls and heifers. Pictured here are two of the girls – (5 day old) Taylor who is a Gidsco Appollo by our Hiemstra cow, Tasha; and (2 week old) Janelle, an Anchor T Ikon heifer from Dora Lee Jasmine. We think very highly of both dams (they are both featured on our ‘Young Guns’ page), and we are excited to be able to grow both cow families. I hope to feature some of our other exciting calves in future posts.
I am very fortunate to have been raised in a photo-friendly family. My mom took a lot of pictures while I was growing up, and her love of photography meant there was almost always a camera around. Thankfully, Mom’s interest in pictures included ‘nature’ photography, as it meant a ‘rest’ from pictures for those of us who often tired of being in front of the camera. She took literally hundreds of cow-pictures each year. One of the underappreciated aspects of nature and cattle (whether it be sunrise, sunsets, dew-drops or autumn colours) is that they don’t tend to talk back, whine or complain to the photographer.
Well before the advent of computer editing and publishing, Mom took a lot of great cattle photos. This has created an incredible archive of pictures; giving us that timeless ability to see what generations upon generations of cattle look like . . . not to mention how sceneries and farmsteads change over the years! The attached photo is one that Mom took of our cow-herd (with our yard-site in the background) when she and Dad visited Applecross in the summer of 2010. With her permission, I hope to feature more of her photos in the future.
I also enjoy a taking a good picture, and feel it is a great way to showcase our operation. While the world has gotten a lot smaller, it is still not easy to visit every place that you’d like to go. Hopefully, some of the pictures posted here will serve as a bit of a ‘virtual tour’ of Applecross.