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.
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 @ the National Trust
I spent a few days in Manitoba for Transcon’s National Trust in early November. The sale had a large number of quality animals, and showcased the breed well under the big lights of the Brandon Livestock Expo.
I have attended all five of the National Trust sales, and really enjoy the concept. The idea that the best in Simmental genetics can be brought together in one sales event, in a ‘showcase’ type format, has a lot of merit, and over the past 5 years I think it has proven to be a resounding success. We were fortunate enough to be able to showcase a bull at each of the last two events, and with the success we experienced we thought it important to continue to support the sale in its new location.
While we weren’t successful purchasing any live lots, we did acquire 10 more doses of Anchor D Viper semen. We watched this bull sell, and originally acquired a semen package in the spring of 2011. This year Viper sired a couple of our top heifer calves, and we admired how his bull calves looked in the Beechinor string in Red Deer. With Viper’s passing away this summer, leading to questions around future availability, we thought it made sense to invest now in increasing our semen bank.
We are also impressed by Viper’s genomic profile that the John & Stephon Beechinor were willing to share with us. He has tested to be very feed efficient (top 1% of the breed), while still remaining above the breed average for ADG. Our two heifers also tested well, showcasing his ability to pass these genomic indicators to his offspring. While great genomic markers don’t mean a whole lot if you don’t like the calves, the combination of outstanding physical traits with great genetic potential is something that was worth the additional investment.
I really enjoyed the Brandon facility – having the barns, hotel and restaurants all under one roof was a pleasure – especially considering the 6 inches of snow we received on Friday. It is a concept that deserves merit at other locations (Agribition in Regina, Westerner Park here in Red Deer).
One of the hidden benefits of moving the Trust to Manitoba this year, was that it also allowed us Albertans an excuse to go and tour farm operations while we were in the province. While in Manitoba, we got to see both Kopp Farms and Big Sky Simmentals.
Kopp Farms had a tremendous group of about 100 bull calves; nicely weaned, all tie broke(!), and already strutting their stuff. I am far from being an expert in red Simmental genetics, but I thought the Crosby and Walker sons really stood out. On the heifer side, I really liked the Virginia Santiago calves. We really appreciated the time and Edmund and Pauline Kopp spent showing us their program.
Despite all the snow on the ground, I also really enjoyed touring Big Sky (at Amy and Trevor’s). While it wasn’t the home ranch, there were a lot of impressive bull calves and an awesome group of big, powerful Fleckvieh cows just finishing up on pasture. I have always admired the performance in the Big Sky cattle, and after seeing some of their cows and bull calves, it is clear that the power is backed up deep on equal sides of the pedigree.
Both of these herds have high quality cattle, from which I could envision acquiring genetics in the future, so it is great to be able to visit and get a closer insight into their operation. It was certainly a lot easier to get away in early November, than to try and juggle calving with attending their respective Feb-March bull sales. As both breeders had cattle in the sale itself, it was great that that they were able to take the time to tour us around their farms, despite being so busy. There are a number of other operations I’d like to visit in Manitoba, so here is hoping that I will be able to make it back to tour some more in the next few years.
While it was a short visit to Manitoba, it was great to see such great cattle and visit with such knowledgeable breeders – both in Brandon and on our tours in the countryside. I look forward to seeing what excitement the next edition of the National Trust brings.