Our Journey as Producers of Fleckvieh Simmental Cattle.

Posts tagged “Big Sky Simmentals

2015 Fleckvieh Equation Sale Report

Applecross Candice - Our High-Selling Female, selected by Sunville Simmentals, McCreary MB.

Applecross Candice – Our High-Selling Female, selected by Sunville Simmentals, McCreary MB.

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.


2013 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale Report

APLX Axel 5Z - High Selling bull at the 2013 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale

APLX Axel 5Z – High Selling bull at the 2013 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale

2013 Red Deer Simmental Bull Sale Report

After stormy weather on the week-end, it was nice to see sunny skies and a good crowd in Red Deer to watch 65 bulls sell on Monday, March 18th. First in the ring was a pair of excellent red Simmental bulls consigned by sale stalwarts, Oh Kay Farms.

The two reds were followed into the ring by our very own APLX Axel 5Z who was the lead off fullblood bull. After strong interest from some fellow purebred breeders, Axel was purchased by MI Simmentals – Mike Imler for $11,200. Axel ended up being the overall high seller of the day and we look forward to delivering him to Okotoks to his new home this week-end. It is great that he is staying here in Alberta, where we will be able to see future progeny in the Southern Alberta Simmental Round-up Sales.

Axel was followed in the sale by APLX Edge 4Z, who sold to Barney Beechinor of Bentley for $3,000 and APLX Ajax 15Z who sold to Conostoga Farms of Oyen for $5,500. We look forward to these two bulls going to work in commercial herds here in Alberta. We have added all three bulls to our ‘Applecross @ Work’ section, and hope to provide updates on their development in the future.

Other sale highlights included:
– Lot 28 ‘Champs Richlar’ – a nicely pigmented LRX Jiro son that sold from Champ Simmentals to Big Sky Simmentals of Treherne MB for $7,100
– Lot 41 ‘Starwest Pol Gravity’ an impressive JNR Gravity son that sold from Starwest Simmentals to Clearwater Simmentals of Olds for $6,000
– Lot 35 ‘Keato Pol Revved Up’ a powerful JNR’s Secret son from Keato Meadows Simmentals that was selected by Eagle Ridge Simmentals for $5,800.

Overall the sale grossed just over $236,000 on 65 lots, for an average of $3,632. 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.

Over the past three years, it has been great to be a part of the Red Deer Bull Sale and 2013 was certainly no exception. We were both humbled and honored with the number of compliments our pen of bulls received throughout the week-end from peers in the purebred industry and commercial cattlemen alike. We strive to produce top quality cattle, and can at times be our own worst critics, so it is wonderful to hear all the kind words. Not a year goes by that we don’t learn how to do things a little better for next year, and it is equally important to continue to receive tips and advice on how to make improvements to our program. With the bull sale now in the rear-view mirror, we look forward to the start of breeding season, and the challenge of developing more bulls for future years.


Applecross @ the National Trust.

Anchor D Viper – pictured Fall 2011 / photo courtesy Stephon Beechinor

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.