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NZ Charolais bull still setting records

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An 11-year-old Silverstream Evolution Charolais bull has starred in two major Australian bull sales this month, setting some dollar records in retirement.
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Brent Fisher | September 23, 2020 from GlobalHQ on Vimeo.

Evolution’s sons, or grandsons, made up one-third of the Palgrove Charolais bulls offered on September 11 and one son called Pioneer sold for A$64,000, a stud record.

The average for the Evolution progeny was $21,133.

Palgrove set a new record breed average across 94 sold of $19,622, having held the previous record of $13,530 in 2006.

Silverstream principal Brent Fisher was delighted when Palgrove’s chief executive David Bondfield rang with the news.

“Cattle breeders over there have been through droughts and fires, and now covid-19, but they come back with such enthusiasm for herd expansion and top genetics,” he said.

On September 21, another big Queensland Charolais stud, Moongool, averaged nearly $18,000 with the six Evolution sons in the 75-lot catalogue.

An Australian record price for a Charolais bull of $83,000 was another of Evolution’s sons at Moongool, set three years ago.

The Price family of Moongool and the Bondfields of Palgrove jointly own the Australian semen rights to Evolution, sold in 2012 when he was a three-year-old.

Now, in a peaceful place at Silverstream on the Christchurch-Akaroa Road at Ataahua, the old bull has close to 600 progeny analysed in Breedplan Charolais and 50 daughters in the Silverstream stud.

Fisher says the bull’s popularity and longevity is a testament to his structural soundness that has led to top position in the breed on both sides of the Tasman Sea.

He also has progeny in the United Kingdom and Canada and he is just gaining traction in the United States, where breeders are reluctant to look overseas.

“Most studs in Australia and NZ have him in their pedigrees and five of his sons have gone from our sales to Australia,” he said.

“When many stud principals are looking to the next big thing, the continued use of Evolution for nine years and the prices paid for his sale bulls is quite extraordinary.

“I think his greatest attribute is this ability to continually put his stamp on progeny through generations over almost a decade – not many bulls remain popular for that long,” he said.

“After 11 years, I could take you to the spot on the farm where he was born, because he impressed so much at first sight.

“Even as a calf he was really something special and he grew up setting breeding values for growth rates.”

Evolution was sired by Silverstream Brumby out of a cow called Glossy when Fisher spotted her sire Ijoufflu in France as a stand-out and bought semen.

Brumby was by a Palgrove bull called Xcept that Brent’s father, Silverstream founder Bruce Fisher bought many years ago.

NZ and Australian Charolais breeding have remained closely connected since the Copland family began importing the breed from the UK and France in the 1960s.

Australian quarantine regulations prevented direct importations from Northern Hemisphere sources, so the Coplands and the Fishers provided semen and embryos from NZ.

The Fishers first leased then purchased the Copland’s Brookfield females.

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