Canadian sire 120738 Westcoast River is one of the leading bulls in Semex New Zealand’s 2020 team.
The predominately black-coated 2018-born A2/A2 bull is a genomic sire who made his debut this year.
River’s Australian Balanced Performance Index (BPI) proof reflects his strong health and fertility traits.
He was seventh on the Holstein Friesian genomic ranking in April 2020, with a +404 BPI and scores of +104 for overall type and +103 for mammary system.
“River is a true health and fertility specialist, who is sure to sire fertile, profitable cows,” said Ryan Lett from Semex NZ.
His scores are +116 daughter fertility, +187 cell count, +114 survival and +109 mastitis resistance.
River’s US proof backs up the Australian data, with +2.5 daughter pregnancy rate, a +6.1 score for productive life and 7.0% calving ease.
His production proof information shows a strong total solids yield, made up from positive fat and protein percentages and above average milk flow.
His conformation breakdowns feature good quality udders, with daughters showing slightly longer and wider teat placement.
The biggest benefit River will pass onto many of his offspring is a genetic ability to handle major diseases.
“He’s one of our Immunity+ sires who have been proven to provide robust immune systems,” said Ryan.
The young sire is part of an impressive family, which has caught the eye of the bull selection team at Semex.
River’s half-brothers Westcoast Almamater and Westcoast Redcarpet also feature in Semex’s 2020 line-up.
The trio all share the same dam – Westcoast Montana Riza 4700 VG85, who is also jet black with white socks.
“To have three brothers in a catalogue, all from the same dam, would probably be a first for us,” said Ryan.
“The biggest trait the brothers share in common is that they are all moderate to smaller for stature.”
“River’s ideal for dairy farmers looking for an outcross option, but who don’t want big cows,” he said.
Ten of the sires being marketed in New Zealand through Semex originate from Westcoast Holsteins.
“This is a fantastic accomplishment for us,” said Darren Kooyman from Westcoast Holsteins.
“I don’t think any of us at Westcoast could have predicted we’d have so many sires in this year’s Semex NZ catalogue.”
The Kooyman family has been dairying for more than 50 years and started breeding purebred Holstein Friesians in 2010.
It began with the purchase of Stoneden Goldwyn Candace EX-95 3E 16*.
Today, the Kooymans strive to breed deep pedigrees and show type, and also work with many high genomic females.
“We milk 7,000 cows across 12 different farms in Western Canada in the provinces of British Columbia, Alberta and Saskatchewan,” said Darren.
The business is one of Semex’s partner herds, a relationship which began in 2014.
“They will get access to our early-release bulls to breed future sires and we get access to their top females. It’s a great partnership,” said Ryan.
‘River’s dam Riza, along with her siblings and daughters, are having a strong influence on the Semex bull team.
“The other day I saw a really nice-looking young bull who’s out of a full sister of Almamater’s. He will be heading to Semex at some stage,” said Ryan.
He may have only debuted this year, but River is already proving to be one of the genetics company’s highest-selling bulls.