LIC | Let the ceremony begin

Let the ceremony begin

Simon Worth
Simon Worth - Bull Acquisition Manager

It’s graduation time for the bulls that were purchased for LIC’s Sire Proving Scheme (SPS) back in 2012!

They have participated in one of the most robust progeny test programmes in the world.

Used within contracted herds in 2013, the daughters of these bulls have now been herd tested. Many of them have also been inspected for conformation traits and assessed by the farmers milking them as to their suitability for the milking routine.

Although early days, some of the graduates are deviating away from the pack and staking their claim to be being picked as a ‘Spring’ bull. Dairy NZ’s Ranking of Active Sires (RAS), published after each Animal Evaluation (AE) update, has 10/10, 18/20, and 44 of the top 50 bulls with an LIC tag. In terms of getting the best bang for your buck – LIC can claim its performance came about by sire proving only half the number of bulls within the industry.


So who are these news boys on the block?

113023 Rapstar at 4 years old

113023 Busy Brook Rapstar-ET S3F

Rapstar is one of the last of the Mint- Edition sons to make his way through SPS and is looking like he too will graduate with a lovely balanced proof.

Bred by Nathan and Amanda Bayne, Rapstar stems from one of the most high profile cow families in the breed, the Raves. The foundation cow, Busybrook Geris Rave, can currently be found in the pedigree behind seven bulls displayed on the RAS list.

Rapstar’s dam Busy brook Ap Rana-ET S2F is an outstanding individual who, in 2011, sold for a whopping $28,500! Her sire, Applause, was well known to sire efficient production cows but it was recommended to protect udder conformation. In Rana’s case– no worries! This high production cow has outstanding type – in fact classifying Excellent. Her dam in turn was the Paddy daughter of Rave who herself was also very tidy – classifying VG 86.

Based on the 23 daughters inspected to date, Rapstar appears to be siring very good udders, positive capacity, and sound dairy conformation. SPS farmers milking these daughters describe them as very desirable. Rapstar’s 180 BW is on the back of high protein and fat calculations, along with positive fertility scores.


113046 Meander Rocketman-ET S1F

Rocketman also stems from the Rave cow family. It was Robert and Anne-Marie Bruins good foresight that lead them to invest in the Mint-Edition daughter of Geris Rave. It was also the Bruins’ willingness to invest in embryo transfer (ET), which gave them the ability to produce multiple sons and daughters.

It was through this process that, not only did ME Rave have her natural AI calf, but the Bruin’s actually reared four additional calves resulting from ET in her first year. Two of these were bull calves sired by a young genomic bull at the time – Savannahs HF Hammer S1F, and were subsequently purchased for the LIC SPS scheme.

In time, it was proven that Hammer was more than just a useful mating. This Format son graduated with distinction and is still part of the current Premier Sires team. The two sons purchased are following in his footsteps, with Rocketman now graduating through to the Forward Pack as a Spring bull and his full brother Reflex, who happens to be a little higher BW, on-hold while LIC waits for additional daughters to be inspected.

In Rocketman we see a Spring bull emerging with a nicely balanced proof. Very good udder conformation, at 0.52 for udder overall, is complemented by positive fertility and capacity scores, excellent somatic cell BV, and a favourable overall opinion given by those milking the daughters.


113058 Costers Politician S3F

Based on the October proof run, Politician becomes the highest daughter proven heterozygous polled bull the industry has seen.

The early use of Farside M Illustrious,based on his genomic proof, is certainly now paying dividends. Illustrious is a beautifully balanced Mint-Edition son and has combined well over this polled family (developed by the Coster family) over an extended period. The other sires evident in this pedigree are also a result of the Costers’ work – past Premier Sires team member Costers Poll Axe and another who participated in the SPS scheme, Costers Poll Position. Both of these lads were heterozygous for the polled gene.

At 34kg of protein, positive fertility, and a minus somatic cell score, Politician will have appeal. Add to that, based on the 18 daughters inspected, the ability to sire very tidy udders ( although at this point farmers may want to protect a little for front teats). Politician’s positive capacity and overall opinion from the SPS farmers complete what is a very appealing package. Half of all progeny born will not require de-budding – the cost savings of which are not captured by BW.

Politician will be available through Alpha Nominated.


Full sister to Boss dam
Two year old full sister to a Boss dam

113014 Spring Tralee Boss-ET S3F

Boss, together with full brother Boom, have been marketed in the past based on their parent average/genomic prediction. Most bulls graduating now are heading toward having 70 daughters enter their proof – for these guys it will be in the thousands and are therefore, effectively, re-proofed in their first year.

We have certainly been hearing the comments from the field and the 56 daughters recently inspected are now completing the picture. This lad is siring simply outstanding udders! Of the top- 500 bulls (ranked on BW) ever proven, Boss takes the number one spot for the all-important trait udder support at +1.19, the number one spot for rear udder, and number six spot for udder overallHe does not claim the number one position on the latter, due to rear teats being a little close.

This Ovation son is from a full sister to the breed leading Holstein Friesian bulls Beamer and Buster. To co-breeders Phil and Donna Lowe and Todd and Fleur Anderson – congratulations!


113120 Bothwell WT Maxima S2F

Another graduate to be made available through Alpha is the outcross sire Maxima. Like Boss, it is great to see another bull who was marketed on genomics come through with plenty of appeal. Given his use as a yearling, Maxima already has just fewer than 500 daughters contributing to his production proof.

This guy has plenty of balance throughout his proof. But again it is his ability to tie on quality udders that will entice many. At 1.08 for udder overall Maxima, is in the top echelon of available bulls. To also sire tremendous capacity and have a favourable overall opinion from those putting the cups on is more than an added bonus.

Bred by the Goodwright family from Waiuku, the contract mating of Waiau Max Tommo as a young bull has been rewarded. His Eclipse dam has been a very consistent performer as recognised through an average LW of 400 and PW 318 over six seasons.

She is still alive and kicking and looks to be following in the footsteps of her dam having lasted 10 lactations Thank you to the breeders that continue to work with us to create these very influential bulls.

For those of you accessing these bulls through Forward Pack and Alpha – enjoy!

Related Links

Premier Sires

Alpha Sires

Ranking of Active Sires (RAS)


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