(Peter Massmann, April 2016 for Fleckvieh Society of Australia Inc)
Before I retired at the end of 2007 I did, from time to time, a sire-blood-line analyses on the active Simmentaler population of South Africa and Namibia to identify the most influential sire’s. The active population consist of females over two years (serviceable females) owned by active breeders or the mothers for the next generation. This analysis consisted of calculating the paternal and maternal relative blood share of the sire (50% contribution), 2 x grand sires (25%) and 4 x great grant sires (12.5%) of the mentioned population. After I left,the society has regrettably stopped these analyses and this information is therefore applicable to the 2007 active population.
Salerika Evan at the AI Station.
Salerika Evan as a youngster.
The top sire in the analysis was Salerika Evan (b 1987) bred by retired breeder Jan Hattingh who also bred many champions and even a World Congress overall champion. Evan’s blood share value was 60% higher than the second placed sire Kykso Hadau. Evan’s dominance is due to producing most registered progeny of all bulls, the popularity of his son Leeupoort Prima (3rd place) and sire Mon-Bijou Piona (7th place)
Mon- Bijou Piona
in the ‘top-10’ blood analysis rating. According to the very user friendly BREEDPLAN web search site, Evan is still the most used Southern African sire ever with around 3000 herdbook reported sons and daughters. Compared to Europe this is peanuts but remember that we have less than 10% artificial insemination compared to European Fleckvieh over 95%.
The above mentioned was verified by a scientific pedigree analyses* of the Southern African Simmentaler measured against the 2003 calf crop: “The bull Salerika Evan is the most widely used bull in the population and also has the largest contribution to the genetic diversity of the breed (4.7%) followed by Kykso Hadau (2.8%) and Congosim Haman (1.8%).” * Dr M Bradfield (SAfr), Prof F Neser (SAfr), Dr P Parnell (Australia).
As mentioned already the breed society has not undertaken a similar study again, but to get an idea of what the situation is today I took the number of ‘calves reported per annum per sire’ (which are published by the society) and grouped them in ten-year periods starting from 1986. From this I conclude that Evan is still today the most influential sire in the pedigree of Simmentaler:
- 1986-1990 Salerika Evan first in calves reported, 25% more than the second sire;
- 1991-1995 Evan son Leeurpoort Prima first;
- 1996-2000 Evan grandson Erico Primal first;
- 2001-2005 BAR 5 SA Piona 04 817N fifth ,
Evan 3-generations back on paternal and maternal side and
- 2006-2010 Leeupoort Brits first (Evan sired his grand dam and also appears further back on sires side) – by the way Brits is a Breedplan trait leader in five traits!
The story behind the story
In order to understand my personal involvement in the ‘Evan-story’ I have to elaborate on the bull scheme that made him famous. In the late 1970’s I introduced, with the full support of the breed society board and based on my experience in Germany, an artificial insemination (AI) Bull Test Scheme which stipulated that all official Simmentaler AI bulls (AI was regulated by law) must be selected by the society, royalty-leased by breeders to the local AI station/organisation who handled veterinary matters and distribution, be approved by a panel of experts and must have good performance test records (long before EBVs) with an exceptional dam (more than one calving, ICP under 390 days, positive weaning index and inspection approval by experts). We tested and inspected the progeny in Namibia and South Africa and semen of negative bulls had to be destroyed by the AI station. By means of this scheme superior bulls of well known breeders were made available to the industry at a cheap semen price, the breed society generated a healthy extra income and above all the standard of the breed improved.
Of all the bulls selected (based on comprehensive reports I submitted for approval) Evan’s qualifications were the most unimpressive. The highest placing at a show was a second and some of the selection panel judges were opposed to Evan’s selection in the respected AI bull program because of his mediocre appearance (associated with few photos taken?). However he was structurally sound, middle of the road size, well balanced with good hair coat (important for us) and his dam had an excellent hair quality, great femininity and medium framed but she could have a better udder. I motived Evan’s inclusion in the official AI scheme because of (i) his superior dame-line described below, (ii) a worthy Grand Champion sire at the largest show and (iii) his desirable 140 day performance test weight gain relation of high gain in test period (114 index) and average gain from birth to end of test (101) – long before EBVs. We had to vote on Evan’s admission and I think he made it with one vote.
When breeders look at a stud sire pedigree they normally start with the top part of the pedigree which traces the sire-line (sire, grand sire, great grand sire, etc) back to a foundation sire. Austrian/German Fleckvieh foundations sire’s like Haxl (b 1966), Bayer (1955), Horex (1954), Streik (1961) and Dior (1963) were born in the 1950s and 1960s. Evan’s foundation sire is also from that period and he is the South African Simmentaler bull Mon Bijou Mauser (1964) who is out of an imported German cow which was pregnant with an relatively unknown German bull Pfaelzer (1959). This pioneer breeder was Hennie de Klerk who focused on the shorter early maturity type with outstanding muscling. He used M B Mauser on his best imported (G) cow Herta to produce Mon Bijou Patroon (1969).
Mon-Bijou Pragtig,a Mon -Bijou Patroon son.
Three generation further on that sire-line we find Mon Bijou Piona the sire of Evan. Piona was Grand Champion at the famous Rand Easter show, Johannesburg with over 400 Simmentaler entries.
Mon -Bijou Piona
Evan’s most important male offspring according to calves registered: Leeupoort Prima (AI bull) who sired Erico Primal (AI bull)the sire of the popular USA BHR Three Sixes SA.
BHR 3 Sixes SA L666E
Other internationally often used sons of Evan are Bar 5 SA Pioneer 439L and Bar 5 SA Evan 440L. I have to mention BAR 5 SA Piona 04 817N (Evan 3-generations back on both paternal and maternal side) who is at this stage the only Southern African Breedplan trait leader in six traits (calving ease, calving ease daughters, 200-, 400-, 600-days and carcass weights). Cania Gold Evanne is a Salerika Evan son
His dam line pedigree
In my capacity as PRO of German Fleckvieh for so called suckler beef countries, I selected the four females that represented Germany at the first Simmental-Fleckvieh World Congress in South Africa in 1976 (Austria, Switzerland and France also send a group) and Eve, the grand dam of Evan, was one of them. Eve achieved the prestigious SA Three Star rating (elite rating based on cows appearance, reproduction and progeny weaning weights) and also became the ’Farmers Weekly Cow Of The Year’. Beautiful cow with a not so beautiful udder and sired by the below average looking German Perutz,
a son of founder bull Praefekt.
But, and that counts, Eve’s exceptionally strong influence in the SA Simmentaler population comes mainly via her daughters:
- Dan Jaco ERMA 81, a Two Star cow and dam of Evan.
- Dan Jaco ESNA 79, a Three Star cow and the dam of well known AI bull Dan-Jaco BENZ 5 which was heavily used.
- Dan Jaco ERNA 76, Three Star cow with a huge influence on the national pedigree by her famous AI son Dan Jaco Benz 314 and stud bulls DJ BENZ 2 and 3 and 7and 8.
These three cows were all medium sized, fine with sleek haircoat, very feminine with average to below average udders. Interesting is they were all sired (imported semen from Germany) by a very ordinary bull Pickel (pic in his AI station working clothes) from a ‘who knows who’ sire line, but this makes breeding so interesting.
Evan’s breeding values in South Africa and Namibia
Note: The EBV-accuracies in the Southern African dataset are considerably higher than the North American and Australian Evan values. In the interpretation of Evan’s data must must keep in mind that it is difficult for old bulls to maintain high EBVs because the breed keeps on improving. The legendary Fleckvieh bull Haxl (born 1966) today has a very low milk value breeding value of 62.
Evan’s (born 1987) EBVs compared to 2014 born calves are: Birth weight and calving ease around breed average; a Breedplan trait leader in calving ease daughters (indicates that Evan’s daughters will calve with ease at two years of age); 200-, 400-, -600 day and cow weights as well as milk around average; scrotal size a Breedplan trait leader (positive scrotal size associated with bull fertility and reduced age at calving of female progeny).