Is It Time To Crown A New King?

by Hu Team on May 9, 2014

In recent Holstein history our barns, breeding programs and show rings have been dominated by one sire ­– GOLDWYN.  Siring his first All-American nomination in 2006, Goldwyn went on to be named the Premier Sire at World Dairy Expo for the first time in 2008, and has carried that title until present day along with almost every major Holstein show in North America. At this year’s Midwest Spring National show in Wisconsin, Goldwyn was beat for premier sire by his son ATWOOD.  Atwood daughters walked away with the blue ribbon in every cow class from Junior 2-year-olds through the 4-year-olds.



Like any king’s rein, we all knew the Goldwyn ‘era’ would one day come to a close. The question, is that time now? And is Atwood the only heir to the throne, or will he share this spotlight with other sires? Goldwyn has left some big shoes to fill, for Atwood or any bull as he has sired almost 2,000 EX cows, along with numerous breed icons.

Who’s to say if Atwood will ever rival his sire in terms of show winners and All-Canadian or All-American nominations, but he is building an impressive resume.  Atwood, now seven years old, has 91% GP and higher scored daughters.  His current stats are 360 VG, 435 GP, 79 G.   With BCAS:  M225  F241  P227.  His proof is impressive with +’s in all traits except for rear leg side view and rump angle.  Not only is he dominating in young cow classes on the tanbark, Atwood also is the sire of 8 of the top ten cows for Type in the US. Atwood’s son MR. Atwood Brokaw is carrying on the family tradition of making fancy calves and with high type numbers, and will surely be one to watch as these young heifers develop into cows.

Royal Heritage

Atwood’s parentage was a sure bet for making show ring winners.  A Goldwyn from Durham Atlee EX 92 backed by Chief Adeen EX 94 2E, the stars were aligned for him to make a big impact. Goldwyn’s show ring accomplishments outweigh any sire that has ever came before him and Atlee became very well-known after winning walking away with the Sr. 3-year-old class and being named Res. Int. Champ at World Dairy Expo in 2005. She was also named All-American Sr. 3-year-old that year. Atlee’s won early fans in the show ring, but her true ability to transmit made her famous as many of her sons have become well known; such as Atticus, Attic, Aftershock, Atlantic, and Golden Dreams.

With this star-studded pedigree it should have been known from the being that Atwood would be destined for great things. But this was not the case.  A sire analyst visited Atwood and a group of his brothers when they were young bulls.  Most of the other bulls were chosen to go to an AI unit, while Atwood was left behind.  He was the runt of the group and didn’t stand out as a bull destined for greatness.  Later testing revealed his high potential and he then earned himself a trip to an AI stud.   This ‘come from behind’ brother quickly gained popularity and surpassed his brothers in the ability to sire that coveted show ring winner.

BVK Atwood Arianne

Some breeders were skeptical of Atwood and hesitant to over use him in their herds.  But as classification, high type proofs, and show results are proving; Atwood is making a positive impact on our Holstein breed.  It is a sign a bull has potential for greatness when his daughters can win as heifers and then come back the next year and win as cows.  An example of this is Cameron Ridge Atwood Beauty who was the Junior Champ at World Dairy Expo in 2013 and then won her class as a Jr. 2-year-old at New York Spring Show.

cameron ridge atwood beauty

This ‘premier sire’ change is not going to happen overnight; Goldwyn still has some years left as the king of the ring.  But, progressive as most dairymen are, looking to the future is habit. Are we ready for a change? Do we have a choice? There is a lot of talk between breeders about which bull is the ‘hottest’ at the moment, but we can all agree there is no one bull currently available that stands out as Goldwyn once did when his semen was readily available. Atwood, among other Goldwyn sons look like they will be the next closest bull to greatness. Which is another testament to just how great Goldwyn is, as his legend will live on through his sons.  The change will come gradually with time as the remaining Goldwyn semen gets used and his daughter’s age, and eventually his rein as king of the ring will come to a close. But for breeders passionate about the future of their herds and the breed, we can find comfort in the crown being handed down from father to son.

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