Fossil Creek bull bloodlines popular

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The sale of a bull for $55,000 at Neil and Rose Sanderson’s Ngapara property last Thursday has thrust the bloodline of the bull into the spotlight.

Fossil Creek Hero H6 was sired by a bull called Spickler Chisum from the Spickler herd in Montana.

Neil Sanderson said he chose the bull several years ago because the property’s breeding programme aligned itself well to what he was trying to achieve.

“It was a balanced programme, a good mix of phenotype and EBVs (estimated breeding values),” he said.

Interest has been building in the Chisum blood for quite some time because of the difficulty in getting this mix right.

Fossil Creek Hero was the second top bull for sale in the country for fat cover EBVs and the seventh highest bull for self-replacing index. This includes all maternal traits like calving ease, milk, growth and mothering ability.

Callum Dunnett, PGG Wrightson Ashburton, said a brother to the Ngapara bull sold for $48,000 in South Canterbury last week and another for $24,000.

He said the Sanderson’s bull was the complete package, physically and on paper.

This was echoed by the purchaser, Dean McHardy of Tangihau Angus Stud in Gisborne, who said the bull ticked all the boxes.

“He was a good outcross for our bloodline.

“He was a well fleshed out bull, had big hind quarters and had the right frame score, not too big, not too small.

“He was smooth over the backline and had a very good set of EBVs.”

Tangihau Station is a 16,000 acre (about 6300ha) sheep and cattle station at Rere, Gisborne. It consists of very dry, steep hill country.

Their commercial breeding herd has 1800 cows and Mr McHardy said the Ngapara bull would be used over the best 40-50 cows in the first year.

Mr Dunnett said this week was a big one for angus bulls in the South Island in terms of numbers. More than 500 bulls will go under the hammer throughout the week.

By LINDA MCCARTHY