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About a year ago, I posted a picture of HC Cruiser 59C and I received a fair bit of abuse including being called a liar etc etc. A couple regulars on this site accused me of tampering with the photo with photoshop. ( obviously they didn't realize that I don't know the first thing about doing that and I have no desire to learn!) Well, here is a picture of him taken last week  and here are some facts for you to consider before you tell me what is wrong with him or me!( by the way, he is definitely not perfect, but I think he does have some strong traits) I will also say that these are the actual facts.

1) he was born from a 2 year old heifer unassisted with a BW of 82 lbs.
2) he was our high selling bull in 2016 at $16,500 at 9 months of age. After buying him, the new owners told me that they were surprised they bought him so reasonably. They said they had gone to the sale prepared to go a fair bit higher. One of the reasons they were so high on him was that they were tired of hard calving clubby genetics and having replacement heifers from clubby bulls that didn't milk or had poor fertility.  They bought him, to produce show steers and heifers. A week after they purchased him, a leading clubby producer in these parts offered them $16,500 for a 1/2 interest in him. They turned him down as they wanted to have the first calves from him. I was able to get back into him, after the man who purchased him died suddenly, and his wife offered to give me a half interest in him back if I would winter 25 replacement heifers for her. That really was a " no brainer" for me.
3) At 9 months of age, Cruiser had the highest score of all our sale bulls that year in his breeding soundness exam. He tested 93 % at 9 months
4) I bred a few cows and heifers to him from semen I collected before he left here. His first son sold in our sale at $9000 last year, selling to a commercial herd in Manitoba to be used on black cows.
5) I picked Cruiser up on December 12th, 2018 and since arriving here, he has been running on a quarter section with our other herd bull and he has only had a few pounds of bull pellets and hay each day. I know some will say that he is far too fat, but I will assure you that is meat you are looking at in this picture. When I picked him up on December 12th, he had been running with cows on pasture  and wheat stubble before that.
6) So far, we have had 12 first calf heifers calve to Cruiser. 100% have calved unassisted with most BWs between 78-88 lbs. We had one calf at 90 lbs last year, but the heifer calved this calf easily.
7) He is without any doubt the widest based bull we have had on this farm in my lifetime. I have had two pretty good cowboys ( that raise some really good Angus) see him recently. One of them said that Cruiser has as much natural muscle as any bull of any breed he has seen. The other guy said he ranked him as one of the best beef bulls he has seen of any breed.
8) He has great feet and is structurally sound. His feet are perfectly formed and I would be very surprised if he will ever need to have his feet trimmed.
9) since picturing him last week, I have had two inquiries from cattlemen who don't even raise Shorthorns, to buy into him, as well as numerous requests for semen. We have not collected semen other than the few straws of " in herd use " semen I collected when he was a year old.

So far, I am pleased with the calves I have had from him. He downsizes frame and adds thickness, without slowing performance. I have a couple coming two year old daughters to calve in April. They look like the right kind.  We are selling 5 sons in our March 5th Sun Country sale. All were born from first calf heifers and all were unassisted at birth. We are also selling two replacement heifers sired by Cruiser as well. 
I have also attached a picture of his first son we have sold. HC Enforcer 60E. He sold for $9000 at 11 months of age and went to a commercial producer.

The Big Show / Birth weight epds and such
« on: January 17, 2019, 05:09:43 PM »
I had our first calf of  2019 today from a first calf heifer that was purchased last fall. Since arriving here, this heifer grazed a fall pasture with the rest of the cows until early December, and she had been on good quality grass hay since then. She had not had any grain since arriving here. I hear so many people who constantly praise or bash some bulls because of their BW EPDs ( of which some have been bulls I have owned)
I would like those who follow EPDs religiously explain what I should have been expecting from this two year old heifer. Here is a bit more information and the EPDs of the heifer and of the sire she was bred to:
The heifer is moderate framed and has two bulls, considered to be among the easiest calving in the breed as her sire and  as a grand sire.
EPDs for 2 year old heifer - CED  9  BW  1.5   WW 61
Epds of sire of calf -           CED   13  BW  0.9  WW 58

The sire of the calf is an American bull who is being used in several herds a safe choice to breed their heifers. There is no Maine or Trump bloodlines in him.
This heifer calved quickly and unassisted which is what I like. From the time the water bag started to show until the heifer calf was wobbling beside her mom looking for a teat, 40 minutes had passed. It was an easy birth on both the mom and baby.  It was a heifer calf and once it had sucked some and started to dry, I decided to weigh it. I always try to guess before I weigh it and see how close I am. On this calf, I guessed it was 90 lbs because the calf is incredibly long bodied. When I put it on the scale, I couldn't believe my eyes.... it was 112 lbs. I thought the scale may be not accurate so I weighed a bad of prepared feed, then weighed a block of salt and it weighed them accurately. I should also mention that this heifer was due to calve on January 19th which is two days from now, so she did not go over term.
I understand that there are some abnormalities from time to time, but if this had been a bull calf, he would have already be wearing a band around his testicles. If I had mentioned on this site that I had a bull calf with a BW of 112 lbs, I know I would have  received a lot of flack. I did not have a single calf weight over 100 lbs in 2018 and the calf born this morning is the heaviest in 4 years here. The last " big" calf I had was 4 years ago, and it was again sired by a trait leader for BW. It was also a heifer calf and it weighed 124 lbs and it did need assistance being born.
My vet just left our farm after euthanizing my wife's two remaining donkeys, who were both suffering from severe arthritis. It was really bad when colder weather set in and we decided to not let them suffer any longer. My vet also has a herd of purebred Angus cows and she mentioned that she had 35 calves in the last 7 days. She also said that she had never seen healthier active calves as this year's crop. The 35 calves her has had were sired by 2 leading AI sires from the US. Both are considered to be lower BW sires. My vet said that they are beautiful calves but they were much bigger than she expected with almost half of them weighing over 100 lbs. All were born unassisted though. I hear this often from friends who raise several different breeds of cattle. I also realize that calves born in Canada weigh more than calves of similar breeding born in the southern US. I live 30 miles from the US border, so the climate here is similar to the climate in several northern US states.
I also understand that my calf born today is just one, so I may have  just had an exception to the rule. But I see similar things more than I think I should.
Just a few months ago, a person who works for a leading breed association mentioned on Facebook that the beef industry was very close to being able to select genetics by their EPDs alone. Needless to say, I had to disagree with him.EPDs may be a great tool providing their accuracy is high, but they are only a tool that can never replace the eye and mind of a good cattleman. I will be interested to hear your comments....

The Big Show / Is he stout enough for you?
« on: January 23, 2018, 07:54:38 AM »
This is HC Cruiser 59C, who will turn 3 years old in May this year. He was the top selling bull in our 2016 Sun Country Shorthorn sale at $16,500. As a yearling bull he bred 21 females, most of which were heifers. In 2017 he bred over 30 cows many of which have some clubby blood and a few were purebred Shorthorn. He has continued to develop into a moderate framed tank and had tremendous thickness and is very sound footed. He also has hair like a muskox. He is sired by Shadybrook Hot Shot 88A and his dam is SBF Golden 81A ( by Sprys All Gold). Cruiser was born unassisted from a first calf heifer with a BW of 80 lbs.
His first two sons will sell on March 6th in the Sun Country sale. The sale will be broadcast live at www.dvauction.com
Also pictured is his first son to sell. He is HC Enforcer 60E. He was born April 3rd, 2017 unassisted from a mature cow with a BW of 88lbs.

The Big Show / FSF Starburst 058
« on: November 17, 2017, 08:34:26 AM »
What can anyone tell me about the offspring of FSF Starburst 058?  I have only seen a couple of his calves and they were pretty good, but I haven't heard much about him lately. I see he has over 1350 calves registered by him so I would think I would be hearing more about them. I have found a few straws of semen from 058 and would like to know more about him before I do a flush to him.

(And I don't want to hear any of the political crap that has been spread on here so often... just your honest thoughts on the offspring this bull has produced)

The Big Show / Changing gears and changing direction
« on: July 21, 2017, 08:23:35 AM »
For once I think I made a decision using my head instead of just my heart and we have decided to disperse most of our cow herd on October 18th at Johnstone Auction Mart, Moose Jaw, SK. There are several reasons for this decision but the main ones are recent health issues and Mother Nature's warped way of using us.  We do not want to leave this business so we are planning to just change the direction we have been going. Here is what has happened to lead us to this direction:
Late last fall, I came home from Agribition with a virus that resulted in giving me a very dry cough. My doctor said I had a virus and there was nothing I could do but drink lots of fluids and get lots of rest. Once it had run it'course I would return to normal.  The dry cough lasted for months and it was much worse when I was in the warm house than when I was outside working with the cattle. By mid Febraury, I was still coughing, but I also realized that I was getting weaker and was short of breath. The work really became work!  My doctor agreed that something else was going on, so he sent me for an xray and found out that I had fluid build up on my lungs. That was corrected with a water pill, and I felt much better in a few short hours. The doctor said that fluid on the lungs can be caused by a few different things, including having some heart issues. He started sending me for more tests and an echocardiogram showed that I had some irregularities with my heart.
About two weeks ago, after a few more tests, a heart specialist informed me that I have had a heart attack sometime in recent months. This was complete news to me as I had no idea this had happened. Now I am headed to have a bunch more tests done to see if there is any more damage that will have to be repaired. I was told that the virus I had, had eventually attacked my heart. He said this is a rare occurrence but he had seem 3 others this year that had the same thing happen. I am mentioning all this, to let everyone realize that sometimes a simple cough can possibly lead to some health issues you never saw coming.
To add to this, my wife Chris has had 3 eye surgeries in the past 3 weeks for 3 separate detached retinas. The eye surgeon has already told her that if it happens again, there is no more than can be done and she will lose sight in that eye. Right now, she is lying low and doing everything the doctor told her, so healing can occur properly. Her fear is that this may also happen in her other eye at some point in time.
All this, along with the devastating drought we have experienced this year, has made us look at what we are doing and how we do it. I simply do not want to leave the cattle business and the Shorthorn business. The past few years have been a lot of fun and I have finally realized some of my long term goals of developing a commercial market for Shorthorn bulls. In the past 3 years, over 90% of our bulls have sold to commercial producers and we are finally seeing some large ranch operations add some Shorthorns to their breeding program.
We have had excellent private treaty sales of females in recent years and we have reduced our cow herd numbers simply because we are not getting any younger but we have retained females that work... not just look pretty.
Our plan is to only keep a few older cows as well as all of the bull calves and most of the heifer calves. Our March Sun Country sale will continue as usual on March 6,2018. We plan to implant more embryos in co-operator herds and either buy the calves at weaning or partner with them until they are sold. We have only made this decision a couple days ago, and have only told a few people and I have already had one good commercial operation say they would be willing to use some of their cows to put embryos into. Hopefully our plan will allow us to have a bit more free time to do more things we want to do in this business. 
I have always considered myself to be very blessed to be able to do the only thing I have ever wanted to do. I have never had a job other than raising my cattle and I have experienced the cattle business in many of the various segments from running our family feedlot, to having a commercial herd, to having purebred herds of several different breeds. Today we only have our purebred Shorthorn herd and 2017 is the 100th anniversary of purebred Shorthorns being on our farm.
I will post some pictures of some of the sale offering and some more information shortly.

The Big Show / Sun Country Shorthorn Sale videos
« on: February 18, 2017, 07:17:14 AM »
We now have the videos of the bulls and heifers selling in the Sun Country Shorthorn Sale, which will be held on March 7th at Johnstone Auction Mart, Moose Jaw, SK at 1 PM CST. You will find a link to the videos on the "Sales" tab on our website www.horseshoecreekfarms.com. This is 10th year we have held this sale, and I think this is the best set of bulls and heifers, from top to bottom, we have ever offered.
They have been raised practically for optimum growth, not maximum growth and they are all athletic and sound. They are presented practically as well, without show clips and show fits, but we think most cattlemen appreciate looking at them in as close to every day fit as possible. ( that may just be our excuse for getting old and not having enough additional help, but in any event, I think you will be able to see the bulls and heifers for what they are)
There are a wide variety of bloodlines in this offering. See with one is your favorite?  There has been several picked out as the favorite so far. No one has picked my favorites yet!
Our sale catalog is also on any of the consignors websites www.horseshoecreekfarms.com, wwwanwendercattlecompany.com, or rockingcattleco.com
The sale will also be broadcast live at www.dvauction.com

Remember that the US $ enjoys a sizable premium and at the present time it is approximately 30%.

The Big Show / Don't be afraid to not follow the crowd
« on: August 29, 2016, 08:55:08 AM »
I thought I would post a picture of a female I purchased in a major US sale ( Cyclone Trace) as a bred heifer. She was bred here in our herd and was the result of embryos we sold to John Hagie. When I went through the bred heifers at the CYT sale a couple years later, I thought this female  was the best bred heifer being sold that day. She was an outcross to most everything else in the sale and she did not have any of the so- called show genetics in her pedigree. I paid $3000 for her, while several other heifers sold from $5000- $9000. I came home thinking I got the buy of the sale. My only regret is that I did not also purchase another full sister that sold in that sale as well. The sister sold for $2500. I did not go to this sale with the intention of buying anything, but when the opportunity to add a female like her appears, I decided to take advantage of it.

My point of this post is that there are opportunities in almost every sale where a person can add an animal or even a few, that can have an impact in your herd. Sometimes they are the high selling females or bulls, but sometimes they are gems that most people overlook in the sale. Know what you want and don't be afraid to follow it, when making purchases.  This cow has done nothing but generate income for us since arriving here. The heifer calf she was carrying more than paid for this cow and for getting her back here to Canada. Her second calf, another heifer sold for $4500. Last year, she had a bull calf that was one of my favorites and he sold for $6500 to a commercial producer. She was flushed last year a few times and produced she produced 52 embryos. Right now, I have 10 of them left in inventory. 42 embryos have sold to people in 4 countries and these embryos generated over $25,000 in the past few months. I am just posting this, to tell people to not just follow the crowd but to use some common sense in selecting animals that will add value to your herd. She is CYT Sparkle Girl 0166 and she hasn't been too bad an investment. She is sired by Alta Cedar Samurai 46T and her dam is Prairie Lane Sparkle 1K.

The Big Show / Pasture pics 2016
« on: July 13, 2016, 09:27:23 AM »
A few pasture pics taken yesterday while doing pasture checks.
The first pic of HC FL Sparkle Delight 2X ET, who has proven herself to be one of our best donors and producers. She is a daughter of Saskvalley Pioneer 126P and Prairie Lane Sparkle 1K. 2X is the dam of HC Bluebook 22B who topped our 2015 sale at $32,000. She has also produced several other excellent sons and daughters. Some of her daughters will be following her to the donor pen in the future. We have sold embryos from 2X to 8 countries, including some to Costa Rica, which are the first North American Shorthorn genetics to be used in that country. Her full sister HC FL Sparkle Delight 1X, is presently being flushed and she presently has a great son at side sired by Kamilaroi Meat Packer, that will be sold in the Sun Country sale on March 7,2017. We hear that there are some pretty good calves from 1X in New Zealand this year.
The second cow is SBR Dora 228, who is now 14 years old. She has also been a donor here and some people have used her to establish their breeding program around. One new breeder purchased 38 embryos from Dora sired by Saskvalley Ramrod, and he was fortunate to get 17 daughters to establish his herd. Another Australian breeder has taken over 50 embryos from her, and recently contacted us, wanting to flush her again. She also has offspring in several countries, including a son that is a leading AI sire in Ireland.
The third pic is of HC Picture Perfect 46X, who is one of our favorite daughters of Wolf Willow Major Leroy 1M in our herd. She is going to the ET center in a few days and will be flushed a few times for a breeder in England. One of her daughters HC Picture Perfect 20B( a daughter of Saskvalley Pioneer 126P), has been flushed twice already for breeders in the UK. The sons of 46X that we have sold in the Sun Country sale have averaged over $6000 and all are working in commercial herds.
The fourth pic is a picture of 3 cows that show the capacity we are trying to put in our herd. Two of these cows are appendix ( but purebred in the appendix herd book) and one is a purebred in the closed herdbook. I oftentimes ask visitors to pick out the cows that are appendix and it is interesting to hear their answers. In my opinion, a good cow is a good cow, regardless of what her pedigee says. Over 90% of our bulls sell to commercial producers and I have never had one of them ask if there were any * in their pedigree. To them, they are all Shorthorns and I am in full agreement with them.

The Big Show / A couple of our herd bulls
« on: June 02, 2016, 01:46:55 PM »
I snapped a couple pics of a couple of our herd bulls while checking pastures this morning.

The first picture is HC Free Spirit 6Y. He is now 5 years old and is our senior herd sire. He has sired our best sire group again this year. We had two assisted births in 2016, with both being malpresentations.  He was wintered on nothing but hay and a salt block. He has been breeding cows for over 2 months and I expect he is done for this year. I rank him as one of the best herd sires ever to walk our pastures in the 99 years we have had a purebred Shorthorn herd. He is moderate framed, long bodied and thick with excellent muscling. Besides this, he has the most gentle disposition. The European semen rights in him are owned by Grousehall, Cambria and Rowanberry Shorthorns in Ireland. The Australian rights are owned by Sprys Shorthorns, Wagga Wagga, NSW Australia.
We have semen available in Canada and the US at $40/ straw. US semen is stored at Hawkeye Breeders, Adel, IA.

Sire:  HC Timeline 17T
Dam: New Beginnings Elsie's Jade

The second bull is our newest herd sire, Saskvalley Blue Jeans 136B. He was one of the high selling bulls in the Who's Your Daddy sale. He is very complete and is smooth shouldered, structurally sound and soft made. He also moves like a cat in the breeding field. He is getting some of our best females this year, including a set of Free Spirit daughters.

Sire: Saskvalley Yosemite Sam 3Y
Dam: Saskvalley Dora 178Y

The Big Show / Slow but sure the times are a changing!
« on: February 13, 2016, 12:22:39 PM »
I saw a sale report for the Langco/ Krueber Angus and Shorthorn sale at Viking AB and I thought the results were pretty interesting. The Shorthorn bulls were all 2 year olds and they averaged $9150 ( the lowest price was $7500). The two year old Angus bulls averaged  $5745 and the yearling Angus bulls averaged $5625. The Purebred Angus open heifers averaged $2905 while the Blue roan ( Shorthorn X Angus) averaged $3900. The black ShorthornX Angus open heifers averaged $3225.

This seems to be a growing trend here in Canada. Our bull sale catalog is just getting around and just this morning I had 3 phone calls from commercial producers. All 3 of them were interested in roan or white bulls. They all wanted bulls that had roan or white on both sides of their pedigrees. Last night I received a call from a commercial producer who is wanting a horned roan bull. They will not even consider a polled bull, no matter how good it is. I guess this is a case where the buyer is always right, and I am glad I included a horned roan bull in the sale. I also find it interesting that in the past 3 days I have now had 3 inquiries about the horned bull. I thought he would be a hard sell, because he was horned. Maybe not.... we are in interesting times!

The Big Show / A few bull pics
« on: January 20, 2016, 10:40:05 PM »
Here are a few of the bulls we are developing this winter that will be offered in the Sun Country Shorthorn Sale on March 8th at Johnstone Auction Mart, Moose Jaw,SK.

1) HC Cha-Ching 51C - smooth polled, born April 19th. BW 90 lbs unassisted.
Sire: HC Free Spirit 6Y ET   Dam: SULL Dazzling Ruby 8115 ET  51C is Dazzling Ruby's natural calf in 2015. An ET full brother also sells. I'm not sure which one is the best!
2) HC Cabela 32T-  March 18/15 son of Shady Lane Rockstar 9X and from a Major Leroy dam. A full brother sold in our 2014 sale and was one of the high sellers to a Montana ranch
3) HC Captain Canada 27C - born April 1/15. BW 95 lbs unassisted. Sire: HC Free Spirit 6Y ET Dam is a Major Leroy cow. A maternal brother was our top selling bull in 2014.
4) HC Bedrock 73B - smooth polled son of Muridale Buster 14K. 78 lb BW. His dam is SBF WHR Janet 65Z ( a Waukaru Patent 8161 ET daughter). We used him on our heifers last year, but since we are offering almost all our heifers in this sale, we have decided to put him in the sale. We will keep some semen for in herd use only.

The Big Show / Testicle degeneration
« on: November 06, 2015, 08:40:07 AM »
I mentioned in another post about losing two herd sires to testicle degeneration. The vets I have talked with have told me they are seeing more and more of this problem developing in recent years and they have no real idea of what is causing it. They have said it seems to be happening in all breeds and no breed is showing a higher incidence of it. The U of S Vet college collected data on as many bulls with this problem for several years and they did not find any common thing that is causing the problem. Both my bulls were in excellent condition and in perfect health, yet they dropped over 1 cm per month and completely stopped producing semen. I also had a yearling bull show this two years ago and he went in the deep freeze. My vet said she had seen several yearling bulls that spring that showed the same problem. One of the bulls that had this problem went from 41 cm testicles down to 28 cm before we sent him to market.
I was wondering if anyone else has seen this problem or knows anything else about it? From what I was told, it appears to be showing up more through all parts of Canada and the US in recent years than in the past.

The Big Show / HC Bluebook 22B ET
« on: August 09, 2015, 11:40:15 PM »
Here is a picture of HC Bluebook 22B ET that was taken today at Maple Stone Farm in Ontario. Bluebook topped the Sun Country Shorthorn Sale in March at $32,000. Since then he has spent over 2 months in stud followed by a 2000 mile truck ride to Ontario. He seems to have adjusted to his new environment very well.
Bluebook is one of the very few bulls I have raised that seems to continue to get better each and every day. I have liked him since birth but every time I went to the pasture or walked into our bull pen all winter, I liked him more. The folks at Maple Stone are saying the same thing. his actual stats are: BW 85 lbs unassisted. WW 692 lb  YW 1312 lbs. EPds are: 
CED 1  BW 4.2  WW 74   YW 92  Milk 13  TM 50

He is moderate framed with excellent thickness, length and one of the very best dispositions ever. He led the moment a halter was placed on his head the first time. His flushmate sister is also one of the very best we have ever raised as well. Semen is now available in Canada, USA and Australia.

The Big Show / The Ultimate in Recycling!
« on: June 14, 2015, 08:10:53 AM »
Yesterday morning, while doing my pasture checks, I saw a calf sucking a cow that is not it's mother. I wondered why he would be sucking something other than his own mother when she has an abundance of milk. I found out soon afterwards, as while I was driving through the herd, I saw this calf's mother lying on the grass with her head around beside her body. She had figured out that she could suck herself! I could not believe my eyes!  This is an eight year old cow and I have never seen her sucking anything since she was weaned. How she figured out how to stretch her neck and lay appropriately so she could reach her teats is beyond me!  No wonder her baby was stealing from another cow.
This cow is not a freeloader in the herd as her last 3 calves have sold for $5000, $6250 and $7500. I can see a bull ring in her nose in the foreseeable future. I know that works but if anyone has other suggestions I would appreciate hearing them. I have thought of using a baseball bat on her head but I think all that would do is make me feel a bit better and not stop the cow from sucking! Some days I think these creatures spend their days dreaming up more jobs for me to do!

The Big Show / Roan Shorthorns being discounted??
« on: May 10, 2015, 10:32:40 AM »
Last week I decided to sell a couple of heifer calves born from our late fall calving cows. One was a red neck roan born on November 5th and the other was an even roan born on December 8th. I had just weaned my fall calves and with it being on the dry side and possibly too many heifers to grass where they would not be close to a bull, I made the decision to sell off the two youngest heifers. They sold together, and averaged 507 lbs. They sold for $3.1750/ lb for an average return of $1609/ head. I looked at the market report for that sale day, and this was reported to be the high price for heifers weighing 500-600 lbs.  It certainly seems that the cattle buyers here are getting over the "black is best" mindset. I certainly hope someday this will be common place and cattle will be judged by their quality rather than just their color!

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