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Author Topic: SULL Traveling Ruby or Trying to do well and not sell your kidneys to do it.  (Read 7682 times)

Offline Olson Family Shorthorns

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So last fall it was time to buy a show heifer for my sister's last year in the Jr program.  I searched high and low, to no avail.  Then it was the weekend of huge Shorthorn sales in Iowa.  We have traditionally raised our own or purchased from what I would call reputable breeders and tried not to spend too much money.  I did buy a somewhat pricey heifer a couple of years ago, and it turned out fine.  But I didn't have 20k+ to spend this year due to not being rich and also trying to save up for my future and what not. 

But I digress.

We watched the sale at Cyclone Trace Cattle Co with much admiration for my friends and former colleagues.  The set of cattle was fantastic, with prices to match.  I couldn't hope to own one of those beautiful creatures that fit all of my criteria.  So then it was off to Sullivan Farms Maternal Legends sale.  We got there a little later than we had hoped, and didn't just have a whole long time to study the offering (could have taken two days and not got them all gone through). But we did find a few heifers that ticked all of our boxes and we thought we MAY have a chance at purchasing.

Our number one pick also happened to be the first heifer through the sale ring.  Cracked that one off for something like 50k. Well crap, didn't even get my hand raised on that one.  Then there was a period where none of the heifers we picked sold. And then our number two was up.  In my mind, not to far off number one, but quite a bit more green and younger than many of cattle in the sale.  And what do you know, when the hammer dropped, I owned a new Shorthorn heifer.  SULL Traveling Ruby. She was young, and green, and none too friendly...but she was the one I wanted. 

We got her home and on feed and got her a bit more tame.  Things were going well.  We took her to the Illinois Beef Expo where she was reserve in her division.  Not bad, but we could have seen her doing better.  No matter, take her back home.  Well...then I moved...again. And I couldn't take her with me.  So off to my Dad's house she goes.  I had no idea what would happen next.  My dad and brother have toiled on her for a few months and then I come home to rough her out for Jr Nationals.  I was pleasantly surprised with what I was presented with.  A heifer with some hair, some freshness, and a huge belly.  Now this I can work with!  So I rough her out and have to get back to my Herefords for our own Jr National. 

Dad and Shelby get down to Louisville and the heifer comes into heat.  Great.. I'm not even there to make sure things go well.  Luckily my girlfriend does get down there for a couple of days.  The Sullivan Farms crew headed up by Josh Elder take Ruby under their wing and finish clipping her and dressed her on show day.  And she walked away with Reserve Division III in the owned show.  I thought that was great for a heifer that could still be thought to be a bit behind in hair and condition compared to her contemporaries. 

I realise this is very wordy, and I apologise. 

I just want people to know that the price you pay for your project can bear very little influence on how that project turns out.  This heifer cost a whopping $5,000 and you wouldn't be able to separate her from heifers that cost 4 or 5 times that much last fall.  Having a set of criteria that you do not waver from is a must.  Soundness, maternal look, and growth are all very important when picking a show heifer.  I will attach a couple of pictures to show how much Ruby has come along for us.
Shorthorn cattle and genetic opportunities available at all times. (515) 520 1972

Offline lightnin4

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Congratulations! Nice heifer!
 (thumbsup)

Offline Doc

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Justin, she definitely looked the part !!! Congrats !!!
A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong
enough to take everything you have.   -- Thomas Jefferson

Offline GONEWEST

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Congratulations Justin you work hard and you deserve to do well.   (clapping)  (clapping)  (clapping)

And it's uncanny how many comparatively inexpensive champions ones come from that place.  We had one. The reserve shorthorn plus at Denver a couple years ago cost $2500, from there. And I believe there in lies the key.

You can't take chicken pookie and turn it into chicken salad. If you buy a GOOD one from a reputable place you can't go wrong. But these people who call and tell me my calves are too high priced, they'll just have to get another one and win with their feed bucket drive me insane. You can sure ruin a good one but no matter if you have a golden feed bucket you can't turn a bad one into a good one. There's a million reasons why one in particular might not bring a boat load in one of these sales from successful breeders but that doesn't necessarily mean they aren't good cattle.

Offline justintime

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Congrats on getting a good heifer and for her wins for you. I purchased a maternal sister to your heifer last year with a heifer calf at side for $10,500 from the Cagwin Farms sale last June. The heifer calf was  few days old when I purchased the pair and she has developed into a super nice heifer. The cow has done great and we flushed her a couple times and we have sold enough embryos to make the total investment pretty low.  I have also implanted several embryos myself so I am considering this to be one of the best investments I have made for quite awhile.

I agree with you 100% that it is possible to purchase some excellent cattle at reasonable dollars in many of these sales. You have to know what you are looking for, and wait for the opportunity to present itself. So many get caught up in the moment and bidding.
Experience is what you get when you don't have it when you need it.

Close only counts in horseshoes, hand grenades, and bad breath!
Artificial intelligence is no match for natural stupidity
If love is blind... why is lingerie so popular?
The only thing worse than an idiot ... is an educated idiot!

Offline caledon101

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Totally agree!  Sometimes it's those full sibs that are off-age or maybe greener, younger or less appealing in colour. And never overlook the horned full sibs either. 

I have attached a couple of pictures of a similar example. She is a direct daughter of RL Sonny's Charm and sired by SULL Asset.
She is an April, horned female we bought as a baby in the October 2011 Greenhorn sale.
We paid 10K and her older, roan maternal sibs sold for more than 3 times as much as I recall.

The pictures attached were taken on pasture at 14 months of age and just recently at 3 years of age 5 weeks post weaning. She has given us a beautiful fall born HD Swagger heifer calf and is now re bred to Ace of Diamonds and carrying a heifer pregnancy according to the ultrasound exam.
She has never required a second mating and is so easy to handle.

Offline caledon101

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Here's the pic at 14 months of age.
Her maternal sister was ASA show female of the year for Little Cedar in MI.

We are transitioning into Simmental's and consequently dispersing our Shorts. This 3 year old outstanding donor prospect is due to calve in early 2015 and is for sale. If anyone is seriously interested please contact me directly.

Offline Duncraggan

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Good looking, smooth-haired cow.  I hope you do well with her!

Offline mark tenenbaum

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She may be a little behind in hair and condition-but shell do some damage at Louisville and Denver;when the others are a little stale from being 12 O clock too soon.-and from the calf picture-Im really surprised she sold so cheap (relatively speaking) at Sullivans sale. O0

Offline hntwhitetail

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Nice heifer.  Did you breed her? or what are you going to breed her to?

Offline Olson Family Shorthorns

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Yeah, shes not really 12 o'clock yet, but thats alright. She's getting by on structure, freshness, and depth for the most part right now.  Has some hair, but dad and my little brothers aren't exactly professionals at hair work.  I'll be bringing her over close to me after Herf Jr Nationals to get ready for State Fair and NAILE/NWSS.  We'll see what I can get her looking like by then.

She should be in heat next week, and will be bred to Turner Deception (Stumpy's new bull) or TM Gus (Stumpy's old bull).  Can't quite put my finger on it, but that man knows Shorthorn bulls, and I'd just about breed any of my cattle to those two bulls.
Shorthorn cattle and genetic opportunities available at all times. (515) 520 1972

Offline Olson Family Shorthorns

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Quick update- Ruby was named Grand Champion Shorthorn female at the IL State Fair Open Show yesterday. She's really starting to look right, and I can't wait for NAILE. As a side note, her maternal sister was Reserve Supreme female in the Jr show, and won the Open Polled show as well.  Very good week for that cow family.
Shorthorn cattle and genetic opportunities available at all times. (515) 520 1972

Offline Olson Family Shorthorns

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Another update- Ruby was a class winner and Reserve Divison V Champion in both the Jr and Open Shows at NAILE.  Her maternal sister was champion in the division and Reserve grand in the Jr Show.  I believe we were a whisker away from getting in the top two in the Jr Show.  On to NWSS!
Shorthorn cattle and genetic opportunities available at all times. (515) 520 1972

Offline OH Breeder

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Congrats to the Olson Family! Quiet a feat considering the competition. Looked at the pictures on the Sullivan blog. Nice cattle. Good Luck at NWSS!
Life is too short....don't sweat the small stuff.

 

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