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In the 2001 the genetics of the top 570 US active AI bulls were analysed and Elevations actual genes were ranked 5th most influential on this group of sires


Italy bred some really outstanding Elevation daughters and some good AI sons. The Dutch tended to reject Elevation because of his low BF and Protein % and the Ministry of Agriculture here in the UK made sure the UK didn’t have access to any semen, so we had to use sons. The MMB’s Brownred Elevation was probably the best one imported. Through semen Walkerbrae Eclipse and, of course, Starbuck were the best. Elevation was remarkable in that he combined two opposite bloodlines in the US, the ‘Burkes’ (small but high yielding) with the ‘Ivanhoe/Rag Apple’ sort (tall but slow maturing). He seemed to breed for the most part exactly in the middle of these two types. Like him, his daughters were very fit and fertile – and they all milked, so he was certainly a true milk bull. Typewise they were a handy size, had great feet and legs, strong topline, low pins and shallow udders with strong ligaments and good teat placement. On the negative side, udders were inclined to some reverse tilt and teats could be too small. He was almost unique in leaving teats too short, too close and too far up the back of the rear quarters. Bodywise, they lacked rib, both in depth and openness and pins tend to be narrow. Heads were shorter than average with very often a weak and overshot jaw, not ideal for hard grazing. Other than this, they were perfect! Unlike Astronaut and Fond Matt (another bull which pre-empted Elevation and helped to set the stage for him) Elevation sired both successful sons as well as bull mothers and brood cows. His ‘famous five’ sons would be: 1. Hanoverhill Starbuck, most influential in Canada but later had a great effect in the USA through his most heavily used son, Madawaska Aerostar. 2. Marsfield Elevation Tony, his most popular son in the US with over 70,000 milk recorded daughters, this despite the fact they were only average for feet and legs (his proof was predicted to be positive for feet and legs as a young bull, as were most sons of Elevation). 3. Sweet-Haven Tradition who left more successful sons than influential daughters. 4. My own personal favourite, Oceanview Sexation, whose daughters were more in the image of his black Citation R dam. He could have been another Durham; had the so-called top breeders used him, AI studs may have tested more sons. (Planet carries 0.75% Sexation blood). 5. Rockalli Son Of Bova most surprisingly is the fifth. He was the first ET bull in AI but he did not have ET as part of his name. He is the great grandsire of Oman who probably has more influential AI bulls active today throughout the world.





ABOVE Elevation shown with handler Steve Raber at 13 years old.


to him, through persistent line- breeding.


In the 2001 Red Book (a publication that lists all the available bulls in the US with their proofs), the genetics of the top 570 active AI bulls were analysed and Elevations actual genes were ranked 5th


most


influential on this group of sires, appearing in at least 475 of these pedigrees.


His overall influence was expressed as 8-7% genes in common, just behind his double breed nephew Blackstar at 8-9%. Only Carlin-M Ivanhoe Bell


and Pawnee Farm Arlinda Chief could be considered to have any greater influence. In Canada, through Aerostar, Starbuck and Blackstar, his impact could be even greater. On one of my Virginian jaunts, I visited Round Oak Farm, not too long before the herd was dispersed and met the Hope family who bred this bull, truly the sire of the century.


Elevation’s record of 4,151 Excellent US daughters was only finally overtaken last year by Durham who now has over 4,500. Blackstar, who carries two-times Elevation, has over 2,000 Excellent US daughters and many more around the globe.


Elevation females Elevation’s greatest daughter was Mil-R-Mor Roxette EX, the most famous daughter of the legendary queen of the breed, Glenridge Citation Roxy. I was working at Mil-R-Mor Farm and body clipped Roxette just before she went to the ’76 US National Sale, where she made $25,000 at one-year old to Hanoverhill. She bred many EX daughters there, as well as Hanoverhill Raider, who was a double grandson of Elevation. In Canada, many of the best Elevations were out of Citation R daughters as they tended to have long necks and deep ribs – these were a must when using old ‘Round Rib Rag Apple Shortneck’ – Elevation’s most popular nickname. 40 years on from Elevation’s huge second crop influence in the USA, many features of the modern breed, both good and bad, can be traced


58 THE JOURNAL AUGUST 2014 Final thoughts


Going back to Richard H Mansfield’s ‘Progress of the Breed – The History of US Holsteins’ publication, he notes that Elevation on his maternal side traces no less than 20 times to Johanna Rag Apple Pabst, founder of the Rag Apple bloodline. On his paternal side, he is intensely Burke, tracing 11 times to Wisconsin Admiral Burke Lad, founder of the Burke bloodline, proving that Elevation is a beautiful blend of two bloodlines.


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