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ABOVE LEFT Wardle Stormatic Donfl oss EX 91-2E SP is now a member of Peter Waring’s Winton

herd. She has daughters by Shottle and Painley Knobles.

ABOVE RIGHT Wiskemanor

Stormatic Donfl oss VG87-2yr was Champion Heifer in the 2010 North East Club Winter Classic and is projected to over 9000 kg.

FAR LEFT Castledon Emperor

Donfl oss 4 EX91, completed over 200,000 kg of milk in her lifetime.

Born in 1979, she lived for 20 years and bred eight daughters.

a fourth lactation of 13,641 kg at 3.6% fat and 2.78% protein. She has already yielded over 50 tonnes in her fi rst four lactations and was Champion Heifer in the 2006 Western Herds Competition as well as Reserve Champion at the 2006 Cheshire Show. Her daughters by Painley Knobles and Shottle were sold for 2800gns and 2100gns respectively at Wardle, while her maternal sisters by Outside and Talent made 2200gns and 2600gns. Stormatic Donfl oss is one of a few lines of fi ve generations VG or EX from the family and may infl uence many herds through her son, the Far-O-La Debbie Jo Drake sired Wardle Donnie who is being tested by Cogent and currently has 89 progeny registered, the eldest being born late in 2008. Fresh for the Waring’s in April this year with a Xacobeo son, she is milking … in her fi fth and not yet been served again as there are plans to fl ush her.

Members of the Donfl oss family always seem to have commanded high prices. Back in March 1999, the Gotts held their fi rst major sale, moving the cattle from the dairy-sparse county of Essex to the Norton and Brooksbank sale centre at Kirby Thore, Cumbria. 14 descendants of all ages from Emperor Donfl oss 4 were sold that day and they averaged just shy of £1300. Twice the hammer fell at 2000gns; for the dam of Wardle Stormatic Donfl oss, Castledon Jed Donfl oss who started the family for Ian Williamson at Wardle, and Castledon Inspiration Donfl oss VG87. In 2003, the Castledon herd was dispersed at Kirby Thore and one of the top sellers was Castledon Formation J Donfl oss VG88, then a second calver who was bought by the Cumbrian partnership of Bateson and Braithwaite for 1400gns. By the time Wardle sold up last year, Cameron Baty from Tynevalley had to pay 4300gns to secure Wardle Talented Donfl oss, who is now a VG87 two-year-old and completes fi ve generations VG or EX. She is a sister to Stormatic Donfl oss as she is from the Jed, with Emperor Donfl oss the fourth dam. The Donfl oss family is also fl ourishing in at least two other herds. Alan Goldie’s Wiskemanor herd based at Northallerton, North Yorkshire was fortunate to buy privately two Donfl oss’s from Mark Spencer, who had acquired them at the Castledon dispersal; Castledon Formation Donfl oss and Castledon Astre Donfl oss 2 EX90. One of the Goldie’s favourite heifers in the herd at the moment is Wiskemanor Stormatic Donfl oss VG87-2yr who has already been Champion Heifer in the 2010 North Eastern Holstein Club Winter Classic and is projected to over 9000 kg. She is calved since December, still giving over 35 kg per day and is back in calf for early January 2011 to Gillette Final Cut. She also has a VG86-2yr Picston Shaker sister, while their dam is a second generation straight EX, behind the Astre is an EX Charles and then the pedigree has crosses of Broker, Defi ance, Missile and Supreme before we are back to Donfl oss 4. One of the most profi table purchases at Gott’s 1999 sale would be made by the Pearce family’s Shelton herd from Newcastle Under Lyme in Staffordshire. They bought Castleton Luke Donfl oss as a yearling for 700gns. She went on to complete seven lactations with a peak in her fourth at 14,347 kg, which contributed to her exceeding 100 tonnes in her lifetime. She also had three daughters in the herd by Sterndale Pirate, Jordan and Outside, with her eldest daughter, Shelton Pirate Donfl oss, being the dam of an EX90 Shelton Zebedee daughter, Shelton Zebedee Donfl oss who is a recognised Superior Producer and had a fourth lactation of 10,857 kg at 4.09% fat and 3.1% protein. It remarkable that the UK’s highest producing Holstein cow of all time is still throwing up great descendants 30 years after her birth, but she has established a milestone all cows should aspire to. For 40 years Norman Gott and his family developed the Donfl oss family among his high yielding Essex herd, now other breeders have taken up the mantle of a high producing cow family and with sons now in AI, who knows where Castledon Emperor Donfl oss 4 genes will fl ourish next?


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