I have always found pedigree studies fascinating, and it is one of the reasons why I remain “contrarian” on breeding selection by indexes alone (or even primarily).
The three main Holstein “production” sire lines descend from three sires – Wis Burke Ideal born in 1947, Osborndale Ivanhoe born 1952, and Pawnee Farm Arlinda Chief born 1962. All three sires developed in the context of earlier sire selection systems that combined a belief in “linebreeding” with the breeding worth estimations used prior to “Animal Model” and composite index rankings.
“Ivanhoe” was proven by three breeder partners in CT, MA and RI, started out controversial for type when first entering AI in 1958, but within a decade his “tall, style” physique became the Holstein type standard. In 1966, at 99% Rpt, he was only +270m, with plus bf%, +21bf—hardly a “ranking” sire in an era that had AI proven sires as high as +1600m. But those other “milk” sirelines are extinct, while “Ivanhoe”—the +1.66 “type” and +2.40 “stature” sire is the direct grandsire of Carlin M Ivanhoe Bell (born 1974), whose sons once dominated the ranking lists for milk and protein production, and whose descendants (in spite of *BL and *CV) are still pretty obvious around the world.
In three generations, “Ivanhoe” as a type sire, produced “Apollo” (the sire of +2000m “Wayne”) and “Ivanhoe Star” (+1000m in his own right), among many others… His son “Mowry Prince” sired the first 50,000-pound cow, Mowry Prince Corrine… “Ivanhoe Star” then produced “Bell” whose +1700m with +60bf and +40pr put him at the top, at the beginning of the “indexing” era. [Note: both bulls Mowry Ivanhoe Prince and Penstate Ivanhoe Star are the cross of Osborndale Ivanhoe onto Lauxmont Admiral Lucifer daughters.]
“Arlinda Chief” was proven by Wally Lindskoog in CA, entering AI on a two-herd proof in 1967, and thus was highly controversial even before we had the multi-herd AI sampling model thoroughly in place.
But he was +1622m and +79bf in those two herds, so many were willing to give him a chance. By the time he was 99% Rel he had reached the +1805m mark—also climbing from +0.35 to +1.17 type.
What makes “Chief” so unique today was more common in his era—he was closely linebred, with three close crosses to ABC Reflection Sovereign, a Canadian “show type” bull—six crosses to Montvic Rag Apple Sovereign (sire of “ABC”)— and twelve crosses to Johanna Rag Apple Pabst (maternal grand-sire to “Sovereign”). Most of the “ABC” sons were more “type” than “milk”, but they were used in a similar way to “Ivanhoe”—as sources of more “modern” udder and stature traits.
In three generations, looking on the sire side of “Chief”, you go from a –1035m double grandson of old “ABC” (Rosafe Pearl Hannibal) to a +700m bull, whose dam also carried more “Sovereign” (Pawnee Farm Reflection Admiral), to “Arlinda Chief”, both of whose grandams were sired by the same old “Sovereign” son (Tabur Sovereign Man O War). –1035m to +700m to +1800m in three generations.
“Chief” started breeding milky sons and never quit—first Glendell, then Conductor, then Valiant, then Milu Betty, all the way to Walkway Chief Mark (a fifteen year span from first to last AI success). He sired a world record cow—Beecher Arlinda Ellen (55,661 pounds in 365 days before rBST).
Milu Betty Ivanhoe Chief – never as widely used, thus easier to forget today, combined “Chief” on top and “Ivanhoe” on the bottom, and his grandam was Dunloggin-bred just like those old “Lucifer” cows behind “Ivanhoe Star” and “Prince”. But he sired Cal Clark Board Chairman, who in turn is sire of ToMar Blackstar – so you can see what we sometimes consider “outcross” is more mating effect than ancestral exclusion. (“Blackstar” is a multiple of Chief, Elevation, Ivanhoe and Burke crosses).
“Selecting for Type does lead to Production—just not overnight” (page two)
“Wis Burke Ideal” -- why leave the eldest to last? Because his influence is more subtle, yet more extensive, than the credit he ever gets. Holstein’s “Red Book” tells you the three biggest sire lines are basically “Bell” (Ivanhoe) – “Chief” (Rag Apple) – and “Elevation”, and that is true—but old Elevation combines all three lines—the “Burke’s” through his inbred sire Tidy Burke Elevation, “Ivanhoe” from his dam—Round Oak Ivanhoe Eve—and the Rag Apples through the linebred dam of old “Eve”. Just as “Ivanhoe” was the result of “linebred sire x inbred dam” from two unrelated lines, “Elevation” was a result of “inbred sire x linebred dam” from two unrelated lines.
“Elevation” basically preserved the smoother Burke bloodline phenotype into modern breeding, as a mating balance for the “tall, dairy” Ivanhoe type and the “strong, style” Chief type. Old Wis Burke Ideal was wide, deep, open ribbed, strong front-ended. He was only +477m in his era, but he sired useful bulls like Tidy Burke Forty Niner (+835m at 99% Rpt, who sired +2000m Arlinda Jet Stream, who sired +3000m Browncroft Jetson). He was # one bull for Feet under Holstein USA’s “descriptive type” system and lived over 17 years of age. The Thonyma and Paclamar herds were deep into WBI breeding—he is part of the sire side of Paclamar Astronaut (considered by many the major modern source of “Protein” in Holstein breeding).
“Elevation” was noted early on for “milk” sons like Rockalli Son of Bova (in four generations you have today’s Net Merit leader “O-Man”) -- and later for “type” sons like Hanoverhill Starbuck (two major crosses to WBI—“Elevation” as sire, “Astronaut” as the dam’s sire). Here again, the “three generation” rule seems to apply: Hanoverhill Starbuck (a “type” sire)
[son] Ronnybrook Prelude (a “fat” sire) [son] Madawaska Aerostar (a “milk” sire)
[son] Carol Prelude Mtoto (high Euro index) [daughter] Condon Aero Sharon (EX-91)
In this linebred progression, we produce
Picston Shottle (premier Genomic “sire of sons”)
The “Elevation” influence should be heavy in “Shottle”, as he carries four crosses (Mtoto is doubled Elevation, Aerostar is doubled Elevation) – but he breeds more like old “Starbuck”. So you could probably cross him on “O-Man” (strong, wide) as well as “Storm” (dairy, wide) and get good results, even if that means even more crosses to old “Elevation” [and “Ivanhoe”] [and “Chief” as well].
My final example—the dam of “Shottle” is a three generation progression as well, from type to milk, without sacrifice of type: (dam three) sired by Browndale Commissioner, a “pure type” bull; (dam two) sired by Hanoverhill Inspiration, a “type” pedigreed milk bull; (dam one) sired by Madawaska Aerostar, a true “milk” bull, who actually was inconsistent in type—but the result was an EX-91 cow who produced a top record of 45,000m with 2340bf in fourth lactation, and a world-class “index” bull.
So what is my point ??