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The Deer Farmer Tuesday 14th October, 2008
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Adonis breeding for trophy

02-11-2007 | webmaster

Longstanding trophy genetics specialist Deer Genetics NZ is pleased with the outcome of its first hind sale.

Don Bennett runs the company with his wife Anne and son Kelly. They have issued a catalogue of trophy genetics semen every January since 1999. Long based in Bay of Plenty with an associated block in South Canterbury, they have recently sold up their northern property and replaced it with a second southern block. They continue with an intensive embryo transplant and AI programme, last year conducting about 100 embryo transplants.

Don says the initial catalyst for the business was the purchase of a top trophy stag, Adonis DG. Adonis DG, who died in 1999 took the world record SCI 523 score in 1999 and is still widely regarded as an outstanding New Zealand trophy sire. His breeding was Furzeland Eastern/English cross and he has had an influence in most NZ trophy herds. "He had an extremely attractive head," says Don. "He had a nice big open head, long tines and very big tops with big outriggers." Deer Genetics NZ still have a bit of his semen left "for our own use".

Their current rising star is Hannibal DG, a son of Adonis DG, who is now four years old and whose head rated an SCI score of 370 at the age of two. His full sister attracted the top price of $24,000 at the hind sale, held in September. Fifteen animals were sold out of a total offering of 17 for an average of $8,000.

Overall, Don says trophy breeding is a very small niche industry with a fine balance between supply and demand.

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