Hanoverhill Starbuck, the Legendary Sire

 Hanoverhill Starbuck, Holstein sire (b at Port Perry, Ont 26 April 1979; d at St-Hyacinthe, Que 17 Sep 1998). Hanoverhill Starbuck is the name of a legendary Canadian sire with exceptional genetics, which revolutionized Holstein breeding worldwide. In May 1979, two sire analysts from Centre d'insémination artificielle du Québec (CIAQ), Robert Chicoine and Harley Nicholson, travelled to Ontario to sign mating contracts with Holstein breeders; they were also looking for new young sires. Late one afternoon, after a long day on the road east of Toronto, they ended up in the Port Perry region where they met by chance with Peter Heffering of Hanover Hill Holsteins, who offered to show them his superb herd. In the barn, in a pen located just in front of his dam, a young sire, born on April 26, 1979 and displaying an exceptional stature, captured their interest. After careful consideration, CIAQ decided to buy the young sire. Thus began the legend of Hanoverhill Starbuck, the best sire CIAQ has ever owned in its history.

The first Starbuck daughters started to calve in Quebec in 1983 and their owners were greatly impressed by their traits. They showed lots of style and height, as well as tremendous legs and high quality udders. Quebec breeders, aware of the sire's great genetic value and outstanding conformation and MILK PRODUCTION results, used Starbuck semen on a very large scale.

Throughout his career, Starbuck sired over 200 000 daughters, 209 proven sons and 406 proven grandsons worldwide. From 1986 to 1995, he earned 27 times the Premier Sire title at five major Holstein shows held in Canada and the USA. In addition to being extremely popular in North America, he was also in great demand on the international markets. Overall, more than 685 000 Starbuck semen doses were sold in 45 countries.

Upon being retired, Starbuck died on September 17, 1998, after an illustrious 19-year-and-four-month career in artificial insemination. Less than two years later, on September 7, Starbuck II, cloned calf of the famous bull, was born in Saint-Hyacinthe. With the arrival of genomics in the breeding industry in 2009, which studies genes that influence desirable traits in superior animals so they can be selected and transmitted to the next generation, cloning had become a less attractive option to transmit high genetics. Also, Canadian regulatory agencies never authorized the marketing in Canada of semen doses from cloned sires. Given the circumstances, the Semex Alliance of which CIAQ is a shareholder decided to proceed with the cremation of the clone known as Hanoverhill Starbuck II on September 30, 2010, thus marking the end of cloning.