9401 is considered by most people to be the premier cow in the Hereford breed as we enter a new century and a new millennium. Certainly the progeny of no other single cow has had any more national and international success in the show ring than has the progeny of 9401. She has had a very big and a very positive impact on the Hereford breed, and her influence is bound to be felt in the breed for several decades. She and her progeny have proven to be more than just beauty contest winners. They have had an important impact in moving the show ring to an arena that selects for function - production and performance - as well as eye appeal. In that regard, it is appropriate and significant that 9401 and her maternal sister, Miss Optimum 9231, were the first two Genetic Focus National Grand Champion Heifers. Their sire, MSU Optimum Z03, was the only bull to be Grand Champion at two Genetic Focus Shows. These shows and the cattle that won in them have shown the way toward making the show ring more relevant to beef cattle production and performance. The great value of these shows can be measured by the fact the most of the champions in these shows became important and valuable breeding bulls and cows for the breed, whereas before these shows nearly all of the bulls and heifers who won in the show ring proved to be of poor genetic constitution and had mostly negative impacts on the breed. By discarding the Genetic Focus shows and not correcting the minor flaws in them, the AHA and the Board of Directors did the breed a great disservice, and the breed is paying for this shortsighted mistake. But the positive influence of these shows in the short time while they existed has made a huge contribution to the progress of the breed.
9401 was overall Grand Champion Female at the 2nd Genetic Focus National (Ft Worth 1995). Her first three 1996 ET bull calves were Elixir, Fortress, and Decathlete. These three bulls have garnered the following awards: Genetic Focus National Grand Champion Bull, American Royal, 1997; Grand Champion Bull at the National Western; Reserve Grand Champion at the American Royal; Reserve Grand Champion at the Western Nugget National (Reno); Reserve Calf Champion at North American International Livestock Exhibition and Grand Champion Performance Bull at the California State Fair.
9401 as a 6 year old dry cow after a year of flushing.
Half interest in 9401 was donated to Michigan State University. Her first natural calf was born unassisted when she was 24 months old, a 78 lb. bull calf by Feltons 517. This first natural calf, MSU WNH Felton 5F, was Reserve Champion Junior Bull Calf at the American Royal and was 2nd in class to his maternal uncle at the 74th National. 5F was also Reserve Yearling Champion at the Genetic Focus National at the American Royal in 1997, and he sired the popular Spring Bull Calf Champion, MSU MF Hudson 19H, at the 1999 National Western. 9401's second natural calf, MSU WNH Focus 49H, won the first class of spring bull calves at the 1999 National Western. She has also produced 11 ET calves.
At six years of age, 9401 has now produced champions at every major show in the United States, Canada and Argentina, including Grand Champions at the Canadian National (Toronto Royal), the US National Western (1997 and 2001) and the American Royal (1997 and 2000); Reserve Grand Champions at the National Western (both heifer and bull in 1999), the American Royal, the Western Nugget National at Reno, the National Palermo Show in Argentina (grandson), the Toronto Royal, and the Canadian Agribition. Her 1998 son, MSU STAR Headliner was National Reserve Grand Champion Bull in Canada as a calf, National Reserve Grand Champion in the United States as a calf, National Grand Champion Bull in Canada as a yearling, and Grand Champion at the American Royal and the National Western as a two year old.
At Denver in 1999, 9401's 6 calves produced 3 firsts, 2 seconds and a third, 3 divisional champions, and both Reserve Grand Champions. These were out of 4 different bulls. If she had entered the Best Six Head competition, she almost certainly would have won it. She probably had more impact on the 1999 National Show than any bull.
17 of her 18 calves have been shown nationally. In 50 outings, 9401's calves have produced 24 firsts, 14 seconds and 9 thirds, 21 divisional champions, 6 Reserve Grand Champions and 5 Grand Champions. Only three times has one of her calves ever stood below third at a National show. In the 1999-2000 show season, 9401 produced the National Grand Champion Bull in Canada and her son, Decathlete, sired the National Grand Champion Heifer in the USA, the Reserve Grand Champion Bull in Argentina, and both the Grand and Reserve Grand Champion Heifers at the Western Nugget National. The National Grand Champion Female in Canada in the same show season was a maternal sister to 9401.
Three of her sons, Felton 5F, Elixir and Decathlete, have been listed in the Top 200 Active Sires in the breed for all traits.
Bulls by WNH Ms Optima 9401
Heifers by Ms Optima 9401
WNH MS Optima 9401's Daughters in production
Genetic and Performance Data on WNH Ms Optima 9401:
|BW 72||WW 635||YW 1016|
|BT MOHICAN TRADITION 530 GT TL: Y MG MM||BT CL DOMINO 15G|
|MSU OPTIMUM Z03 X23448168 GT||SARA 569R|
|MSU MISS RIVAL X10 GT||JR P183 RIVAL T205|
|RADAR PEARL 38T|
|MSU STERLING 8534||STERLING TL:Y TP MM|
|MISS SNIZHONI 901 X23363409||MSU ROCKETTE 8323|
|L3 MISS NIZHONI 436||LSU VICTOR G37|
|MSU SPECIAL MISS 711|
X23760056 Calved: Dec. 18, 1993 Tattoo: RE WNH; LE 9401