The Koelfontein Simmentaler stud was founded in 1980 when Frans Conradie bought his first ten pregnant heifers from the Kykso stud of brothers Thys and Streicher Swart of Swellendam. Female numbers were further bolstered by purchases from the Mon-Bijou stud of Hennie de Klerk of Winburg and Bertie Higgs of Kameeldam, Hopetown. The latter was largely an effort to rescue some unique German genetics when the Northern Cape was going through a crippling drought and suffering heavy livestock losses. During the early 1980s Frans mostly used bulls from Kykso with a particular preference for the offspring of the famous imported German bull Bernheim. However, the bull that had the greatest influence on our stud during those early years was Kykso Kaiant, a grandson of Kaiser, whose bloodline was very influential in the Kykso stud.
The next big step forward came when Frans invested in a share in Toverberg Vlam. At the time the Toverberg stud of Abraham Kruger of Colesberg was producing some of the most sought-after genetics out of the famous Kameeldam Bismark, a son of the imported Billy and Jaffa, who both left an indelible mark on the South African Simmentaler gene pool. Vlam not only was a Bismark son, but his mother Toverberg Zena was a Bernheim daughter, a combination that proved very successful in numerous cases.
For the first two decades of the stud’s existence, we continued to use Kykso bulls out of the Kiaser/Kaimat/Kalari lineage combined with the German Hagen, Dior and Balaton genetics; while also selecting bulls from upcountry that descended from the Kameeldam dynasty of Bismark, Allan and Pott out of Billy, Jaffa and the Jane’s. The bull that had the biggest impact on our herd in the nineties was Potfontein Ideaal, a Kameeldam Lieb (KDM Allan x KDM Jane2) son bred by Dawid du Plessis of Kokstad. The purchase of Ideaal was also the start of a partnership between Koelfontein and Calla Botha’s Badsberg stud of Rawsonville to jointly buy and exchange bulls to share costs and expand genetic pools. One of the bulls that proved quite successful for both herds was Nelsimm Toggs, a Salerika Evan son out of a Kameeldam Allan granddaughter.
By the early 2000s Frans started handing over the reins of the Koelfontein family business to the next generation and for a while stud breeding took a bit of a back seat to the main fruit farming business. In 2008 Handri Conradie took over the pick of Frans’s herd and purchased some further Kykso and Kyksim females. At first bulls from the Locheim stud of Philip de Waal of Moorreesburg was used along with semen from proven bulls from distinguished studs like Erico, Wymar, Elli’s, Odensim and of course Kyksim and Kykso. Offspring of the well-known Kykso Haped have and continue to make their impact felt in our herd.
In 2016 we bought Leeupoort Bismarck, a son of the famous Leeupoort Brits out of Toverberg Tombi, one of the most successful embrio donor cows in South Africa, and judging from the 2017 crop of calves we believe Bismarck is going to take Koelfontein forward in leaps and bounds. Since 2014 we have also sought to increase our genetic depth by investing significantly in female breeding stock out of the best maternal lines of studs like Simlee, BAR 5 SA, Taaibosspruit, Simberg, Boswald, Vooruitzicht, Wensim, Leeupoort and Milagro.