Approved Hereford Judges 2019
A Practical Guide to Cattle Judging
Firstly, refer to the Schedule and check the Classification of each Class.
Walk the ring and decide where best to view the animals and to stand them.
Check with your Steward that the animals enter the ring in age order (oldest first, etc.).
View the profile of the animals from a distance as they parade around the ring, checking their motion and size (compare against an object in the background) about two laps of the ring.
Stand in a corner of the ring and watch the animals coming towards you, preferably uphill, then away on the level, looking for fore and hind legs in line and that foot placement is correct i.e. the rear hoof should land in the mark left by the front one. Movement should be smooth and free flowing.
Ask your Steward to stand the cattle in a line, ideally face up the slope if there is one and with the sun (if sunny) on your back. Then walk along behind checking and comparing, likewise along the front. Then proceed to handle the animals from front to back checking on condition and muscling and any reproduction issues, i.e. udder development in females and testicles on bulls.
By this time you should have a pretty good idea of your placings, then ask the competitors to walk around the ring again and pull individual animals into the line in the order you want them.
When you have completed the line-up, just check that you are happy with your placings before handing out the prize-cards and remember when doing so to thank the competitors for coming and make positive comments about their cattle.
If making comments on the microphone, remember to thank the organisers for asking you to judge.
Points to look for: Balance, correct structure, muscling, locomotion, well grown and good size for age, waste free (type the market is looking for), coat find and smooth (“hard coat, hard feeder”), colour and markings to conform to Breed type.
DO: Dress suitably for the occasion, i.e. suit or jacket and always a tie.
DONT: Enter into long dialogue with the competitors in the ring.
Wear wellington boots unless absolutely necessary.
Forget to thank your Steward.