Hoard's Dairyman Cow Judging - Guernsey


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I placed this outstanding group of Guernsey cows C D B A. C moves to the top of this class with her winning combination of angularity, strength, and soundness of udder attachments. In my top pair, C places over D with a clear advantage in refinement. C is leaner in the neck, sharper over the withers, and more open in the rib. C also carries less flesh, particularly over the topline and rump, and is more incurving in the thigh. C has a more youthful udder, held higher above the hock, with a smoother fore udder attachment, and rear teats placed more centrally beneath each quarter, noting the close teat placement of D. I do grant that D has an advantage in frame, being straighter over the topline.

It is an advantage in frame that places D over B in the middle pair. D is much harder over the topline, particularly in the loin, is more nearly level from hooks to pins, and has a tailhead that sits more neatly between her pins. D also blends more smoothly from neck to shoulder and shoulder to barrel. Moreover, D has a higher rear udder attachment and carries her udder higher above the hock, noting the B has the deepest udder in the class. I recognize that B is carrying less flesh and exhibits less set to the hock.

Finally, B places over A with a distinct advantage in rear udder, exhibiting greater height and width at the point of attachment. The rear udder of B displays more overall capacity and uniform width from top to bottom, faulting A for narrowing substantially at the top of the rear udder. B displays more angularity, greater spring of rear rib, a steeper foot angle, and more depth of heel. I grant that A has a more youthful udder with a more desirable rump structure, but she lacks the refinement and height and width of rear udder attachment to place any higher.

Steve Kelm of River Falls, Wis., placed the GUERNSEYS. Kelm has been a faculty member and dairy judging team coach at the University of Wisconsin – River Falls for the past 13 years. At UW-River Falls, he teaches courses in genetics, animal breeding, dairy production management, and dairy cattle evaluation. He is originally from southern Minnesota and completed his undergraduate work in dairy science at Cal Poly. In 1998, Kelm completed his Ph.D. at Iowa State University in dairy cattle breeding and genetics. He has received several teaching awards at the local, regional, and national level, including the UWRF Distinguished Teacher Award in 2002.

SCORING KEY