a preponderance of punctuation marks (reedrover) wrote,
a preponderance of punctuation marks

Cheating at cattle shows

Last night, a woman whose name I've forgotten (bad me!) told a story about a hereford cattle show that I really enjoyed.

In most cow-calf competitions, the point of the competition is that the cow is the mother of the calf, and that the judge is judging the conformation, uniformity of appearance, and health of the two as a pair. The cow is supposed to have nursed its own calf. The challenge here is that the hereford breed is notorious for being a breed of poor milkers. Often, the calves will be pulled and put onto surrogates - such as holsteins - to ensure sufficient milk production/consumption. In the show world, this would be considered cheating, but is often ignored in the ring because the practice is so widespread.

The narrator of this story told us about attending a hereford show where the judge lined up the whole cow/calf class. He then said "We're going to do something different, here, boys." He had all of the handlers take their calves to the other end of the show ring from the cows. "Turn 'em loose!" Only one calf went back to its mother and started nursing. The judge pointed, "That's my champion. The rest of you are dismissed."

In most shows that I've attended, "dismissed" means disqualified. No ribbons, no refunds. Good-bye.

The narrator opined that she hoped the owner of that one pair had his truck loaded and his motor running before the show was over, because there were a lot of pissed off owners left behind. Cattle shows are big money.
Tags: animals

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