As I write this I am riding back to Michigan after a fun couple days down in Mansfield, OH at the Ohio Valley Dexter Breeders show. I love getting to see Dexter friends from around the country! Fellowship with other breeders is an important part of any organization, and I am proud to say Dexters do a pretty darn good job.
Being at a show like that always gets me revved up and wanting me to get things going at home. However, being pregnant this summer has me doing more watching than anything else...but that's beside the point.
Of course as I sat in the stands watching, I was doing my own judgment of the cattle in the ring. Whether you breed non-chondrodyplasia carriers or carriers/horned or polled...shouldn't matter to a good judge that knows cattle. Cattle are cattle and structural correctness should always beat out preference. Not saying that all judges are like that, but the one that they had at this show seemed to know his stuff. I agreed with nearly all of his reasons with a couple of exceptions.
While shows are that one judge's opinion at that moment on that particular day, they should be taken into consideration as a learning tool. Can you see the reasons behind the placing? The more you watch and listen you pick up more and more of the terminology. There's jargon in cattle just like anything else.
I like to think I am well versed in things like that but there's also always something new to learn.
New breeders can learn from these experiences as much as a seasoned breeder. Take notes, follow the show bill, talk to breeders, ask questions.
The OVDBA show was the kick off to most people's show season. The next big show of the year would be the American Dexter Cattle Association's National Show, Sale, and Annual Meeting in Salina, KS next month. If you are really wanting to experience a larger show and meet a whole swathe of people from across the country I'd hit up that show. Good people, good cattle, and educational seminars to benefit everyone.
As always, questions are always welcome. Not sure what that judge is taking about? Let me know! I'd be happy to help.
~Until Next Time