Jason Cleere, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Wade Shackelford, Prosper ISD
Jamie Osbourn, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Classifying the breed of a show steer in Texas used to be easy. Only three British breeds were shown. Crossbreeding among them was rare and easily recognized, and only Brahman crosses were shown in Texas.
Today, there are as many as 17 breeds and breed-cross classes in Texas shows, among about 75 breeds of cattle in the United States that could contribute to the genetic makeup of a steer.
To an outsider or novice, placing a steer in a breed class might appear to be relatively simple. Just read the specifications for a class and then find an animal that meets the criteria-right? Please keep in mind, registration papers, breeder affidavits, or other paperwork is not considered in the classification process. Eligibility for the class is determined only by visual appraisal, as evaluated by classifiers appointed by show management.
Ideal Characteristics: Characteristics in combination that most accurately represent the breed Acceptable Breed Characteristics: Characteristics that represent the breed
Discriminatory Breed Characteristics: Characteristics that are not reason for absolute disqualification but in combination with other discriminatory visual characteristics could lead to disqualification.
Absolute Disqualifications: Unfavorable visual characteristics resulting in removal from a breed division
Considerations: The following will be considered at the discretion of the classification committee: birthmarks or scarring (due to hot iron branding, freeze branding, or injury-caused discoloration)
The authors would like to recognize the Texas County Agricultural Agents Association, the Texas Association of Extension 4-H Agents, the Vocational Agricultural Teachers Association of Texas, and Texas and national purebred cattle associations for their input in preparing this document. The following guidelines were developed by representatives of these organizations during the Texas Steer Classification Workshop that was held September 13 & 14, 2015 in San Antonio, Texas.