4‐H Dairy Skills - 10‐year old

Local, state and national shows help to promote your cattle as well as yourself. Receiving a high placing on your animal can be rewarding for you and possibly increase your animal’s value at the same time. When showing, your main responsibility is to have your animal look her best at all times. However, preparing your calf/heifer/cow for the show is just one component of dairy showmanship. Your personal poise, alertness and neatness are also important in the show ring. Keep an eye on your animal and be aware of the position of the judge at all times. Don’t be distracted in the ring. Respond quickly to requests from the judge. Be courteous and a good sport at all times. Show the animal, not yourself. Keep showing until the entire class is placed, reasons are given and the entire class is out of the ring.

Not only should your cattle be well‐kept, but you also should have a clean, neat display and be courteous to other people at the show. With patience and experience you will learn how to show your calf/heifer/cow in a manner that will attract attention to her strengths and overcome her faults. This task can be difficult for even the most experienced exhibitor, but practice will help improve your technique.

The judge follows the Dairy Showmanship Scorecard:

Appearance of animal.....40%

  • Condition, ideal weight
  • Grooming, clipping
  • Cleanliness

Appearance of exhibitor.....10%

  • Clothes and person, neat and clean
  • White pants and shirt or white top and black pants (no logos worn for 4‐H shows)
  • Hard soled boots or shoes

Showing the animal in the ring.....50%

  • Leading
  • Standing
  • Showing animal to its best advantage
  • Poise, alertness and attitude


Showmanship Tips

  • Enter the show ring at a natural pace in a clockwise direction.
  • Hold the lead strap (in your right hand) closely to your animal’s head, and in your left hand hold the remaining portion of the lead strap.
  • Your animal should lead readily and respond quickly.
  • Always keep your animal’s head up and keep your animal awake.
  • Properly poise your animal when at a stop and make changes when the judge alters his/her position.
  • Do not crowd other exhibitors and their animals.
  • During the judge’s close inspection, head facing the judge and keep a close eye on the appearance of your animal. Switch your hand position on the halter, when necessary. Respond promptly to the judge’s and show officials’ requests.
  • Move the animal using the lead strap/halter. Do not step on the animal’s feet at any time.
  • Pay close attention at all times. Do not be distracted by people or things outside the show ring.
  • Continue to show your animal until the class is complete. Be sure to listen to the judge’s comments so that you can learn from your mistakes and improve in the future.
  • Once the class is placed and ribbons are distributed, exit in single‐file as the judge gives oral reasons. If a ringman is present, follow his/her directions for exiting the show ring.
  • Be pleasant at all times. Remember, an occasional smile never hurts.

Showmanship Attire

4‐Hers must wear all white or a white (tops) and black (bottoms) uniform. Knee length or longer skirts for females are acceptable. No bare midriffs will be permitted. Non‐show hats, shorts, blue jeans, bare feet and sandals will not be allowed.


  1. What is your main responsibility when showing?
  2. Name two things you should be doing in the show ring concerning the judge.

  3. What is proper show attire?
  4. Which way do you enter the show ring?

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Dairy Skills 10-year Old

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