Linear Assessment

Linear Classification

If you wish to have your herd Linear Assessed you can now contact the National Bovine Data Centre to arrange for a visit from an assessor. If you ring Jackie Clark Tel. 01923 695208 Ext 211, she will be able to tell you when an assessor is working in your area and what information you need to supply for the animals you want to have assessed.

The Society can no longer subsidise this service – please ring the Office on 01768 870521 for information on current charges.

Linear Classification is a voluntary scheme that is only available to Dexter Cattle Society members. It is an assessment of an animal’s traits carried out by a panel of professional independent assessors who travel to holdings all over the UK and beyond, and are employed by Holstein UK.

1) Classification is the only independent way to benchmark animals with the breed average.
2) Identify the strengths and weaknesses within a herd.
3) Add value to the herd over generations.
4) Make the stock more marketable.
5) Help to make better management and breeding decisions.
6) Assist the Dexter Cattle Society to identify trends.
In order to carry out a safe and fair assessment, certain criteria need to be met:

  • Classification will only be carried out on site if the Holstein UK classifier is happy with all health and safety aspects. A suitable cattle crush must be provided to restrain a bull for measurement of height and inspection of testicles and teats. Tied gates or other restraints will not be acceptable.
  • The animal is required to walk on concrete or hard standing to inspect locomotion, feet and tracking. Haltering of the bull is not necessarily required.
  • All animals must conform to the Dexter Cattle Society Breed Standard
  • A Dexter Cattle Society representative may accompany the Holstein UK classifier on the farm visit.
  • Holstein UK have the right to decline to linear assess an animal if, in their opinion, it fails to meet breed standard, has infectious diseases, injury or has temperament problems.
  • It is important that a competent person or persons are on site to put the cattle forward and assist the assessors in their task of classification. Holstein UK will only handle an animal in a crush.
  • Each animal will receive a printout of the classification scores on site on the day the animal is classified and the pedigree certificate of the animal will be stamped accordingly.
  • The final classification score will be shown on the pedigree certificate, the society database, the online herdbook, the annual herdbook in the show results booklet and any sales literature.
  • The Annual herd book will record a list of bulls and cows that have attained VG or EX in that particular year. A list of VG and EX bulls and cows will also be shown on the Society website.
  • An animal that is found to be under the breed standard minimum acceptable height or over the breed standard maximum acceptable height or has excessive white will be rejected for classification on site and the classification fee will still be payable. It is important that all applicants have checked their animals to make sure they conform to the Dexter Cattle Society breed standard before they apply for classification so that the disappointment of rejection on site can be avoided.
  • Up to 10 weeks could elapse between making an application and the farm visit. Members are asked to plan ahead, especially for females in milk, if they wish the classification to be carried out when the female is in prime milk production (not freshly calved and not stale or nearly dry). As an example you may wish to book ahead for assessment every June or July for your spring calving cows.
  • Replacement or additional cattle cannot be classified on a prearranged visit without details being placed with the Society breed secretary 7 working days prior to the appointment.
  • Holstein UK may verify VG89 heifers and all EX females and bulls scoring EX95, EX96 and EX97
  • EX excellent 90-97
  • VG very good 85-89
  • GP good plus 80-84
  • G good 75-79
  • F fair 70-74
  • P poor 69 and under

Maximum points available for females:

  • 1st Calver 89 points
  • 2nd Calver 90 points
  • 3rd Calver 93 points
  • 4th + Calver 97 points

Final scores for females are calculated at the following ratios:

  • Breed Character 15%
  • Body Conformation 15%
  • Legs and Feet 30%
  • Mammary 40%

Final scores for bulls are calculated at the following ratios:

  • Breed Character 25%
  • Body Conformation 25%
  • Legs and Feet 25%
  • Rump 25%