Linear classification

Beef Shorthorn breeders are now using type classification to enable them to identify females, more readily, with the strongest maternal traits within their respective herds, along with good conformation and structural soundness. To assist with this, we launched a type classification scheme in 2015 as an additional tool for members to enable them to accelerate progress within their breeding programmes and offer an improved functional suckler cow.

 ©Catherine MacGregor

©Catherine MacGregor

A comprehensive initiative for breeders

The initiative, which is believed to be the most comprehensive of its kind offered by any beef breed society, is delivered by independent professional classifiers in two parts. First, a 14-trait linear classification followed by a composite classification in four categories: body confirmation, beef character, legs and feet, and mammary.

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The linear classification is an objective assessment of how the animal compares to breed average for each of the 14 traits. The composite classification is a more subjective assessment with higher scores given to more desirable attributes. The composite scores are given a weighting before being added together to give a final score.

When buying a bull at sale it is usually not possible to see his dam, so seeing how she has been classified is a good indication of how good she is and what maternal traits will be passed to his offspring.

Look out for the final score and ranking - from Poor to Excellent - which is appended to the animal's name and made visible on pedigree certificates, Breedplan records and sales catalogues.