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Dairy shows classifications

Guidelines for Competitive Dairy Shows in Canada

The following Canadian Dairy Breeds’ Classifications for competitive dairy shows are offered to all fairs and exhibitions in Canada. They are printed to provide uniformity in definitions and age classes; updates by letter are issued as necessary.

Fairs and exhibitions are to follow these Classifications when planning competitive dairy competitions. They are not intended to interfere with federal, provincial, or local funding.


An exhibit is interpreted as follows: a dairy animal qualifying for an entry into a class as specified in the Classifications. All registered animals, 87,5% or higher in purity, whether owned by one person or by more than one person (individually or jointly), are considered to be the production of the farm or breeding unit on which they are maintained.

All exhibits must be registered in the name of the exhibitor in accordance with the By-laws of their respective breed association.

An exhibitor is any breeder or firm which presents animals for official placing by a judge at the time specified by the fair/exhibition for judging.

Dress Code 
All exhibitors must be dressed in white shirts and trousers free of colors, letters, logos, or labels.

Checking of Entries 
Checking of exhibits is the responsibility of the fair/exhibition adopting the Classifications. The fair/exhibition must exclude ineligible animals and those not positively identified before judging.

Split Classes 
Classes may be split at the discretion of the fair/exhibition when the number of exhibits in a class exceeds 15 animals. If a class is split, a runoff must be held to declare one winner for the age category.

Meaningful Status Eligibility 
Each breed must be shown separately and have at least three exhibitors and 24 exhibits to be eligible for meaningful breed association show status. 


A fair/exhibition should offer at least 10 classes for a meaningful dairy show. It is not necessary for each breed to offer the same age classes or the same number of age classes.

Number of Exhibits Per Exhibitor
A fair/exhibition may limit the maximum number of exhibits per exhibitor at its discretion.

Individual Age Classes For 2019
1 Summer Calf (Royal Winter Fair) June 1, 2019 – August 31, 2019  
2 Junior Calf Mar 1, 2019 – May 31, 2019
3 Intermediate Calf Dec 1, 2018 – Feb 28, 2019
4 Senior Calf Sept 1, 2018 – Nov 30, 2018
5 Senior Calf             Sept 1, 2018 – Feb 28.2019
6 Summer Yearling June 1, 2018 – Aug 31, 2018 
7 Junior Yearling Mar 1, 2018 – May 31, 2018
8 Junior Yearling              Mar 1, 2018 – Aug 31, 2018
9 Intermediate Yearling Dec 1, 2017 – Feb 28, 2018
 10  Senior Yearling Sept 1, 2017 – Nov 30, 2017
11 Senior Yearling              Sept 1, 2017 – Feb 28, 2018
12 Milking Yearling Sept 1, 2017 to Feb 28, 2017
13 Junior 2-Year-Old

Mar 1, 2017 – Aug 31, 2017
14 Senior 2-Year-Old

Sept 1, 2016 – Feb 28, 2011
15 2-Year-Old              Sept 1, 2016 – Aug 31, 2017
16 Junior 3-Year-Old

Mar 1, 2016 – Aug 31, 2016
17 Senior 3-Year-Old

Sept 1, 2015 – Feb 28, 2016
18 3 Year-Old              Sept 1, 2015 – Aug 31, 2016
19 4-Year-Old

Sept. 1, 2014 – Aug. 31, 2015 
20 5-Year-Old

Sept 1, 2013 – Aug 31, 2014
21 Mature Cow

Born prior to Sept 1, 2013

22. Dry Cow 
A cow shown in this class cannot be shown in any other class for single animals, but can be shown in the Breeder’s Herd Class.

On day of show, cow must be at least 270 days since last calving. Cow must be recorded in the owner’s record book as dry on day of judging.


23. Breeder’s Herd (Junior & Senior)
Two options are offered:

  1. A group of three animals limited to one exhibit per exhibitor. Exhibitor must have bred all three animals and own at least two of the group.
  2. A group of three animals carryiing the same prefix limited to one exhibit per exhibitor. Exhibitor must be the only owner of at least two animals of the group.

24. Progeny of Dam
A group of two animals out of the same dam.  the exhibitor of the progeny of dam mus be the breeder of two animals and the owner of at least one of the two. 

25. Best Uddered Females
Depending of the show, the judge should declare a best uddered female in each milking class.

If desired, the best uddered female from each class may compete to declare the best uddered females (1,2 or 3) of the show.


  1. Genealogical and official performance data should be displayed for each animal at a fair/exhibition. 
  2. A Premier Breeder and Premier Exhibitor should be named according to respective breed association rules.  
  3. A Premier Sire can be named according to respective breed association rules.

Also see: Code of Ethics for Dairy Shows