The overall purpose of a show is to select animals which come closest to the ideal of "perfect Zebu" as set by AMZA's strict breed standards. Each show is a comparative study of "a" group of animals on one particular day.
Who is the the Judge?
The judge at your show is a member of a very select community. Fewer than 40 people in the United States currently licensed to judge shows sanctioned by the American Miniature Zebu Association. To qualify for a license, applicants must pass stringent written and oral tests, demonstrating thorough knowledge of correct conformation and the ability to organize and communicate that knowledge.
What does a Judge look for?
AMZA provides all of its judges with a scorecard to evaluate each animal. The scorecard is divided into four (4) sections - 1) General Appearance, 2) Breed Character and 3) Body Capacity and 4) Reproductive System.
There are a number of defects which may cause the judge to disqualify an animal, such as blindness, serious emaciation, permanent lameness, double teats or other permanent physical defects.
How are Shows organized?
Shows are first divided in sex and age appropriate divisions. Animals are divided by sex and then into age classes. Thus, each animal competes against others of its own sex and approximate age.
Junior divisions classes shall include all Bull calves less than 24 months and Heifers less than 48 months who have never freshened (calved).
Senior division classes shall include all Bulls that are 24 months and older and all Cows that have freshened (calved) at any age.
Steers divisions classes will include all ages.
Generally, first place winners from each class compete for Grand and Reserve Champion. Each group (Junior, Senior and Steer) will compete for their own Grand and Reserve Champions. Once the Grand Champion is selected, the Reserve Champion is chosen from the remaining first place winners plus the animal which placed second in its class behind the animal chosen for Grand Champion. The Junior Division Grand Champion, the Senior Division Grand Champion and any Permanent/Master Champions will compete for the "Champion Challenge". Permanent Grand Champions can be show in their respective age division OR the Champion Challenge, but not both.
Some shows have showmanship competition, in which the judge considers the appearance of the animal and the exhibitor as well as the actual showing, looking for the exhibitor who shows his or her animal to best advantage without undue fussing and maneuvering.
How are Classes Judged?
Each class follows a set pattern. As the show steward will call the class, the exhibitors enter the ring leading their animals in predetermined pattern set by the judge. The judge observes the animals as they move by.
Once all animals have entered the ring, the judge will start his evaluation process. This process may involve maneuvering the animal around the ring in several different positions to best evaluate the animal.
Having completed the process of placing the animals, the judge takes the microphone and gives reasons for each placing, telling why the animal ahead is superior to the animal behind. While the judge is giving reasons, winning exhibitors receive ribbons and/or trophies.
What are the Benefits of Showing?
Showing can be a valuable experience for you. The show give breeder the opportunity to have their animals and breeding program evaluated by a highly trained professional. You will have the opportunity to listen to the judge as she or he gives reasons for the placings. Often the judge will be willing to talk with you after the show if you don't understand the placings. You can also talk with the exhibitors and see the animals in their pens.