A system of classification of registered females based upon type and individuality, TOP Classification recognises that progress towards the improvement of the Milking Shorthorn breed should be obtained through animals superior in conformation as well as production.

Classification is undertaken by the Ayrshire New Zealand on our behalf in late spring each year. Animals are scored by trained inspectors on a scale of 1-9 for 11 different conformation traits along with scores for ‘udder overall’ and ‘dairy conformation’. These scores are then coverted into an ‘award’.

Members are encouraged to submit all 2 year old cows (both pedigree and grade), along with any older animals they wish to have re-classified. In particular, the two year old data plays a large role in calculating sire proofs and the information is invaluable in that respect.


1. All two year old heifers by breed, by sire, whether pedigree or grade, must be put up for inspection. Members are advised that where it is identified that two year old Ayrshire heifers are not inspected without an appropriate reason, then all awards and/or scores for the two year old cohort may be removed from DIGAD at the discretion of NZ Milking Shorthorn.
2. Inspections must be carried out in suitable yards for drafting and be on concrete.
3. The member or one staff member must be present during the inspections to assist with drafting etc.


Registration of grade heifers

At the members discretion (see overleaf), any animal not showing as PS or SS on the inspector’s screen (i.e. grade animals) will be given a final classification award and an ER (eligible for registration) code. These animals will be registered automatically by the NZ Milking Shorthorn office and a registration fee charged, as well as the classification charge. These animals will be charged at the registered heifer TOP price.


Farmer Sheets

Farmer Sheets will automatically be sent for all two year olds. If you wish to have Farmer Traits entered for your older animals download a blank Farmer Sheet from our website. Members may also select to complete Farm Traits via a phone app.


Bio Security

All members are asked to make hot water and scrubbing brushes available to inspectors to prevent cross-contamination between farms.


Health & Safety

NZ Milking Shorthorn will confirm the date and times of your inspection. Please ensure that any health & safety policy requirements for your farm are provided to NZ Milking Shorthorn at least one week prior to the scheduled inspection.

CLOSE OFF DATE – Friday 29 September 2023

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