Distinctive Character

The Red Poll is a dual-purpose animal. The breed was evolved to combine the production of the very highest standard of beef with a satisfactory milk yield. Accordingly, judging should aim at deciding the best COMBINATION of these qualities. Moreover an obvious deficiency in one cannot be counterbalanced by superlative excellence in the other.


For the purposes of this Breed Standard and for the purposes of the Conditions of Entry to the Herd Book, a Red Poll animal shall be classified as “Registered” if it is registered in the Pedigree Register of the Red Poll Cattle Society.


All Red Polls shall be sired by a Registered Red Poll Bull.


Colour must be red, deep red for preference. A sandy colour is an objection. Any white except on the udder, shall be a disqualification. Any white hairs shall constitute an objection except that a white or silver haired end of the tail is permissible. Where it is contended that any white hairs are the result of trauma, including freeze branding, these may be disregarded upon production to the Society of satisfactory evidence, including a veterinary certificate where appropriate, in support of such contention.


The head must be naturally polled i.e. not artificially polled. Any horn, slug or abortive horn shall be a disqualification. [Slugs are horny substances adhering to the skin over the seat of natural horns, free from any attachment to the skull and consequently as moveable as any piece of the skin. Abortive horns are horny substances attached to the skull but more or less developed as horns.]


The nose should be flesh coloured. A black or blue nose shall be a disqualification. Black or blue spots on the nose shall constitute an objection.

The Cow

The cow should have a fine head and neck. Her back should be level, with the tail long and thin and set on level with it. Her loin should be wide and her hips evenly rounded and not too prominent. Her body should be deep with the ribs well sprung, the legs being at the four corners and set well apart. She should be a good mover on legs of medium length. Her hindquarters should be long from hip to aitch bone and not patchy at the rump ends, the buttocks being deep and well fleshed down to the hocks. Her forearms and half legs should be well developed

She should be thick through the heart and her brisket should be deep, wide and forward. Her skin should be fine and soft to the touch. Her udder should be well developed but not pendulous and should come well up between the hind legs and run well forward. The teats should be of moderate size set evenly at the four lower corners of the udder and pointing to the ground. The milk veins should run well forward along the belly.

The Bull

A similar description to that given for the Cow applies to a Bull except for the reference therein contained to the head and neck and to the udder.

A Bull should be of a decidedly masculine type with strong head and neck, a powerful chest and well placed rudimentary teats.

He should be a good mover on legs of medium length and his testicles should be flesh coloured and hang evenly.

Disqualification / Objection

Any Animal with a Disqualification shall not be eligible for entry in the Herd Book.
A Bull with an Objection shall not be eligible for entry in the Herd Book.
An Objection shall not render a Cow ineligible for entry in the Herd Book.

Artificial Alteration.

Any artificial alteration of the natural colour or conformation of an animal either by colouration or any other means shall ipso facto disqualify the animal from receiving an award and shall render its owner liable to expulsion from the Society.

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