Where Classification and Grading-Up have advantages

Advantages of Grading-Up to purebred Santa Gertrudis are many.

Santa bull

Classification Service

An Association recognized Grading-Up program requires the use of a classified ‘S’ Santa Gertrudis bull at each successive stage in the breeding program.

Fundamentally, breed associations are organized to improve a particular breed and further its interests.

With achievement of this objective in mind, a major service provided by the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Association to its members is a classification system.

From the 1976, Santa Gertrudis cattle were subjected to individual inspection and classification by a visiting Santa Gertrudis Australian Association – employed classifiers (now termed Field Directors).

The responsibility of the official Field Director is to inspect Santa Gertrudis cattle which are included in a recognized breeding program – a program which must be recorded with the Association.

The classification service is restricted to registered members of the Association. A fee is charged for this service.

This system of personal inspection and classification – in addition to advice and guidance given to breeders – ensures that a standard and uniformity, based on the Standard of Excellence for the breed, is maintained.

S Brand


Classified cattle are branded in two categories as follows:

  • A classified purebred animal, male or female, that has four or more crosses and meets the minimum standard based on the Standard of Excellence i.e. ‘S’ Brand.
  • A female that has three crosses and meets the requirements based on the Standard of Excellence, i.e. S (S Bar) Brand.

All branding is done in the presence of the Field Director (classifier), S branded males and females only are accepted for the Santa Gertrudis Stud Book. S Bar branded females are registered in an Appendix section of the Stud Book.

Calves, both male and female, from ‘S’ and S bar classified females and sired by S bulls, are eligible for registration in the progeny register.

The services of the Field Directors are available to members for inspection visits when advice on breeding programs, culling levels, etc, may be offered.

Santa Heifer

The Grading Up Process

Grading-Up to purebred Santa Gertrudis cattle is a breeding program that has many advantages for the commercial cattle breeder.

The program is simply the use of classified Santa Gertrudis bulls on cows of any breed or combination of breeds and keeping the female offspring from four successive top crosses – eventually resulting in the purebred Santa Gertrudis.

By doing this a breeder can operate the herd as a commercial cattle unit, sell the crossbred steer calves as done in the past and add Santa Gertrudis blood to the heifers at the same time.

The first step is to purchase a Santa Gertrudis Bull, classified ‘S’ by the Santa Gertrudis Breeders Ass. And be sure that you get his pedigree and a copy of the registered transfer form. Calves achieved from the mating of this bull with your cows will be first cross Santa Gertrudis.

The next step is to keep the first cross heifer calves and when they are old enough breed them to another Santa Gertrudis bull, unrelated to their sire. The calves from this mating will be second cross Santa Gertrudis cattle

The same procedure is used in the next step which will result in third cross Santa Gertrudis, the only difference being that third cross females can be Produce Registered and presented for classification by Santa Gertrudis Breeders (Australia) Association, Field Director.

When the third cross heifers are mated to classified bulls, their progeny are considered purebreds and these cattle are eligible to be classified as purebred Santa Gertrudis cattle if they are accepted by a SGB(A)A Field Director.

When you start the grading-up program it will be most useful and helpful to contact a purebred breeder in you area or the Association’s official Field Director (Classifier) to advise you of the rules governing the program. You may obtain the necessary forms, etc., from the Santa Gertrudis Breeders (New Zealand) Association Inc.

S cow

Standard of Classification

Santa Gertrudis use a stringent classification which ensures any cattle branded ‘S’ or S meet the minimum standard of classification and are accepted into the Association Stud Book.

An Association recognized Grading-Up program requires the use of a Classified ‘S” Santa Gertrudis bull at each successive stage in the breeding program.

The Animal itself determines the Degree of Excellence. The stud breeder has but one and only one purpose – to produce seed stock for the commercial operator.



© Santa Gertrudis Breeders New Zealand Association Inc.