Every year members have the opportunity to submit their registered in-milk heifers and cows for Classification by Holstein Friesian New Zealand. The Classification system aims to improve the overall standard of type and conformation of the New Zealand Holstein Friesian cow by recognising each individual cow’s functional strengths and/or weaknesses and grading her accordingly with a Classification Award. All cows classified are also scored on a linear system for Traits Other than Production (TOP).

The majority of cattle are classified in late Spring in conjunction with TOP inspections. Autumn Classification is available for Autumn calving animals on request and typically takes place during late Autumn every year. Autumn tours will be dependent on numbers in an area. The minimum per tour area is seven to ten herds and 500 animals, otherwise it will be at cost recovery.

Members may submit:

  • All in-milk two year old heifers and/or any cows not previously classified.
  • Cows already carrying a classification can be re-submitted for promotion provided they have calved since their last award.

Refer to Service Fees for the cost of Classification and Conditions of Classification for full terms. Click below to apply.

Standing Order

Holstein Friesian New Zealand offers a Standing Order Service for Classification. If you apply for Classification Standing Order, your herd will be automatically enrolled for classification every year. Fill in the form once and you won’t have to do it again!

Traits Other than Production

Animals are scored by a trained and certified classifier on a 1-9 scale for 11 conformation traits, and then given ‘udder overall’ and ‘dairy conformation’ scores and body condition score. Members classifying must submit all two-year-old heifers (pedigree and grade) sired by a Holstein Friesian sire, for TOP inspection, as the data is important for the calculations of Sire Proofs.

There are also four traits scored by the farmer, three of which describe how well the animal fits into the milking routine. These traits are scored by the farmer on paper or on the HFNZ Farmer Trait app, availiable on the Apple App Store or on Google Play.

Download the HFNZ Farmer Trait App by clicking the links below:


Registered Holstein Friesian animals receive a score between 70-90 points and a classification award as follows:

Fair (F)


Good (G)


Good Plus (GP)


Very Good (VG)


Excellent (EX)


Excellent Award – To be eligible, cows must have calved at least three times, be in their third recorded lactation, and be at least four years of age. Cows resubmitted for EX2, EX3, EX4 etc. must have had two further calvings and be in their second recorded lactation since receiving their last EX classification.

Classification on MINDA LIVE

Classification awards can be located under the Milk title on MINDA LIVE, under the animal details tab.  When looking under animal detail to look at an animals herd test results you can also get their classification (class). Please see the example below: