Standard of Excellence

A breed’s Standard of Excellence is a detailed manual based only on appearance and is used by breeders and judges for the identifying of animals with desirable characteristics.

Terms like good, strong, attractive etc. suggest contribution towards better functional efficiency. The breed is par excellence a medium-framed maternal breed with the characteristic features of extensive adaptability, high fertility, good maternal characteristics (easy calving, good milk production, high relative weaning weight) and also the ability to produce a desirable carcass weight directly off the veld.

General Appearance

1.  Purity
Characteristic traits must conform to this Standard of Excellence: an adapted beef breed with the good characteristics of both meat and adaptability. The Simbra is a combination of Simmentaler and Brahman and should clearly and identifiably exhibit the characteristic traits of the two base breeds. Animals that incline too much towards one of the basis breeds and can consequently be included in the appendix stud book of that breed, may not be registered as F2, F3 or SP Simbra. The inspector is allowed to use his discretion regarding the matters when down grading to F1.

2.  Type, balance and form
    ■  Animals should exhibit distinct purity of sex.
    ■  Animals should exhibit a good frame, be symmetrically outlined and stand squarely with hind legs well separated.
    ■  For adaptability, production and constitution animals should have sufficient length, breadth, depth, capacity and balance.
    ■  Bulls more muscular than females.

3.  Character
    ■  Temperament: Calm, manageable and placid with alert appearance.
    ■  Sexual purity (male):
          ■  Strong, masculine with good overall muscular development, especially on neck and hump, across forearm, shoulder, eye muscle and hindquarter.
          ■  No excessive fat, especially in flanks, brisket and around tail head.
          ■  Well developed uniform testes and epididymis.
          ■  Sheath not pendulous and uncontrollable.*
          ■  Darkening of colour on head, fore-quarter and outer thighs.
* Consult sheath classification chart.
    ■  Sexual Purity (female):
          ■  Female appearance, wedge-shaped outline, especially when in milk.
          ■  Not over-muscular, large, heavy or robust.
          ■  No excessive fat deposits on any part of the body.
          ■  Well developed genital organs.
          ■  Well developed and well attached udder with four clearly defined quarters of proportional size.
          ■  Teats squarely placed, cylindrical, of medium length and pointed.

4.  Quality
    ■  Joints firm and dry.
    ■  Bone structure strong and sturdy without being rough.
    ■  Hair short and dense with smooth texture and slightly oily to the touch.
    ■  Skin pliable, soft and supple, of medium thickness.
    ■  Hooves strong, closed, dark coloured and of good quality and texture.


Discriminations and Disqualifications

Depending on degree of deviation. Emphasis should be laid on functional efficiency. Animals with congenital defects or other defects that impair the functional efficiency of the animal should be disqualified.

1.  General
    ■  Any signs of impurity.
    ■  Temperament – listless, nervous, aggressive.
    ■  Animals with a lanky appearance without capacity and depth.
    ■  Excessively large animals or pony type.
    ■  Poor or excessive muscling.
    ■  Bone structure too fine or too coarse.
    ■  Woolly or frizzy hair coating.
    ■  Thin and tight skin (especially in bulls).
    ■  Poorly pigmented animals (reference areas = muzzle, hooves, under tail, on vulva).

2.  Reproduction traits
2.1  Males

    ■  Bulls with a steerlike or feminine appearance.
    ■  Scrotal circumference below set minimum.
              Minimum Scrotal Circumference for Registration
      < 400kg = 32cm
      400 – 450 = 33cm
      450 – 500 = 34cm
      500 – 550 = 35cm
      550 – 600 = 36cm
      601 > = 37cm
    ■  Long, fleshy, pendulous and uncontrollable sheath (Sheath classification 1,2 and, after assessment, probably 3 and 9).
    ■  Inversion of the laminae interna (prolapse).
    ■  Chryptorchidism, aplapsy, hypoplacia.
    ■  Twisted scrotum and testes.
    ■  Epididymis absent or underdeveloped.
    ■  Long, pendulous scrotum.
    ■  Overdeveloped sheath skin.

2.2  Females
    ■  Females with steerlike or masculine appearance.
    ■  Small, infantile vulva.
    ■  Poor udder development.
    ■  Dangling and/or unbalanced udder.
    ■  Misshapen teats (too large, too small, conic, bottle, balloon).
    ■  Overdeveloped navel skin.

3.  Head
    ■  Skew, twisted face or muzzle.
    ■  Skew mouth.
    ■  Excessively long or short lower jaw.
    ■  Fine or pointed mouth.
    ■  Compact or excessively long head (coffin).
    ■  Heavy lower jaw in females.
    ■  Underdeveloped eyebrow-ridges.
    ■  F1 to F4 bulls with less than 50% eyelid pigment per eye are disqualified.
    ■  Horns is a disqualification (F1-cum cows may have horns).

4.  Legs
    ■  Faulty stance and stride.
    ■  Patella fixation (stringhalt).
    ■  Small, upright hocks.
    ■  Laminitis.
    ■  Cow hocked.
    ■  Sickle hocked.
    ■  Bent front legs (X-legged, bow legged).
    ■  Pigeon-toed.
    ■  Weak pastern joints ( limp or short and stiff/steep and/or sprung).
    ■  Weak hooves (wide split, roll claws, divergent claws).

5.  Shoulders
    ■  Shoulders too loose and/or upright.
    ■  Prominent shoulder points.
    ■  Prominent dorsal vertebrae.

6.  Chest, back and centre piece
    ■  Devil’s grip and/or girded.
    ■  Hollow or severely arched back (humped back).
    ■  Flat centre piece, little rib spring.
    ■  Narrow chest.

7.  Rump and Tail
    ■  Flat, roofy or excessive Jïang rump.
    ■  Prominent tail head.
    ■  Tail head set deep.
    ■  Skew tail head.
    ■  Lack of width in pin bones.


1.  Head and Neck
    ■  Head:  Adequate width with moderate length.
    ■  Forehead:  Good width between eyes, tapering slightly towards the poll which might exhibit a moderate curve.
    ■  Eyebrows:  Prominent, large with pliable, thick skin round the eyes. Not too prominent in females.
    ■  Muzzle:  Wide, oval-shaped and strong.
    ■  Mouth:  Wide and strong with broad lips.
    ■  Nostrils:  Wide-set, large and oval.
    ■  Teeth:  Large and strong, incisors fitting well against the pad.
    ■  Horns:  Naturally polled or dehorned (Cum excluded).
    ■  Ears:  Moderate length, fairly wide and flexible, without excessive hair covering on the inner section.
    ■  Eyes:  Large, bright, with a placid expression and flexible eyelids, eyebrows inclining slightly downwards, protecting eyes from insects. Pigment is not a prerequisite for female animals but is strongly recommended. F 1 to SP bulls must have more than 50% pigment per eye.
    ■  Neck:  Muscular in bulls, graceful and slender in females, well attached to head and shoulders, moderate development of dewlap that appears loose and folded.
    ■  Hump:  Well developed rounded hump in males, small in females; cervico-thoracically placed.

2.  Forequarter / shoulder / brisket
    ■  Shoulder-blade:  Slope slightly forward from top to bottom (seen from above in a downward direction) with the desired arch and strong muscle attachment to the chest, withers and neck (full behind shoulders).
    ■  Shoulders:  Good width between the shoulder points, not prominent, however.
    ■  Chest:  Good relative chest depth and width.
    ■  Brisket:  Not too prominent.
    ■  Forearm:  Well-muscled forearm in bulls.

3.  Centre-piece
    ■  Long, wide and deep with good spring of rib.
    ■  Should blend well into fore- and hindquarter.
    ■  Back is straight, long, broad with well-developed muscling.
    ■  Loin is broad and well-muscled. In bulls, loin muscling sometimes appears prominent.
    ■  Ribs are broad, long and well-sprung, slanting slightly to the rear.

4.  Hindquarter
    ■  Long, wide and deep with well-developed muscles, joining the hindquarter firmly to the centrepiece .
    ■  Good width between hips, pins and thurls. Hips appear slightly prominent in females.
    ■  Rump has good length from hips to pins with an obvious slope from front to back viewed from the side. Flat rump and sharp slope is undesirable.
    ■  Thighs are wide, well-muscled, outside thighs extending below the flank to a well-developed second thigh; inner thighs are amply filled with adequate length.
    ■  Tail head exhibits a slight curve, not too deeply attached to rump.
    ■  Tail is long with a good switch.

5.  Legs, hooves, stance and stride
    ■  Legs:  Strong, oval and widely placed to facilitate an easy and free-moving stride. Finer bone structure in females.
    ■  Joints:  Strong, firm, resilient, well developed and dry with the correct angle.
    ■  Hooves:  Uniform, of medium size, oval, deep, closed and preferably dark coloured.

6.  Udder and Teats
    ■  Udder:  Well attached at the front and rear, long, broad and of moderate depth. Exhibits four clearly defined and balanced quarters. Udder covered with short, soft, silky hair.
    ■  Teats:  Uniform, cylindrical, pointed and squarely placed and of adequate length and size.

7.  Skin and Hair
    ■  Skin of moderate length, ample, pliable, loose and flexible.
    ■  Hair short, thick, glossy and slightly oily on touch.

8.  Colour and pigmentation
    ■  Pigment is not a prerequisite for female animals but is strongly recommended.  F1 to SP bulls must have more than 50% pigment per eye.
    ■  Hair colour may vary.

9.  Size and Weight
    ■  Animals that produce regularly in natural conditions are the correct size.