Mark That Card: Hampshire Barrows

Thank you Lake Land College Livestock Judging Team for providing placings and officials for this class.

Placing: 4-2-1-3
Cuts: 2-5-2

I sorted the Hampshire Barrows 4213. I think both barrows up top capture the basic market hog fundamentals, but I’m personally drawn to 4’s elite build quality. His relaxed blade angle and correct hip and hind leg allow him to get out and drive with the most athleticism and comfort. Plus, he’s the extra fresh, good looking one who’s still got ample spread and mass relative to his squareness down low. He’s not the boldest up high though, but that’s where 2 has the edge. The wide belted barrow’s got more roll to his upper rib and true shape from blade to hip. I just wish the shorter rumped hog had more flex to his hock on the drive – I’ll leave a good one in 2nd.

With that said I don’t think the middle is close. Genuine power, muscularity and feature quickly dictate a 2-1 mark. I do think 1 reads a shot looser structured and he’s got a dense, functional rear leg. It’s just unfortunate his extra length of spine hinders his ability to balance up from the side. More concerningly though, he’s the narrowest chested, flattest bladed hog of the entire group so it makes sense to save him for a final pair discussion.

And it’s here where I’m left with two that really contrast in their advantages. Even though 1 gives up bulk, I’m just a bit more willing to advocate for his extra cutability, length of hip and comfortable build to justify a 1-3 decision. On the flip side, the thin belted hog is bolder in his center rib and leaves me with more shape to his hip and stifle. I just have a hard time getting fired up on hogs built like him. The plain, stale appearing barrow is the steepest in his blade and the shortest in his hip. To no surprise, this causes him to struggle the most in motion. Thank you.

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