Short back and hides – anything but a cowlick…

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More than 100 cows from nine herds underwent makeovers this week in preparation for the Royal Jersey Agricultural and Horticultural Society summer cattle show that is due to take place at the Royal Trinity Showground today and tomorrow.

Bovine beauty experts Sarah Liddle and Sarah Jarvis – fondly known among the Island’s dairy industry as the ‘Two Sarahs’ – arrived from North Yorkshire on Monday to spend the week preening cows and advising farmers on which beasts to enter in the show.

A bovine makeover begins with a thorough wash from the tip of a cow’s nose to the bushy end of its tail. Once the coat is dry the two Sarahs will use a hairdryer to fluff up the hair on the animal’s body.

The purpose of this is to enable them to highlight the cow’s best features as they clip them all over.

‘Basically, what we do is accentuate a cow’s good points to show off the depth of “dairyness” [milk-producing qualities] of the animal,’ Miss Liddle said.

‘By carefully clipping we can accentuate the sharpness of a cow’s shape, the depth of its body and the fineness of the bone. For example leaving hair around the belly will make an animal’s frame look deeper.’

Before they leave the farm on the morning of the show, the cows are bathed yet again, their hooves get a coat of shiny black paint and a line of hair left along the top of back bone is crafted into a ‘Mohican’ by applying super-strength styling gel.

‘We use a hairdryer to blow up the top line and fix it in place like a Mohican cut to make the cow’s back look straight and sharp,’ Miss Liddle said.

Miss Liddle and Miss Jarvis will also be in attendance at the cattle show this weekend, applying final touches before each cow is led in to the ring for judging.

The cattle show is part of the RJAHS annual country fair, which also includes flower and produce shows, dog shows and fairground rides.

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