University Museums

Media File
Title: Bull in Defiant Stance
Name: Sculpture
Date: 1890
Medium: Bronze
Dimensions: 28 x 11 x 34 in. (71.1 x 27.9 x 86.4 cm)
Classification: Sculpture
Credit Line: This trophy was presented to the International Livestock Competition by Mr. J.A. Spoor, President of the Union Stock Yards, Chicago, IL. Trophy won by the Livestock Judging Team of Iowa State College in 1901, 1902, and 1903. By winning the trophy consecutively for three years, Iowa State was allowed to permanently retain the trophy. University Art Collection from the Department of Animal Science, University Museums, Iowa State University.
Location: Iowa State University, Kildee Hall
Object Number: UM82.11
More Information
C. F. Curtiss made livestock judging important at the college. Eye judgment was the method by which animals were evaluated and ranked on type -- that ideal combination of characteristics that better fits an animal for a specific purpose. The competition appealed to students since J. A. Craig initiated it when he was department head at Wisconsin before coming to the Iowa Agricultural Experiment Station in 1896.

The story goes that the department fielded a team in 1900 and was only 5th at the International in Chicago. This was not sufficient to lure prospective students to animal husbandry at Ames. The University of Illinois won the 1900 contest. They were coached by W. J. Kennedy on their faculty. Dean Curtiss hired W. J. kennedy to be head of animal husbandry when Curtiss became dean. Kenedy was a good coach and subsequently Iowa State retired the Spoor's Trophy, the bull in defiant stance by Isedore Bonheur, brother of Rosa who painted the famous Horse Fair, by winning the International contest in 1901, 1902 and 1903. This bronze graced the rotunda of Curtiss Hall from on on. (It is now proudly displayed in the Kildee Hall Ensminger Room.) The team won the horse judging in 1904, 1905, and 1906 and retired the horse trophy "Deux Amis" by Victor Peter. This bronze sculpture was displayed in the ISU President's Office in the late 1900's and is now also located in the Kildee Hall Ensminger Room. By 1912, Kennedy had become embroiled in a judging team scandal and was asked to leave the faculty for several reasons. By then J. H. Shepperd had taken over the running of the International Judging Contest and the situation was bettered.