MOC CHAU, Vietnam

This year’s winner of the Moc Chau beauty contest has an American father while her mother is of Dutch and Cuban heritage. She’s also pregnant, which is fine with the judges since contestant 1386 is a four-year-old cow.

The Miss Milk Cow contest has been an October fixture since 2004 in the popular backpacker destination of Moc Chau some 200 km (120 miles) west of Hanoi, helping to promote dairy farming in Vietnam.

Owners armed with hairdryers and Vaseline jelly primp the contestants for the beauty pageant, adorning their heads with a bright red bow before the cows take centre stage in front of hundreds of camera-toting spectators. Some farmers use baths, massages and music to soothe their animals. Two contenders calved during the Oct 15.