Previous work in pigs, has demonstrated that full protection against foot-and-mouth disease (FMD) can be achieved following vaccination with chimeric foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) vaccines, in which the VP1 G-H loop had been substituted with that from another serotype. If proven to be effective in other economically important species such as cattle, such vaccine constructs could be trialed as potential marker vaccines. Here, we determine if G-H loop chimera FMDV vaccines can: (i) protect cattle from virus challenge and (ii) induce an antibody response that would enable the identification of infection, regardless of vaccination status. Inactivated, oil adjuvanated, chimeric vaccine constructs, based on the backbone sequence of the A(12)119 serotype virus, fully protected cattle from challenge 21 days post-vaccination. Differentiation assays developed for use in this study were able to identify sub-clinical infection, which in one vaccinated animal, persisted beyond day 32 post-challenge. This paper emphasises the importance of epitopes outside of the VP1 G-H loop for protective immunity in cattle, and demonstrates that chimeric FMDV vaccines could prove to be useful marker vaccines for the future.