One South Otago woman is passionate about breeding cattle - but her herd is a bit different.

Bridget Lowry and husband Ross farm in Balclutha and are the owners of Pinzridge Stud.

They were one of only five Pinzgauer breeders in New Zealand.

Mrs Lowry's love for the breed first started when they were dairy farming in Waikaka 11 years ago.


She and her husband were 50/50 sharemilkers and when they sold their herd there was one Pinzgauer cow in the herd.

''No-one wanted her so I was given her ... I quite liked her as she was a bit different.''

Mrs Lowry said she had been showing cattle since she was 4 and had always wanted to have her own stud.

In 2007, she started to gauge interest from people who wanted to breed Pinzgauers and sourced semen to use for breeding to establish Pinzridge stud.

In 2011, she extended her interest, establishing the Pinzgauer Breed Society of New Zealand.

The Pinzridge Stud is now home to 16 mixed-age Pinzgauers as well as South Devons and White Galloways.

Mrs Lowry has had a range of success of showing her cattle over the years and was the first person to compete with a Pinzgauer in the New Zealand Agriculture Show (formerly the Christchurch A&P Show).

Showing is in the family and the Lowrys' children Blaire (25), Sutton (22), Jackson (17) and Hadley (12), had all spent weekends away competing.


''Getting the cows ready, taking them away and washing them is all such a big job ... but when you've had a good day and made some friends that's what it's all about.''

She described Pinzgauers as a dual purpose cow for ''meat on the plate and milk in the tea'' and has enjoyed experimenting and crossing them with a range of other breeds over the years.

''We've got to be selective and you are always looking at ways to create the perfect animal.''

Not only does she enjoy showing her cattle but she has also been on the other side of the fence as a judge.

She first started judging at school pet days and has since judged at A&P shows and more recently went on farm visits to judge this year's online calf club for the Otago-Southland region.

For her, the highlight of judging was seeing children with their cows.

''I love interacting with the kids ... some of them you can just tell they have put lots of work into it and really love their calf and the pair has a real bond.''

Although many cattle competitions had been put on hold this year because of Mycoplasma bovis, Mrs Lowry said it had been good to see people finding alternatives.

She said showing and judging had been a great way to share her love for cattle breeding and to meet some great mentors.

''Although what I do is a bit different, it is great when people see your passion.''

Southern Rural Life