Life at the crossroads of Dairy, Hunting + Horses with Claudia Odlin

Life at the crossroads of Dairy, Hunting + Horses with Claudia Odlin

Claudia Odlin is a contract milker of 500 cows who is also a keen hunter, and horse rider competing in one-day events and showjumping. 

Speaking to Dom George, Odlin reveals how her life is far from typical, thriving on the rugged, steep terrain that characterises her farm in Benneydale, which is also newly converted to dairy. 

She explains the location of her farm, situated between Te Kuiti and Taupo, and how it's supported by the bounty of the land, including venison from hunting. 

"Yeah, we're kind of in the middle of the wops, I guess... We're surrounded by goats and pigs and oh, you name it, it's here," she says, underscoring the rich natural resources at her disposal. 

Contract milking for four seasons, Odlin details the challenging geography of the farm, noting it's not the typical flat dairy terrain, but with in-shed feeding, it's a successful venture she and her partner manage together. 

"It's just me and my partner we run the farm on our own and [we] just rely on a relief milker that usually comes in from the village." 

Her equestrian pursuits are also a focal point, which recently saw her visit Germany for some training and a small show. She recounts her intensive training at Gugler Sport Horses and the eye-opening visit to the World Equestrian Festival in Aachen, reflecting on the cultural importance of show jumping in Germany compared to rugby in New Zealand.

"It's like rugby here is show jumping there, so it's incredible," she enthuses. 

Odlin believes her competition horses benefit from the variety provided by farm life and hunting, enhancing their trust and performance. 

"I think the trust and the bond you sort of make with your horse, it pays off," she explains, emphasising the symbiosis between her farming practices and equestrian training. 

Odlin reflects on her unexpected journey from a townie background to a life immersed in rural farming, illustrating the unpredictable nature of career paths.

Claudia Odlin's story is a testament to embracing rural adventures, combining professional dedication with personal passion, and living a life that harmonises with the rhythms of nature.

Listen to the full chat between Claudia Odlin and Dominic George above.

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