In this paper, the Hungarian Grey, a traditional draught and beef cattle was studied. This breed was threatened by extinction due to the mechanization of agriculture and propagation of upgraded breeds which had almost completely replaced it. Following a crisis in the 1960's (in 1966 only 470 dams were registered) a pioneering conservation scheme was introduced. Thanks to scientific breeding, the number of cows increased to approximately 1 600 and the risk of inbreeding has been avoided. In addition to a historical review, body conformation, production characteristics and modern forms of exploitation for this rare but genetically valuable breed are discussed.