FRANK, THE CAMPBELL HALL OX, TURNS 20
It has been a long successful trip down life’spath. Little did we know where the path Frank and his oxen friends would take us. Frank was adopted, bought by me on October 30, 2000. He was 1 ½ years old then, born September 7, 1998.
Next we bought his partner, Jesse, adopted on June 21, 2000. Both were trained by Howie Van Ord and his grandchildren, in Russell, PA. I say “adopted by me” because I never told my husband, Dan, they were coming. The stock trailer arrived with the next members of our family. Over the years, we hvae had six steers/oxen. Some were just “wanna be oxen”, others that I bought were already trained and were the real deal.
The longevity of Frank is due to good vet care by Dr. Doug Tuthill and Katherine Murphy along with some good TLC every day. As far as I know, we are the only people in Orange County with oxen.
Many folks remember my first Holstein, Stevie, then came Fudge, then Jesse, a few months later Frank. A few years later Jed and Gray joined the group. Lots of fun and lots of manure.
Over the years, we have been to numerous events and have met so many wonderful people. We’ve been to almost every year at the Hamptonburgh Country Festival. This year was the 20th year. Frank retired from there last year, so he will be staying home this year.
The Bull Family invited us to their family reunions for several years. They commented they needed a “bull” for the Bull Family.
In between events, we have pulled lots of firewood, pulled carts, stoneboats and more.
Many of the people we met have become good friends. Because of Frank and his buddies, I have been the Fryeburg Fair, Maine, several times, joined a few oxen organizations such as the Mid-West Ox Drovers Association, Draft Animal Power, of course the Hudson Valley Draft Horse Association. There are many oxen people to learn from. Kaleigh Hamel certainly comes to mind with her team, Simon and Oliver.
It is hard to believe Frank is turning 20 while I am 75 and Dan, the oxen chauffer, is 85. Where have those years gone?
HAPPY 20TH BIRTHDAY, FRANK. WE HOPE TO HAVE YOU FOR MANY YEARS TO COME.
See more photos in this week’s Orange County Post
AND PLEASE GO AND ENJOY THE HAMPTONBURGH FAIR THIS WEEKEND!
Caption 4 – Dan with Jed & Gray at the Hamptonburgh Country Festival 2010
(Story by Robin Jurecko Photos provided)