From The Magazine: Holy Cow, What A Year

Jan 26, 2021 - 7:55 AM

While 2020 won’t go down as a great year for most people, it couldn’t have gone any better for six Jersey calves. On May 14, at only a couple weeks old, they were sent to auction in Hagerstown, Maryland. The steers likely would have been sold and raised for veal. But in a stroke of luck for them, hunter/jumper trainer Kim Stewart arrived at the auction that night looking specifically for Jersey calves for herself and friends Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley.

“We were looking for Jersey babies just because we think they are so pretty,” said Kim. “They said, ‘Go on and go in the pen with them.’ So I went in the pen, and I was sending Scott pictures and videos. And then this one that was actually not pure Jersey because he has quite a bit of white on him—he’s probably crossed with a Hereford—he kept following me around the pen and kept grabbing onto my jacket. He was so cute, so I was like, ‘OK, obviously you’re coming home with me. I can’t leave you.’ ”

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Scott Stewart (left) and Ken Berkley opted not to compete for the rest of the year after the COVID-19 outbreak. They took the time they would have spent winning tricolors to bottle feed three calves, like Greg, pictured. Photo Courtesy Of Scott Stewart

Originally Kim stuck with the plan—two for her and two for the River’s Edge Farm crew. But after she’d bid on four of the six, Scott and Berkley called her wondering about the other two.

“Scott said, ‘We’ll take three or maybe four. But get the other ones,’ ” said Kim. “They had already sold them at the auction, but I went to the cashier people, and I said, ‘Is there any chance, even if I paid the guy a little more?’ The lady said, ‘We don’t do that.’ And the other girl looked it up on the computer and goes, ‘Oh, I know him.’ She asked him, and he gave them to me just for what he paid for them. He thought they could have a nice home.

“So we had six; it was quite exciting getting them off the trailer,” Kim continued. “They got loose. They ran around the farm, and we got home at like midnight.”

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After purchasing six calves at an auction, Kim Stewart kept (from left) Cream, Rebel and Lightning. Photo Courtesy Of Kim Stewart

Scott and Berkley took Hal, Greg and Cash, and Kim kept Rebel, Cream and Lightning. Instead of devoting their year to horse showing—with the River’s Edge crew in Flemington, New Jersey, opting not to show at all, and Kim’s GlenWillow Farm in Jefferson, Maryland, only trailering in to a couple shows—they raised these calves.

“We were bottle feeding those babies in the spring,” said Scott. “That took up a lot of time. It was actually fun; we got to be home on the farm and got to be with the animals more. I quite liked it.”

Kim’s farm morphed into something of an animal sanctuary, and it now includes her three calves, a Holstein calf named No Moo she got at 1 day old, and many rescued goats.

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Kim Stewart gives Cream some love. Photo Courtesy Of Kim Stewart

“These guys are funny; they hold their mouths open like a hippopotamus so you can drop the treats in,” said Kim. “They all have their personalities. They love treats; they love people. They’re really smart. They’re a fun addition, and we really do love them.”

For these six Jersey calves, 2020 changed from the year they were likely sent to slaughter to the year they were given acres of land at two top show barns.

“They’re adorable. They’re so smart, and they’re just so pretty too,” Scott said. “They came to Wellington [Florida] with us. They hang out at the barn. We’re really attached to them.”

Scroll through for more photos:

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Scott Stewart and Ken Berkley’s Cash and Greg. Photo Courtesy Of Scott Stewart
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Hi Hal! Photo Courtesy Of Scott Stewart
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Kim Stewart (left) rescued No Moo at 1 day old. Photo Courtesy Of Kim Stewart
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No Moo also enjoys dressing up! Photo Courtesy Of Kim Stewart

 

This article ran in The Chronicle of the Horse in our January 2021 Yearbook Issue.

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