The 68th New Zealand National Ploughing Championships had a revving good turnout and competitors fought to be master of the furrow yesterday in Milton.
The two-day championships continue today, with masses of tractors, silage choppers, horse-drawn ploughs and modified tractors taking to the paddocks to show off their skills.
Tokomairiro Ploughing Association president Nigel Woodhead was “chuffed” with the amount of people out and about for the championships.
“I would’ve expected less people as Friday is commonly a work day, but I’m very excited with the amount of entries and supporters,” he said.
“We’ve got people from all over the country. A lot of them made the journey down here to compete, which is awesome.”
The championships had five judged ploughing classes — the silver plough, conventional plough, reversible plough, contemporary plough and the Clydesdale horse-drawn plough. Other categories included fun plough events, tractor pulling and even colouring competitions for the children.
Competitors for the judged classes had qualified in matches around New Zealand and congregated to Milton for this year’s championships.
Romahapa 13-year-old Jake Watt loves his tractors, and had a crack at ploughing in the competition with the assistance of grandfather.
Jake used his grandfather’s 1966 International tractor and had been learning the ways of ploughing from him for a couple of years.
He said he “really enjoyed” using tractors at home on the farm and took every opportunity to help in topping paddocks.
It was “cool” to be young and using a tractor in the competitions with lots of people who were older than him, he said.
He was keen to take part again next time.
Mark Dillon from Riversdale won the Fern Energy Silver Plough Conventional Trophy, while Timaru’s Bob Mehrtens claimed the Pioneer Brand Products Reversible trophy, with an awards ceremony held on Saturday night in Milton.
Both men will go on to represent New Zealand at the 69th World Ploughing Championships in Estonia next year.