THE arrival of autumn brought the ideal weather conditions, setting the scene for a competitive, high-octane ploughing match.
The annual Petworth and District Agricultural Association’s autumn ploughing match took place on Sunday at Crawfold Farm, Balls Cross, with the kind permission of G Chandler and Son.
Following a week of wet weather everyone was a little nervous that ploughing conditions could be a bit tricky on the day
However, 72 hours of dry weather immediately before the match produced the perfect conditions and some extremely competitive ploughing.
In total 56 ploughmen competed across seven classes ranging from the latest machinery to vintage crawlers with trailer ploughs.
This year all farm and ploughing competitions have been judged by representatives from the Crowborough and District Ploughing Association, who had a difficult job separating some of the closest ploughing seen for many years.
In the end most classes were only separated by a single point, with several joint places.
Other competitions were also held on the day, including specimen bale of hay and corn in sacks classes.
Ploughing competitions came to a close at 12.45pm when competitors, farmers and visitors took the opportunity to relax after a busy harvest and share a drink with friends and colleagues before the annual luncheon and prize-giving on the ploughing site.
An excellent ploughman’s lunch was enjoyed by all and attended by association presidents Lord and Lady Egremont, who later awarded the prizes.
A special long service award was made to Mr M Godsmark who has been continually employed at Marshalls Farm, Kirdford, for 33 years and three months. Employer Roger Lywood also collected awards for the best farm and best dairy herd judged earlier in the year.
Farmers and ploughmen are now looking forward to next year’s competitions and ploughing match that will be held in the Petworth area in September.
See this week’s Midhurst and Petworth Observer for all the results (Thursday, September 26).