IT was the first time the prestigious Petworth and District Agricultural Association’s autumn ploughing match had taken place at Malham Farm, Wisborough Green when all the tractors turned up to take part on David Wates’ land.
And those watching, as well as competitors, enjoyed the picturesque site next to the Wey and Arun Canal.
More than 60 ploughmen turned out competing 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 Cranleigh and South Eastern Agricultural Society who had a difficult job deciding from some extremely good and closely matched ploughing.
Other competitions were also held on the day including ‘specimen bale of hay’ and ‘corn in sacks’ classes.
Winners came from across the area mirroring the spread of winners in the growing crop competitions earlier in the year.
Paul Chandler of Redlands Farm, Lodworth won the best overall sample of ‘corn in sacks’ for the second year running with his sample of spring barley.
After the ploughing match competitors, farmers and visitors took the opportunity to relax after a busy harvest and share a drink with friends and colleagues before the annual lunch and prize giving back at the Malham Farm buildings.
Prizes were later awarded by Simon Knight on behalf of association president Lord Egremont.
Neil Dallyn from Coldwaltham won the premier reversible class for the third year running and took home additional silverware for the best work overall with a reversible plough, the best work across all classes by a farmer from within the area of the association and the best maintained tractor between one and three years old.
Other ploughing winners included Mr S Peachey from Rookley, Isle of Wight who retained his title in the competitive ‘open tractor ploughing’ class and Mr D Allen from Sutton Scotney who completed the best work across the vintage classes and was also declared champion ploughman of the day producing the best work across all classes.
This year has seen a big increase in ‘Young Farmer’ entries with ploughmen Dominic Geary, Chris Harding and Lewis Webber placed 1,2 and 3 respectively.
Lewis was given additional recognition producing the best work by a ploughmen under 21 year old. A special long service award was made to Mr C Berry who has been continually employed by the Pitshill Estate for 34 years and 10 months.
Other top awards for on-farm competitions were given to Clive Stickland of Burchetts Farm, Wisborough Green who accumulated the greatest number of points across all forage classes. He was presented with the Ted Green Foder Cup rounding up an excellent year which also saw him awarded first place in the Best Farm Under 500 acres competition.
John Hancock of Hurlands Farm, Selham took home the Dickhurst Challenge Bowl for the greatest number of points accumulated across all farm competition classes.
Farmers and ploughmen are now looking forward to next year’s competitions and ploughing match to be held in the Petworth area on the Saturday, September 4.
For full results see Midhurst and Petworth Observer, October 2