Monday, 26 July 2021

Autumn sun shines on 124th ploughing match

MORE than 1,000 people attended the 124th annual Henley ploughing match on Sunday

MORE than 1,000 people attended the 124th annual Henley ploughing match on Sunday.

The event, which is organised by the Henley and District Agricultural Association, took place in Binfield Heath and involved 49 competitors.

The overall champion was ploughing match veteran Gordon Harmer on his Massey Ferguson 35X.

Click here to see more photographs of the event.

The day started with the blessing of the plough by Rev Stephen Cousins, the association?s chaplain, before the entrants got to work with vintage tractors and horse-drawn ploughs. They were judged on criteria including straightness, uniformity and ?burying the track?, which means ploughing over the marks left by the tractor?s wheels.

The winners were chosen by a panel of six judges from Banbury Agricultural Society.

Mr Harmer also won an award for ?best opening? and was second in the vintage hydraulic class.

Away from the ploughing, attractions included ferret racing, a poultry auction and arts and crafts.

A tractor with a trailer ferried guests around the site, where there were stalls from charities and clubs, including the Henley Young Farmers.

There was a new attraction this year in the heavy horse village, which featured four pairs of working horses and demonstrations of horse logging and dray-pulling. Henley Show manager Jo Taylor said: ?It was absolutely fantastic, probably one of our best ploughing matches. The dry day brought the public flocking through the gates and we had a good number of ploughmen.

?The big attraction was the new heavy horse village. We had a dozen wonderful heavy horses, three ploughing teams and displays of plaiting. The rare Suffolks were also in attendance with a mother and a foal. Jean Davis, who organised the poultry auction, had a good day and our thanks go to Kevin Buree, the auctioneer from Thimbleby & Shorlands.

?We had a good selection of trade and craft stands including beekeepers, hurdle- making and spinners and weavers. Thanks must go to all involved in the organisation of what was a fantastic event. Thanks also to Lord Phillimore and his staff for providing the venue and to our sponsors.?

Next year?s ploughing match will be held on Sunday, October 2.

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