Tuesday, 19 March 2019
DOZENS of competitors took part in the 127th annual Henley ploughing match on Sunday.
Hundreds of people attended the event, which is organised by the Henley and District Agricultural Association, at Bishopsland Farm in Dunsden.
The day began with the traditional blessing of the plough by Rev Stephen Cousins, the association’s chaplain.
The competitors then set to work on their designated plots using both traditional and modern tractors as well as horse-drawn ploughs.
They were judged on criteria such as straightness of their furrows, uniformity and “burying the track”, which means ploughing over marks left by the wheels of their tractor.
Rain the previous day meant the ground was soft and easier to plough for the competitors, who included farmers from across the Thames Valley.
Ray Handy, from Hurst, was taking part on his 1959 Fordson Dexta, the same model he learnt to drive as a teenager.
He said: “My father had one and when I was a few years older I bought one. I do a bit of ploughing and take my grandchildren out in it.”
Other attractions included a heavy horse village featuring displays by working horses and demonstrations of logging and dray-pulling, a dog show and ferret and terrier racing.
There was also a working machinery display and a poultry auction. New for this year was a display of steam ploughs.
Jennie Spooner, who is the association’s agricultural
chairwoman, said: “It was a very successful day. We had a steady number of people through the gate and the steam plough proved very popular.
“The little bit of rain on Saturday will have done some good and the weather for the actual event was spot on.”
The results were as follows:
The Greenmore Trophy and the Paddy Horler Plate for best work by an area member (match ploughs): 1 Tony Horler; 2 Bill Parsons; 3 Stephen Witchell.
The Charlie Belcher Perpetual Cup (open class for conventional
ploughs): 1 Nathan Smith;
2 Mark Pottinger; 3 Simon Mabbott.
The Michael Colston Perpetual Cup (reversible ploughs not more than five furrows): 1 Charlie Belcher; 2 Terry Sayer; 3 John Witchell.
The George Druce Perpetual Challenge Cup (work done by a vintage tractor — hydraulic):
1 Derek Springett; 2 Gordon Harmer; 3 Derek Yates.
The David Sarney Perpetual Challenge Cup (work done by a vintage tractor — trailed):
1 Mike Yeats; 2 Graham Clifton; 3 Mark Burrows.
The Arthur Aldridge Cup (work done by a vintage tractor — amateur): 1 Paul Jenkins;
2 Robert Kimber; 3 Andrew Kimber.
The Gross Family Cup (classic vintage tractors 1960-1974):
1 Philip Butler.
The Ron Vines Cup for the best work done by a ploughman or woman aged 17 to 20: Aiden Greenaway.
The Perpetual Trophy for the best maintained tractor (and a prize of £20 for the best- maintained tractor over 25 years old): Melvin Stamp.
The Drewitt Memorial Cup for the best opening: Graham Clifton.
The Mick Hunt Cup for the best finish: Roger Hannington.
The Christopher George Cup for the best work by a Massey Ferguson tractor: Melvin Stamp.
The Ewelme Perpetual Cup for the champion ploughman in the association area: Mike Yeats.
11 October 2018
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