The site was where in 1461 the War of the Roses was fought. A 200+ acre field, kindly provided by J.E. Hartley Farming and hosted by Tadcaster and District Ploughing Society.
The day started at 6am with Myself & Sian loading prizes, paperwork, judges gift etc into the land rover for the day ahead.
We arrived at the Ploughing venue, which was a superb 200 acre field very kindly provided by J.E Hartley Farms. We woke the ploughmen up who had slept over night in their wagons as they had travelled down from Dishforth Ploughing match the day before. They had torrential rain all day there, so they were slightly damp to say the least.
Daylight broke and turned into a most fantastic sunny day, we set about getting the trailer ready with raffle prizes, FFA merchandice. Next to get ready was the secretarys tent with ploughing paperwork, booking in forms etc.
The ploughmen started to arrive, 90 in total so we were very busy for an hour or so booking them all in, parking them up and drawing their pegs. Unfortunately the previouse 2 days it rained which made the entrance greasy and slippery,so much to the amusment of others we had to pull 50 percent of them in with the JCB.
Then at 10am up went the rocket for the start of the 2011 Ford & Fordson Association Ploughing Championships, off went the compeditors to their pegs to start their day of superb ploughing. This gave us a little while of calm for a well erned mug of coffee.
It was a tremendous sight to see on such a glorious day. Russells our local New Holland dealer who helped with sponsorship put on a static display of new tractors and a demonstrator with a 5 furrow reversible ploughing a big demonstration area.
The ploughing area was swallowed up on the 200 acre field very kindly provided by J.E Hartley Farms and much help was kindly provided by Paul Saxton the estates manager.
Ploughing in the Trailer Plough Class were Raymond Alderson who finished as the winner and has for 4 years now, Derek Loyd was second. Also ploughing were Dan Bartle and Norman Clarke to name but a few who ploughed this class to a high standard.
In the Vintage Hydraulic Class it was a very close and hard fought battle as everyone ploughed to a very high standard. Richard Wilson was the winner, Donald walker was in second place and Co Looyesteyn, to name but a few who ploughed this catagory.
The Classic Class was eventually won by David Thomlinson who has won this class for 2 years now. 2nd was Arthur Jennings, Goeff Sleightholm, John Lighfoot, Anthony Boldan also ploughed to a very high standard in this class.
Our thanks go out to our Hosts J.E. Hartley Farming and Tadcaster and District Ploughing Society for this fantastic Ploughing Championships event. ALL the ploughmen who travelled to this event, some even travelled from Netherlands, Cornwall & Wales to join in, all who helped make it such a fantastic and enjoyable day - Thank you ALL.
Word & Photo's - Roger Ingham & Sian
2011 Championship Ploughing Results
Trailer Plough Class
1st - Raymond Alderson
2nd - Derrick Loyd
3rd - Trevor Johnston
Vintage Plough Class
1st - Richard Wilson
2nd - Donald Walker
3rd - John Lewiss
Classic Plough Class
1st - David Thomlinson
2nd - Arthur Jennings
3rd - Alex Townroe
2011 Ford & Fordson Association Winners
Below is the write up that appeared in Monday 7th Novembers edition of Yorkshire Post Newspaper.
Farmers are forgoing pride in their work for speed, it is claimed. Chris Berry reports on an event that puts skill first.
The Battle of Towton in 1461 was the bloodiest ever on English soil. Tomorrow sees conflict there once again, but this time the result will be calculated in neatness of furrow rather than body count.
Ploughing matches, using vintage tractors and ploughs, have become a popular and highly contested sport in the agricultural calendar.
But it’s not all about nostalgia. Over 90 competitors from as far afield as the Netherlands and Cornwall will take part in the National Ford and Fordson Ploughing Championships and the current Classic class title-holder, David Thomlinson of Swan Farm, Deighton, near York is hoping to retain his trophy.
He started match ploughing as a teenager and came back to the sport eight years ago. “What I enjoy most is the challenge, both to myself and against my fellow competitors,” says David. “It is fine ploughing commercially at home with the most up-to-date farm machinery, but there is a lot of skill in match ploughing.
“It’s also nice to get on to a simple tractor that I can drive, rather than the tractor drive me.’
David isn’t to be drawn on the exact figure he has spent on his 1971 Ford 3000 and his Ransomes TS86 match plough. “I’ve laid out a lot of money on the equipment and there’s also the transport to consider, and the fuel. I take part in around 15 to 20 matches a season.” Roger Ingham of Red Brick House Farm in Stutton, near Tadcaster has organised tomorrow’s match and he believes that modern day farming pressures have sacrificed ploughing quality.
“Unfortunately, farmers today are losing pride in their work. It’s now all about speed, getting on quickly and sowing winter corn. There was a time when you would plough a field, leave it over the winter, work it up and drill it in the spring. That doesn’t happen very much now.
“Ploughing, using vintage or classic tractors and ploughs, requires far greater concentration and effort. That’s what attracts people to come and watch. I’m a retired farmer and got the bug for ploughing matches about 20-plus years ago. Once it gets you it drags you further in. You might start off with something poor, but then you soon realise you need something better.
“That’s when it becomes a bit like the Formula 1 cars. You buy a slightly better tractor and a slightly better plough. After a while you trade up again.”
John Lightfoot of Barkston Ash came into the sport three years ago after a lifetime in farming, and running his own agricultural contracting business.
“I’ve a 1964 Ford 3000 tractor and a TS59 plough, but I haven’t been in the prizes,” he says. “The tractor and plough cost me around £6,000 and I get to around half a dozen matches a year.”
Roger Ingham adds, “‘The Ford and Fordson Tractor Club runs 20 regional qualifying matches right across the country and all of the champions from each of those events should be here for the finals. The vintage and classic sections of all ploughing societies are proving extremely popular just at the moment.
“People from all walks of life are buying a little grey Fergie (Ferguson) or a Fordson and taking up the sport. There is so much more physical work involved, twizzling handles and levers.
“Ploughing is a great skill. At the end of the day, regardless of how much you invest in equipment, it’s the man on the seat that does the winning.”
The rules of engagement
The 2011 Ford and Fordson Ploughing Championships, hosted by the Tadcaster and District Ploughing Society, start tomorrow at 10am by permission of JE Hartley Farming.
There is no entry fee for spectators. Funds from donations, plus entry fees from competitors go to Yorkshire Air Ambulance.
The average plot for a ploughing match is usually 15 metres by 75 metres long. Competitors have a four hour time limit.
They plough six inches deep and within weeks the straightest furrows in the county will be gone. The Hartley family will soon be deep ploughing it in order to plant potatoes.
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