Ploughing expertise put to test

Linda Cosgrove, of Blenheim, perfects her skills for the NZ Vintage Ploughing Championships.      PHOTOS: NORM STYLES
Linda Cosgrove, of Blenheim, perfects her skills for the NZ Vintage Ploughing Championships. PHOTOS: NORM STYLES

Dedicated ploughers will be eyeing up a place on the national stage when the next New Zealand Ploughing Championships qualifying event takes place in Timaru.

The top performers will compete in the nationals at Thornbury next year.

But first, they must perfect the art of creating straight furrows on a local level.

To do that, contestants will compete in one or more of four classes atthe Timaru event — conventional ploughing, reversible ploughing, vintage ploughing and horse ploughing.

The event will take place on the Kyle family farm on Arowhenua Station Rd on May 6.

Timaru Ploughing Match Association member Norm Styles, who last week attended another qualifying event at Kirwee, is keen to see more people putting their ploughing expertise to the test to boost dwindling numbers.

‘‘It is anartform — it’s one of those skills that needs to be passed on to a new generation of people.’’

Mr Styles estimated up to about 20 ploughers, mainly from the South Island, would compete in Timaru next week, down on the attendance at previous events.

‘‘Certainly back in the 50s and 60s there could be 30 to 40 people. .. trying to get to nationals.''

Ploughing could take people anywhere in the world, he said.

This year’s world championships were being held in Kenya, next year they are in Germany and in 2019 they will be hosted in Ohio, United States.

Two contestants from each country compete at the world championships, one in the reversible section and the other in the conventional championship.

This year’s New Zealand representatives travelling to Kenya are Bob Mehrtens, of Timaru, for reversible ploughing, and Ian Woolley, of Marlborough, in the conventional ploughing.

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