First post-Covid plough test this weekend

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Matt Ridge, shown competing at Chertsey last year, may be one to watch at this weekend's Methven...
Matt Ridge, shown competing at Chertsey last year, may be one to watch at this weekend's Methven Ploughing Match. Photo: Supplied
Seventeen ploughmen will make tracks this weekend competing in the Methven Ploughing Match.

Weather permitting, it will be run at 722 Mt Hutt Station Road on Saturday, but may be moved to Sunday if the weather is unfavourable.

It is the first ploughing event to be held post-Covid-19 lockdown.

The Hinds Ploughing match is on June 13.

Methven Ploughing secretary/treasurer Sandy Redmond said three matches in the national competition had been missed due to lockdown but they would be run, in a combined event, at Geraldine on June 20.

It will be a Timaru, Waitaki and Geraldine ploughing match event.

She understood two qualifiers from that event would get a place in the final.

In a normal year there would be 23 ploughing events nationwide and qualifiers from each event would go through to the New Zealand Championship final.

The Methven Ploughing match starts from 10.30am and will see eight ploughmen compete in the vintage section, two in the horse section and seven in the silver plough, with conventional and reversible.

They are ploughing a green feed oats paddock, which if it gets too wet will be unfavourable for the vintage ploughmen.

Mrs Redmond said the number of entries for the Methven event was not as high as it could have been, due to the late notice of the event going ahead. was planned a year ago.

It was all centred from government restrictions around Covid-19 on numbers gathering.

She said spectators were not encouraged to attend, but if they did they needed to maintain social distancing rules. It was easily done by the ploughmen who are ploughing plots 20 metres apart.

Mrs Redmond said the New Zealand Ploughing Championships, usually held in April/May, were called-off a week before lockdown.

Traditionally the winners of the reversible and conventional ploughing final represent New Zealand at the World Ploughing Competition the following year. This year it was meant to be in Russia, with ploughmen Bob Mehrtens, of Timaru, and Scott McKenzie, of Clinton, representing New Zealand.

The men were declared the reversible and conventional silver plough winners, respectively, following the New Zealand Ploughing Championships in Chertsey in 2019.

However due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the Russian event had been deferred to next year.

The national ploughing body was still working through the finer details of how representation may now progress.

By Toni Williams

 

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