THE world’s top ploughmen will converge on Berwickshire this weekend (October 27/28) to compete in the Scottish Ploughing Championships at Coldstream Mains and Lennel Estate.
This year‘s World Conventional Ploughing Champion Andrew Mitchell, from Forfar, will defend his Scottish title won last year on the Black Isle.
His father, also Andrew, who was runner-up in the World Reversible class at last month’s World Championships in Croatia, will also be taking part.
The Scottish Championships are being held at Coldstream Mains and Lennel Estate by permission of Colin McGregor and the Lennel Estate Trustees. The event returns to the Borders two years after the highly successful championships held at Upper Nisbet at Jedburgh in 2010 when Scotland hosted the European Vintage Championships for the first time.
A huge entry of 180 will take part on the 250 acres site with all types of ploughing being carried out from the ancient art of horse ploughing through to vintage trailing and mounted to modern reversible classes while the latest tackle will be put through its paces in the demonstration plots.
The event is a tractor spotter’s paradise with virtually every make you can think of at work on the stubble fields which are accessed by tractor buses.
This year Scotland will host the Six Nations Vintage Competition over two days when ploughmen will come from Northern Ireland, Wales, England, Rep of Ireland and the Isle of Man to compete against three Scotsmen keen to win on home soil.
Whilst the bulk of the ploughing action takes place on the Saturday and Sunday the Friday will see some preliminary events take place including a visit by schoolchildren from Coldstream, Chirnside and Swinton as part of the Royal Highland Education Trusts involvement with the event.
As usual there are plenty of trade stands offering all sorts of ware and services from parts for vintage ploughs to children’s books, full catering and toilet facilities are also on site.
This will be the 50th Scottish Championships after the first one was held at Tibbermore in Perthshire in 1963. To celebrate this achievement, members of the Borders Vintage Agricultural Association and local farmers will attempt to assemble 50 tractors and ploughs in a special vintage display.
Also on display (work permitting) will be Colin McGregor’s mighty Case Quadtrac articulated tractor which took part in this summers Quadtrac Challenge in Lincolnshire where 50 of the giant beasts cultivated a field at once for charity.
The culmination of the weekend will see the 2012 Scottish Champions crowned and given the opportunity to represent their country in international competition next year including the World Championships in Alberta in Canada next July.
Next year the Championship circus moves to other end of the county for its first visit to Caithness where this year’s champions can defend their titles.
Details on www.scotplough.co.uk www.mcgregorfarms.co.uk