Bordersc ton host Scottish Ploughing Championships

THE Borders has the honour of hosting the European Vintage Ploughing Championships as well as the Five Nations Ploughing Match, when the Scottish Championships arrive at Upper Nisbet at Jedburgh on October 23/24.

By The Newsroom
Wednesday, 29th September 2010, 2:16 pm
Updated Wednesday, 29th September 2010, 2:16 pm

Held by permission of Robert Neil and Partners and sponsored by New Holland, the two-day event promises to be a fantastic festival of furrow turning.

The cream of Europe's vintage ploughmen will arrive from Austria, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Netherlands, England, The Isle of Man, Wales, Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland and they will compete against Scotland's three representatives.

David Milton of Keith goes in the Trailing Class while John Bathgate from Dunbar will plough in the Mounted Class and John Tait of Gullane will go in the Reversible Class.

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Ploughmen from Scotland will also do battle with more modern machinery in the Five Nations Match. Gordon Rae of Lockerbie ploughs in the Conventional Class and John D. Fraser from Alness goes in the Reversible Class. They will compete against ploughmen from England, Wales, Northern and the Republic of Ireland.

While the international action takes place Scotland's own championships will also get underway.

This will see competitors go in both conventional and reversible styles of ploughing with some of the serious match ploughmen using very sophisticated equipment.

The reversible competitors will either plough straights or butts, the latter being recognised as the standard for competitors at the world match. There are also classes for the multi furrow ploughs that are in general usage on today's farms while Young Farmers and juniors also have a class.

For those who like their machinery from a different era, there will classic tractors and ploughs from the 1960s and 1970s. Even older vintage tractors go in mounted and trailing classes. The ancient art of "high cut" ploughing will also take place where the finished work will resemble the finest corduroy.

This type of finish is hoped to be achieved by the horse ploughmen who go on both days.

Horse ploughing is the purest form of the art and always provides a magnificent spectacle with the pleated manes and tails and decorated harness. Only in this class can you hear the swishing of the soil as it's turned, the jingle of the harness and the snorting of the power source.

Other ancient forms of ploughing and cultivation will be carried out in demonstrations by the Borders Vintage Agricultural Association.