Top plough contest celebrates 50th year

Scottish Ploughing Championships at Lennel Estate near Coldstream. Davie Duncan from Montrose in the Class10-Horse Class-Broken Furrow
Scottish Ploughing Championships at Lennel Estate near Coldstream. Davie Duncan from Montrose in the Class10-Horse Class-Broken Furrow

The Borders rolled out the red carpet for the 50th Scottish Ploughing Championships at Coldstream last weekend.

McGregor Farms and Lennel Estates and all their staff had put in lots of effort to provide a fantastic venue. Competitors and spectators turned up from far and wide with one ploughman even driving his tractor all the way from Ayrshire to take part.

After a wet summer it was no surprise that conditions were tough for both organisers and ploughmen with difficult rigs and access routes.

However the usual spirit of good will between the ploughing fraternity and the generous hosts meant the match proceeded to a completion on the Sunday afternoon.

It started on a cool Friday which saw a covering of snow on the distant Cheviots. Those braving the weather were competitors from all over the British Isles taking part in the Six Nations Vintage Championships.

Saturday saw the match proper start with completion of the Six Nations Contest which saw England’s David Greenwood as overall winner.

Horse ploughing unfortunately had only two pairs while the eventual winner George Robertson had to borrow a horse as one of his became unwell.

The Classic Class saw difficult conditions force the withdrawal of several competitors but Jock Sivewright managed to win with Berwick’s Stuart Forsyth reserve.

The General Purpose class saw Andrew Mitchell take top honours while the Borders had one class winner with George Riddell winning the inaugural Friend of Ferguson T20 Class

Reversible ploughing saw Dave Carnegie win the Butts Class, Multi furrow winner was George McLachlan and Non Hydraulic winner Raymond Middleton with Kelso’s Bruce Richardson second.

Sunday started rainy and remained dull. However, ploughing continued with Davie Duncan on his own in the horse class while John Milnes was top in the High Cut Section.

Best Junior was Mathew Whitehead while Allen McAnally and Peter Alderslade were top visitors in the Conventional and Reversible sections respectively.

In the vintage mounted classes Colin Hewetson beat Stuart Bathgate of Dunbar in section A while Dunbar’s Robin Forsyth won section B and overall awards while James Macpherson weighed in with the Trailing title.

In the Plough Offs to determine the Scottish Champions for the 2013 World Contest in Canada it was Andrew Mitchell Jnr who won his eighth straight Scottish title while popular and seasoned campaigner Dave Carnegie took the reversible crown.

Next year all the action moves to the other end of the country when Caithness hosts the event for the first time.

The attention of Borders ploughers now turns to the Merse Vintage Ploughing Club’s match which will be held on November 18 at Birgham.