Men and women battle it out at New Zealand ploughing champs

Abbey Wakefield
Source: 1News

Over the weekend, some of Aotearoa’s most talented ploughmen and women gathered in Seddon to compete in the annual New Zealand Ploughing Championships.

The two-day event featured 34 competitors from around the country competing in five categories, from conventional tractor ploughing to horse ploughing.

This year’s conventional tractor ploughing winner was Ian Woolley.

“Preparation is 85% of the game really,” Woolley told Breakfast.

Contestants are scored out of ten, and the best scores would be given to the competitors who were able to create the tidiest furrows, which were the narrow trenches made in the ground by the plough.

“I even got a couple of tens, so that’s pretty jolly good,” he said.

This year marked the 67th edition of the competition, with the first event held in 1956 in Papakaio. The first time the event was held in Marlborough was in 1968.

Now, Marlborough might not see the event return as it becomes increasingly difficult to find flat land in a region dominated by vineyards.

“I can’t see us having another one, the grape industry’s gobbling up all the good flat land, but hey you can’t blame them, it’s what pays the bills.” Woolley said.

Later this year, Woolley is travelling to the Republic of Ireland for the world contest.

“We’ll be ploughing in Ireland, which is a huge event, it’s like their national field days, they’ll get over 100,000 people everyday for three days,” he said.