Heavy horses are back in the region on Saturday and Sunday, 14th and 15th October.
for the British National Ploughing Championships
The event takes place at Bishop’s Lydeard and promises to attract champions from the whole of the UK with classes for teams of heavy horses and tractors, both vintage and modern.
A spokesperson for The Society of Ploughmen said, “Ploughmen and women take great pride in their skills and showcasing the art of ploughing. They will be competing for various titles including British Conventional, Reversible, Young Farmers, Vintage and Horse Champion and of course, Supreme Champion. Some of the winners will have the honour of representing their country in next year’s World and European Ploughing Championships, traditionally held in a different part of the world each year.
“Out of so many competitors, only four of them are ploughwomen. Young farmer Ellie Bullard from Royston, Hertfordshire, who will turn 17 in October, will be hoping to beat the men in the world style conventional ploughing class with her Nuffield tractor and Kverneland plough; the other three ladies are all competing in the horse ploughing classes and will be showing their skills in keeping this great art alive, taking us back to the days when it would take a ploughman – or woman – a full day to plough an acre. In contrast, the latest agricultural machinery on sale today will be demonstrated by manufacturers and local companies, showing tractors and machines able to cover the same amount of land in less than an hour.
“Despite the title, the event isn’t just about ploughing. It offers a great day out for anyone with a love of the countryside and attracts a wide variety of visitors: farmers coming to see working demonstrations and new machinery, tyres, seeds, and other agricultural businesses; lovers of horses; vintage tractor enthusiasts coming to see makes and ages of tractors; and steam enthusiasts to see giant steam ploughing engines.
“The Society of Ploughmen is expecting an exceptional crowd over the two days as it also gives families a unique insight to see how our farming heritage has changed over the past 300 years. There will also be trade stands, shopping stalls, country crafts and tractor and trailer rides to get around the huge site.”
The chairman of the Society of Ploughmen, John Hill, said: “We are so pleased to be coming back to Somerset this year as the welcome we had when we were here in 2011 was second to none. Our hosts, those taking part, our visitors, our volunteers – everyone was so friendly that it added to a really great atmosphere and I’m looking forward to this once again. I love ploughing myself, but you don’t have to as anyone can come along and have a really great day out.”