Ploughing Champion retains World title
Simon Witty, ploughing for England, has become the 2005 World Reversible Ploughing Champion for the second year running – a competition he has only entered twice. He retained his title with a clear margin of victory at the 52nd World Ploughing Championship in Prague on the 16th and 17th September. He scored the highest number of points on both the first day on stubble and the second day on grassland. His total 417 points were 41 points clear of the next competitor, Ove GedsØ of Denmark.
Twenty-nine year old Simon from East Lutton, near Malton in North Yorkshire follows in the footsteps of his father Graeme and brother James. Mr Witty senior was the World Reversible Ploughing Champion in 1998 and brother James was the World Champion in 2003.
Apart from ploughing obviously being ‘in his blood’, Simon goes to great lengths to make sure his equipment is to his exact specification. He drives a 17 year old 82 horsepower Ford 4610T which was originally destined for work in Brazil at altitude, where the scarcer oxygen would have resulted in a lower power output.
Despite offers of sponsorship from tractor manufacturers, Simon prefers to stick with the Ford because, without today’s modern technology, it is simple to maintain and operate – offering clear all round visibility from the cab.
His plough is also non-standard: he has taken a two furrow reversible Dowdeswell body and added Kverneland parts, as well as making other ‘secret’ modifications.
Simon runs his tractor on a set of Firestone R7000 radial tyres – but he has even made modifications to these to ensure a perfect furrow is left after each pass.
He will shortly be practicing for the 55th British National Ploughing Championships to be held at Soham, near Ely, Cambridgeshire on Saturday and Sunday, 8th & 9th October 2005. Simon will be keen to take the reversible title at this competition as he only achieved 2nd place at last year’s event.