Englands ploughmen dominate championship
By Peter Jones
ENGLANDS top reversible ploughmen dominated the European Reversible and British National Championships, held in Somerset last weekend.
Near perfect ploughing conditions at Steve Lings Heywood Farm, Nynehead, greeted 25 competitors from 14 countries for the first days European event in which Yorkshires John Hill came out on top with a score of 304.
Mr Hill, a former British reversible champion, beat off competition from Lincolnshire team-mate Peter Waters (291 points) and the Austrian pair, Joseph Reisinger (273 points) and Joseph Dopperman (255 points). Scotlands Robert McDairmant split the two Austrians with a score of 268 points.
Of the UKs other competitors, Ian Wilson from Wales was seventh (233 points), Ulsters Adrian Jamison equal eighth (227 points), Scotlands Douglas Stewart 20th and Andrew Tucker from Wales was 23rd.
"Bridesmaid turned bride" on the championships second day when European reserve, Peter Waters, went one better to take the British Reversible title with 474 points – 21 points clear of Scotlands Robert McDairmant (453 points). After his triumph, John Hill could only manage fourth place (436 points) behind Simon Witty (439 points).
The result means 35-year-old Peter Waters, a service engineer with Dowdeswell Engineering, will represent his country as one of a team of two ploughmen at next years World Contest in Eire.
Joining Mr Waters will be 40-year-old Mike Holloway, who took the national conventional ploughing title (537 points) ahead of 17 other ploughmen in the Sunday plough-off. These 17 had won through from the previous days semi-digger classes.
Strongly fancied three times former world champion, Graeme Witty, could only manage second place (522 points) ahead of ploughmen from Devon and Derbyshire.
England team coach, David Chappell, rated the ploughing conditions at Heywood Farm as near perfect. "A pleasure to plough, what I call affectionate soil," he said. "The need to keep moving and the ups and downs of the surface gave just enough to test the ploughmen fully."
The championships, sponsored by Butler Fuels, attracted record crowds on both days.
• Full results next week.
Steady as she goes… John Hill, winner of the European Reversible Championship, eases his plough into action.
Above: National Conventional Ploughing title winner, Mike Holloway, works hard to achieve the perfect furrow.