110th Takapau Ploughing Match on
Entries are rolling in for the 110th Takapau Ploughing Match, to be held on October 6.
Ploughmen and women will be travelling from Waikato, Manawatu¯ and Wairarapa and places between to plough at the Takapau event.
The season has already begun with the first match in Reporoa on September 29, allowing the competitors to eye up their rivals, sharpen their skills and get the bit between their teeth for the Takapau match.
There will be horse teams competing too. It’s always a crowd pleaser when the heavy horses flex their muscle and add the creak and jingle of harness to the chug and grumble of the tractors. All the organisers need now is good weather.
The 2020 NZ Championships are also heading to Takapau, to be held on April 4 and 5, so ploughmen want to get accustomed to the heavy loam soils of the district, which is great ploughing.
On September 1 and 2, Ian Woolly from Blenheim and Bob Mehrtens from Timaru competed at the World Championships in Germany against 54 ploughmen (two were woman) from 29 countries. Ian Woolly achieved third in Conventional and Bob Mehrtens eighth in Reversible, which was an outstanding achievement by the New Zealanders against the world’s best ploughmen.
They practise for a week before the championships to test and adjust themselves and their ploughs to the conditions, which were quite hard although a bit a rain the night before helped.
The German event was progressive and well organised and the property — 300ha at Stuttgart — was ideal.
There were 8-10,000 visitors to the international event each day.
At Takapau the ploughmen compete to win locally, then go on to the NZ Championships, the winners of which travel overseas the following year.