Ploughing ahead to nationals
It’s never too early to think about qualifying for next year’s nationals, and top notch Clinton ploughman Scott McKenzie has done just that, after two successful competitions in Otago last weekend.
Third in the silver plough event at the recent New Zealand Ploughing Championships at Kirwee in Canterbury, McKenzie, 43, is working hard to return to the form that saw him represent his country at two World Ploughing Contests, at Slovenia in 2009, and Sweden in 2011, where he put in creditable performances.
Just after that, a thumb injury took him off the scene. ’’I wasn’t allowed to get it wet or dirty - basically I couldn’t do anything.’’
Family, farm and work commitments also contributed to putting his competitive ploughing passion temporarily to one side. But after a two-year absence, he re-entered competition last season, which resulted in qualification for the nationals.
And after gaining runner-up in the overall championship behind Southlander Alastair Rutherford of Waimumu, at the Tokomairiro Ploughing Association match near Milton on Saturday, then winning the Taieri championship the following day, he has qualified for next year’s New Zealand Ploughing Championships to be held at Thornbury near Riverton in Southland, in April.
McKenzie started ploughing competitively in 2003. Competition is pretty stiff in OtagoSouthland, with the regions taking a good chunk of the silverware at nationals. ’’We’ve got some good young buggers coming up, particularly Hayden Allison.’’
The 25-year-old Milton ploughman finished sixth in the silver plough at nationals this year behind McKenzie, and also qualified for nationals, after his performance at the Taieri event.
‘‘It’s great to have this level of competitor locally. You can’t have a good competition without good competitors.’’
McKenzie will be competing in two further qualifiers, hosted by the Thornbury and Central Southland clubs, this weekend.
‘‘Then I’m going to take to my plough and do some butchering,’’ said.
This will involve fitting new plastic mould boards, which stop soil sticking to the plough, and falling into the furrow.
‘‘I’ve been told by people to get them on.’’ He would dearly love to qualify for the worlds, possibly in 2019, in the United States.
Clinton ploughman Scott McKenzie in action at the Tokomairiro Ploughing Association competition on Saturday.
Milton up-and-comer Hayden Allison.