Stalwart thanks local supporters
The support of the South Canterbury community is the driving reason a ploughing stalwart took out the silver medal at the World Ploughing Championships, he says.
Bob Mehrtens competed in his ninth world championships in Kenya in the reversible ploughing class on December 1 and 2 taking out second place in the competition.
Thousands of dollars were raised by the community to help cover the cost of taking not only his own plough to Kenya, but also his own tractor.
Mehrtens said without the supportof the South Canterbury community ‘‘it could have been a different result’’.
‘‘I believe it was a huge advantage some of the other countries [that didn’t have their own gear] struggled.
‘‘Having our own gear was a turning point for our success.’’
There had been a ‘‘huge following’’ of people from South Canterbury, New Zealand, and the world, he said.
‘‘I’m just touched.
‘‘People I didn’t even know ... or didn’t know followed ploughing have got behind me.’’
The New Zealand team, which included Ian Woolley, of Blenheim, who represented New Zealand in the conventional ploughing class and placed seventh, travelled to Kenya a couple of weeks before the competition to prepare. really chuffed and
This gave competitors the advantage of being able to adjust to soil conditions which started out quiet ‘‘moist’’ but got ‘‘very dry,’’ Mehrtens said.
The competition, which ran over two days, saw competitors test their skills in wheat stubble and grassland ploughing. A combined score from the two days gave competitors their overall place, he said.
The whole experience in Kenya was ‘‘awesome,’’ he said.
‘‘People are very friendly lovely people.’’
Mehrtens will compete in his tenth world championships in Germany in September. His tractor is being shipped back from Kenya and is expected to arrive in the country in February.
Mehrtens said once it was back he would compete on the New Zealand ploughing circuit before shipping his gear to Germany. ...
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Bob Mehrtens shows of his trophy won in Kenya.