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. ...


It may look like many other gulls, but the black-billed gull is a rar­ity.


Bob Mehrtens shows of his tro­phy won in Kenya.

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