Britain’s top ploughmen and women were treated to some good ground last weekend to show off their skills at the 71st British National Ploughing Championships on the Chatsworth Estate on land at Glapwell, Derbyshire. Almost 250 local champions ploughed over the two days on a site kindly provided by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
A heavy downpour during the week softened the ground and more rain the day before made conditions good for the competitors who had travelled from all over the country to take part. The sun then shone for the weekend, so competitors had near-perfect conditions to show off their skills in the various categories of ploughing.
The Reversible Plough-Off Final was won by Mick Chappell from Loversall, near Doncaster, South Yorkshire, ploughing with a Ford tractor and Kverneland plough. This is the third time Mick has won the title and he finished with 330 points, ahead of two former British Champions.
The winner of the British Conventional title was James Witty from East Lutton, near Malton, North Yorkshire. James also used a Ford/Kverneland combination and also beat two past British Champions with 270 points.
Mick and James have now qualified to represent England in the 2023 World Ploughing Contest which will be held in Latvia.
In the vintage ploughing finals, the Vintage Trailing Championship was won by John Crowder from Sturton by Stow, Lincolnshire. John retained the title from last year and is the current European Vintage Ploughing Champion. Using a Fordson N tractor and a Ransome RSLD plough, he scored 261 points.
The Vintage Hydraulic Plough-Off Final winner was Richard Ingram from Atherstone, Warwickshire, who finished well ahead of the competition with a 23 point lead. Since the Vintage Hydraulic Plough-Off Final was brought in five years ago, this is the fourth time Richard has won it, gaining 267 points with his Massey Ferguson 35 and Ransome TS54 plough.
The Classic Championship title was won for the third time in a row by David Thomlinson from Escrick, near York, ploughing with his Ford 3000 tractor and Ransome TS86 plough.
Brand new this year was the Classic Reversible Plough-Off Final which was won by Graham Sutton from Nuneaton, Warwickshire. Graham ploughed with a Massey Ferguson 65 tractor and a Ransome TS82 plough and won 303 points.
The Overall Vintage Champion, judged independently, was John Crowder and all of the vintage winners have qualified to plough in the 2023 European Vintage Ploughing Championships in the Netherlands.
The other main titles over the weekend were the Overall Horse Ploughing Champion, won by Martink Kerswell from Fordingbridge, Hampshire; the Overall Young Farmers Champion which was taken by Stuart Vickers from Malpas, Cheshire and the High Cut Ploughing Champion, won by Derek Needham from Kings Lynn, Norfolk. The Supreme Championship title was judged independently from all the title winners and was won by James Witty. All the trophies on the second day were presented by the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire.
Mark Turner, Chairman of the Society of Ploughmen, who organised the Championships said, “We were given a fantastic site on the Chatsworth Estate this year and we were delighted that our hosts, the Duke and Duchess of Devonshire, could join us for the presentation. It made it very special for the prize winners this weekend.”
Full results from the event can be found here.
A date for your diary - the 72nd British National Ploughing Championships will be held on 14th and 15th October 2023 at Bishop’s Lydeard, near Taunton, Somerset.