The high point of the British competition ploughing season is the annual British National Ploughing Championships. These are organised by the Society of Ploughmen and are held at different venues each year and are regularly contested by around 250 local ploughing champions.
There are classes for conventional, reversible and horse-drawn ploughs, as well as expanding classes for vintage tractors and ploughs which attracts 60 area champions each year; and also vintage horticultural machinery. And the number of women competitors is steadily increasing, too (see the picture below).
The Championships are also one of the few remaining events where steam ploughing tackle can still be seen at work. Probably the biggest crowd pleaser each year are the horses. Upwards of a dozen pairs of these magnificently turned out animals take spectators back to the days when farming was a quieter, gentler way of life.
But there is much more the British National Ploughing Championships than just ploughing. Over 130 trade stands, craft stalls and working demonstrations provide a rich mixture of rural arts and crafts, and the chance to see the latest tractors and tillage equipment in action.
Pictured right: It's also for the girls! Young Farmer, Debbie Watson (aged 16) who took part in the 2006 event. She was placed 5th in the National Young Farmers' Conventional Ploughing Championship.
Ploughing matches are held across the UK and throughout the year. They offer the chance for both novice and experienced ploughmen and women to take part. It's also a fantastic day out for families and people who enjoy the countryside and rural living.
The high point of the British competition ploughing season is the annual British National Ploughing Championships. With classes for conventional, reversible and horse-drawn ploughs as well as vintage tractors and ploughs.