British National Ploughing Championships

The high point of the British competition ploughing season is the annual British National Ploughing Championships which are organised by the Society of Ploughmen in a different part of the country each year. They regularly see around 250 local ploughing champions - both men and women - competing for different titles. 

There are classes for 'world style' conventional and reversible ploughs, for a number of different vintage classes with vintage champions competing for the trailing, hydraulic and classic championships.  Other vintage classes include the Ferguson, the David Brown and the Ford & Fordson Championships, crawler tractors, horticultural and the stylish 'high cut' ploughing.  Probably the biggest crowd pleaser each year are the heavy horses, when a dozen or more pairs of these magnificent beasts take spectators back to the days when farming was a much quieter, gentler way of life.

But there is much more to the British National Ploughing Championships than ploughing.  Every year is different, but agricultural trade stands, shopping stalls and country crafts provide an 'agricultural show' atmospher to the event and there are the vintage equipment and rural displays, tractor and trailer rides and the rare opportunity to see steam ploughing tackle at work.

All of which make the Championships a great occasion for all the family!

Click here for details of this year's Championships.

Venues of the British National Ploughing Championships & Champions

In the beginning, there were two British National Ploughing Champions – for tractor ploughing and horse ploughing.  This changed in 1954 to a champion in ‘whole work’ ploughing and one in ‘high cut’ ploughing. 

In 1965, with the introduction of a conventional 'plough off final', there was one champion in conventional ploughing.    When a reversible plough off final was introduced in 1990, there were then two champions - one in conventional and one reversible ploughing. 

The most recent change made was in 2017, when three more plough-off finals were introduced for vintage ploughing - trailed, hydraulic and classic ploughs.  There is now also a title for the overall Supreme Champion. 

1951   Newton Kyme, Tadcaster, North Yorkshire, England
           Tractor:  W Thomas R Hawke      Horse:  Alma A Wilson  

1952   Dunmore, Stirling, Scotland
           Tractor:  T Leslie Dixon      Horse:  R A Hogg

1953    Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, England
           Tractor:  T Leslie Dixon      Horse:  J I Roberts

1954    Nynehead, Wellington, Somerset, England
           Whole work:  Thomas C Watkins      High Cut: Edward J Walker

1955    Sealand, Flintshire, Wales

1989    Kingston, Modbury, Devon, England
            Champion:  H Graeme Witty      Runner-up:  John P Hill

1990    Worlaby, Brigg, Humberside, England
            Conventional:  H Graeme Witty      Reversible:   John P Hill

1991    Burwell, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, England
            Conventional:  H Graeme Witty      Reversible:  John P Hill

1992    Farnsfield, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England
            Conventional:  H Graeme Witty      Reversible:  John P Hill

1993    Shillingford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England
            Conventional:  Adrian J Brewer      Reversible:  John P Hill

1994    Wansford, Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, England
            Conventional:  Adrian J Brewer      Reversible:  James G Witty

1995    Nynehead, Wellington, Somerset, England
            Conventional:  M G Holloway      Reversible:  P Waters

1996    Swinefleet, Goole, East Yorkshire, England
            Conventional:  Rowland H Glanville      Reversible:  John P Hill

1997    Leeds, Maidstone, Kent, England
            Conventional:  J David Chappell      Reversible:  H Graeme Witty

1998    Preston Capes, Daventry, Northamptonshire, England
            Conventional:  Adrian J Brewer      Reversible:  John P Hill

1999    Shillingford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England
            Conventional:  N Geoffrey Fretwell      Reversible:  John P Hill

2000    Grange de Lings, Lincoln, England
            Conventional:  Adrian J Brewer      Reversible:  James G Witty

2001    Brougham, Penrith, Cumbria (cancelled)

2002    Wilsic, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
            Conventional: Nigel Vickers      Reversible:  Simon L Witty

2003    Brougham, Penrith, Cumbria, England
            Conventional:  John P Hill      Reversible:  Simon L Witty

2004    South Stoke, Reading, Berkshire, England
            Conventional:  Don Woodhouse      Reversible:  Andrew B Mitchell

2005    Soham, Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
            Conventional:  John P Hill      Reversible: Simon L Witty

2006    Loseley Park, Guildford, Surrey, England
            Conventional:  Adrian J Brewer      Reversible:  Simon L Witty

2007    Crockey Hill, York, North Yorkshire, England
            Conventional:  Ashley C Boyles      Reversible:  Peter Alderslade

2008    Marden, near Tonbridge, Kent, England
            Conventional:  Ashley C Boyles      Reversible:  Peter Alderslade

2009    Soham, near Ely, Cambridgeshire, England
            Conventional: Simon L Witty     Reversible: Colin R Bowen

2010    Grange-de-Lings, Lincoln, England
            Conventional: John P Hill     Reversible: Colin R Bowen

2011    Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset, England
            Conventional: John P Hill    Reversible: Colin R Bowen

2012    Whittington, Lichfield, Staffordshire, England
            Conventional: Ashley C Boyles    Reversible: Peter Alderslade

2013    Llanwarne, Hereford, Herefordshire England
            Conventional: John P Hill     Reversible: Peter Alderslade

2014    Wootton St Lawrence, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
            Conventional: David Chappell     Reversible: Peter Alderslade

2015    Marden, Tonbridge, Kent, England
            Conventional: David Chappell    Reversible: Peter Alderslade

2016     Crockey Hill, York, North Yorkshire, England
             Conventional: Don Woodhouse    Reversible: Ian Brewer

2017     Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset, England
             Conventional: Ashley Boyles ~ Reversible: Michael Chappell
             Vintage Trailed: John Milnes ~ Vintage Hydraulic: Richard Ingram ~ Vintage Classic: Jon Cole
             Supreme Champion: Ashley Boyles

2018     Austrey, Atherstone, Warwickshire, England
             Conventional: David Chappell ~ Reversible: Peter Alderslade
             Vintage Trailed: Ray Alderson ~ Vintage Hydraulic: Richard Ingram ~ Vintage Classic: Jon Cole
             Supreme Champion: David Chappell