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, Falkirk, Stirlingshire, Scotland
           Tractor:  T Leslie Dixon     

           Horse:  Reginald A Hogg

1953    Ashton-in-Makerfield, Lancashire, England
           Tractor:  T Leslie Dixon     

            Horse:  R Ivor Roberts

1954    Nynehead, Wellington, Somerset, England
            Whole work:  Thomas C Watkins     

            High Cut: Edward J Walker

1955    Sealand, Flintshire, Wales
            Whole work: John D Lomas   

            High Cut: Edward J Walker

1956    Shillingford, Wallingford, Oxfordshire, England
            Whole work: A John Mason     

            High Cut: Richard J Miller

1957    Ratho, Edinburgh, Scotland
            Whole work: T Leslie Goodwin     

            High Cut: John Dixon

1958    Hough-on-the-Hill, Grantham, Lincolnshire
            Whole work: Edgar S Davies     

            High Cut: Jack H Nott

1959    Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England
            Whole work: John A Gwilliam   

            High Cut: Henry R Jones

1960    Ripon, North Yorkshire, England
            Whole work: William T Phillips     

            High Cut: Godfrey W Hoskins

1961    Norwich, Norfolk, England
            Whole work: John W Sandford   

            High Cut:  Henry R Jones

1962    North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland    
            Whole work: L John Williams   

            High Cut: David W J Bonning

1963    Halse, Taunton, Somerset, England
            Whole work: A John Mason   

            High Cut: J Woodie Cole

1964    Nuneham Courtney, Oxfordshire, England
            Whole work: John L Nixon   

            High Cut: David J Bonning

1965    Storeton, Wirral, Cheshire, England
            Champion: Philip Skyrme

1966    Stoneleigh, Kenilworth, Warwickshire, England
            Champion: T Raymond Goodwin  
            Champion:  Robert Anderson
            Note: there were two plough-off finals this year to decide competitors for the 1967 and 1968 World Ploughing Contests

1967    Ross-on-Wye, Herefordshire, England
            Champion: Ken Chappell   
 

1968    Alderbury, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England
            Champion: Gerald I Smith    

1969    North Berwick, East Lothian, Scotland
            Champion: Raymond H Robson   

1970    Wilsic, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
            Champion: John J Metcalfe   

1971    Nynehead, Wellington, Somerset, England
            Champion: John B Smith   

1972    Otley, Ipswich, Suffolk, England
            Champion: John Milnes    

1973    Thorpe Willoughby, Selby, North Yorkshire, England
            Champion: Leslie F Waudby    

1974    Fawley Court, Herefordshire, England
            Champion: Vivian E Samuel   

1975    Wispington, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, England
            Champion: J Thomas Smith     

1976    Tamhorn Park, Lichfield, Staffordshire, England
            Champion: J Thomas Smith    

1977    Crowhurst, Lingfield, Surrey, England
            Champion: Vivian E Samuel   

1978    Stannington, Newcastle, Northumberland, England
            Champion: Vivian E Samuel    

1979    Cross Houses, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England
            Champion: T Raymond Goodwin    

1980    Burwell, Newmarket, Cambridgeshire, England
            Champion: T Raymond Goodwin   

1981    Wing, Aylesbury, Buckinghamshire, England
            Champion: David W J Bonning   

1982    Crosby-on-Eden, Carlisle, Cumbria, England
            Champion: Frank H Millington   

1983    Broadlands, Romsey, Hampshire, England
            Champion: John P Hill     

1984    Wispington, Horncastle, Lincolnshire, England
            Champion:  Vivian E Samuel    

1985    Glamis, Forfar, Angus, Scotland (Cancelled)

1985    Farnsfield, Newark, Nottinghamshire, England
            Champion: John P Hill     

1986    Bridge Sollers, Herefordshire, England
            Champion: John P Hill    

1987    Ellington, Morpeth, Northumberland, England
            Champion:  T Raymond Goodwin    

1988    Weston, Crewe, Cheshire, England
            Champion: H Graeme Witty   

1989    Kingston, Modbury, Devon, England
            Champion:  H Graeme Witty     

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:  Michael G Holloway     

            Reversible:  Peter 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 due to Foot & Mouth)

2002    Wilsic, Doncaster, South Yorkshire, England
            Conventional: Nigel Vickers     

            Reversible:  James G 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 (senior)

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 A Alderslade

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

            Reversible:  Peter A 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 A Alderslade

2013    Llanwarne, Hereford, Herefordshire England
            Conventional: John P Hill    

            Reversible: Peter A Alderslade

2014    Wootton St Lawrence, Basingstoke, Hampshire, England
            Conventional: J David Chappell    

            Reversible: Peter A Alderslade

2015    Marden, Tonbridge, Kent, England
            Conventional: J David Chappell   

            Reversible: Peter A Alderslade

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

            Reversible: Ian J Brewer

2017    Bishops Lydeard, Taunton, Somerset, England
            Reversible: Michael D Chappell

            Conventional: Ashley C Boyles
            Vintage Trailed: John Milnes
            Vintage Hydraulic: Richard W Ingram
            Vintage Classic: Jon Cole
            Supreme Champion: Ashley C Boyles

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

2019    Nocton, Lincoln, Lincolnshire, England
            Reversible: Michael D Chappell
            Conventional: Evan Watkin 
            Vintage Trailed: John Milnes
            Vintage Hydraulic: Richard W Ingram 
            Vintage Classic: David J Thomlinson
            Supreme Champion: Evan Watkin

2020    Mindrum, Northumberland, England (postponed due to Covid-19)