Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Tuesday 25 July 2017

World's best ready for title fights

Old ones are the best: Michael Kirwan
and Jim Ryan, Newcastle Vintage Club,
Clonmel, check out Paul Hallahan's tractors
in the Vintage section at the National
Ploughing Championships
Old ones are the best: Michael Kirwan and Jim Ryan, Newcastle Vintage Club, Clonmel, check out Paul Hallahan's tractors in the Vintage section at the National Ploughing Championships
Caitriona Murphy

Caitriona Murphy

FIERCE competition is expected between the 320 plough men and women who will compete for 15 national titles over the next three days.

This year's Ploughing schedule includes two new classes, one of which is a nod to the past. The Macra class, open to Macra na Feirme members under the age of 35, was last run 15 years ago.

However, it has been revived to coincide with the NPA's 80th anniversary and is expected to introduce plenty of young blood into the sport.

The young farmers, who have each qualified within their county, will compete using two-furrow conventional ploughs.

The second new class is a World Challenge, in which world champions and world medallists from across Europe and beyond will compete.

Eleven ploughmen are entered, including four representatives from Ireland.

The Irish contingent includes three-time world champion Martin Kehoe (Wexford) and seven-time world runner-up John Treacy (Carlow).

Former European champion, world bronze medallist and four-time national champion John Whelan (Wexford) and former world silver medallist Liam O'Driscoll (Cork) make up the quartet.


Current world champion Andrew Mitchell spent the past few days trying to get the last of his corn cut at home in Scotland in order to take part in the World Challenge.

Meanwhile, competitors from Northern Ireland, Wales, England, Denmark, Sweden and New Zealand will be hoping to get the better of Mr Mitchell.

Malcolm Taylor, the Kiwi competitor, is making his journey even more worthwhile by ploughing his way around Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales.

More than 200ac will be ploughed over the next three days by some of the most skilful competitors in the world.

Ploughing begins today at 10.30am and all visitors are urged to take some time to appreciate the expertise.

Indo Farming