Listooder & District Ploughing Society, supported by Down District Council, held their special 125th Anniversary ploughing match, last Saturday at Rademon Estate, Crossgar.
A large number of competitors, visitors plus many from the local community took advantage of the weather to enjoy the event and watch competitors perfect their skill ploughing the field.
The Reverend Mark Spratt, Minister of Kilmore Presbyterian Church, opened the event with prayer before nearly 50 of Northern Ireland’s top competitors, of all ages, and men and women alike, competed in seven classes for horses and tractors.
In the championship classes, Allen McAnally (Ballyboley Ploughing Society), William Gill and Lindsay Hanna BEM (both Listooder Ploughing Society) took the coveted top places while in the Vintage Intermediate Class, Marc Gamble (Ballynure Vintage Club) took first place.
Harold Simms (Kilroot PS) won the Classic class, Jim Bergin (Larne) won the Novice class and Wesley Henry (Cookstown) won the Style & Appearance.
In the Young Farmers Fencing competition, supported by Loughwood, Ward & Boyd and sponsored by Danske Bank, Spa YFC took the top prize.
Listooder is recognised as the oldest ploughing society in Ireland and is famed throughout the world.
The Gills and Hannas are only a couple of names associated with Listooder who have won multiple ploughing matches, several national competitions, competed at European level and even be crowned World Ploughing Champion.
Speaking after the event, Listooder chairman, Martin Gill said: “It has been a wonderful day, for Listooder & District Ploughing Society. We are a small society with a great history and on behalf of our committee we are grateful for the support we received that made our special anniversary match the success it was.
“It was poignant that we were able to return to the district where ploughing matches began 125 years ago and we owe a huge debt of gratitude to Mr and Mrs Frank Boyd for the use of their land here at Rademon.
“Also, the community got behind our efforts to celebrate our history, came along to watch the ploughing and Young Farmers fencing competitions, plus enjoy an exhibition of photos and memorabilia from previous matches. More than that, it was great to hear friends and family of Society members, past and present, relive stories from previous matches and catch up with old friends.”
He continued “I want to thank Down District Council for their support plus our principle sponsor JL Engineering, along with the many individuals and companies whose support made this event possible.”
The special anniversary ploughing match was supported by Down District Council. Chairman of Down District Council, Councillor William Walker said: “The council is delighted to support this prestigious event. Although I worked on local farms when I was younger, this was the first ploughing match I have attended. On behalf of Down District Council I want to congratulate Listooder & District Ploughing Society on a wonderful event and wish them every success for the future.”
Yet another generation of ploughing enthusiasts associated with Listooder ensures that ploughing, the oldest farming tradition, will remain an important part in the local community for years to come.
A special 125th anniversary dinner dance and prize distribution will be held at Ballynahinch Rugby Club on Friday 20th February 2015.
World Style Conventional - sponsored by Carryduff Tyre Centre Ltd: 1, Allen McAnally, Ballyboley PS; 2, Brian O’Neill, Moy PS; 3, David Wright, Loup PS; 4, Ian Simms, Kilroot PS; 5, John Barr, Coleraine PS; 6, Andrew Gill, Listooder PS; 7, Andrew Nevin, Coleraine PS
Vintage Senior - sponsored by JL Engineering Ballynahinch: 1, William Gill, Listooder PS; 2, Tom Clyde, Ballynure; 3, James Adair, Ballyeaston VC; 4, Mark Taggart, Ballyeaston VC; 5, David Grattan, Banbridge; 6, Stephen Weatherup, Larne
Vintage Intermediate - sponsored by McCormick Quarries: 1, Marc Gamble, Ballynure VC; Jeffrey Cush, Lurgan; 3, Billy Hunter, Saintfield; 4, Dylon McGarry, Downpatrick; 5, James Fitchie, Ballygowan VC; 6, Raymond Clifford, Ballyeaston VC; 7, William Steenson, Markethill; 8, Graham McKee, Kilkeel
Classic Class - sponsored by Belfast Skills Dev Training Ltd: 1, Harold Simms, Kilroot PS; 2, Ivan Watson, Ballynahinch VC; 3, Stephen Aiken, Portadown
Vintage Novice - sponsored by James Glover & Son Ltd: 1, Jim Bergin, Larne; 2, David Lemon Jnr, Ballyblack; 3, Jim Bergin Jnr, Larne; 4, Nigel Strain, Drumreagh; 5, Eddie Calvert, Portavogie; 6, Paul Bergin, Larne; 7, George Calvert, Portavogie; 8, George Burton, Killinchy
Horse Class - sponsored by Carlisle Fuels: 1, Lindsay Hanna BEM, Listooder PS; 2, Wesley Henry, Cookstown; 3, John Weir Jnr, Ballyclare
Style & Appearance - sponsored by Ulster Bank & Quoile Fuels: 1, Wesley Henry, Cookstown; 2, John Weir Jnr, Ballyclare; 3, Lindsay Hanna, Listooder PS
Confined winner: John Barr
Most Senior Competitor: Billy Hunter
Best Pulling Horses: Lindsay Hanna BEM
Best Unled Horses: Lindsay Hanna BEM
Ransomes Plough: William Gill
Vintage Hydraulic: William Gill
Co Down Vintage Champion: William Gill
Reserve Vintage Champion: Tom Clyde
Co Down Champion: Andrew Gill
Reserve Champion: Brian O’Neill
Champion of the Field: Allen McAnally
YFC Fencing - supported by Ward & Boyd, Rylock & Loughwood - Sponsored by Danske Bank: 1, Spa YFC; 2, Donaghdee YFC; 3, Moneyreagh YFC.