Ploughing matches get underway in province

Saturday 4th and Sunday 5th, September saw the start of the new ploughing season in Northern Ireland with a two day event, hosted by the Society of ploughmen for Northern Ireland and Kircubbin, Portaferry and District Ploughing Society at Groomsport, Co Down on the land of Mr Ted Thompson.

Monday, 20th September 2021, 9:41 am
Steven Weatherup and Nigel Gamble
Steven Weatherup and Nigel Gamble

Blessed with glorious weather overlooking the Irish sea it was a very relaxed atmosphere with the ploughing people just glad to be back ploughing again. It has been almost a year since any ploughing events took place in Northern Ireland and it was obvious that the competitors were clumping at the bit to get going.

Along with some of the ploughing celebrities was BBC radio personality Nicola Weir from Farming Matters who had a yarn with some of the characters who attended the event.

Over the two events Banbridge man David Grattan took back to back victories winning the senior with Robert Atchenson winning the classic on day one with Nigel Gamble succeeding on day two while the hotly contested Academy class was won on both days by Jonathan Lemon.

Double world champion Des and Vivian Wright

Both these events have now become “a not to be missed weekend on the ploughing calendar”.

Spokespersons for each of the societies, Steven Weatherup and Brian McNally were full of praise for the people who contributed to the success of both events and thanked Mr Ted Thompson for the use of the land.

Special mention was made to this now, huge ploughing family spreading from as far as Dublin with Cyril McGuinness and Gerry Byrne taking part and NPA vice chairman Johnny Deery and his daughter (judges) travelling to this event.

The next big ploughing weekend will be hosted by the Ploughing Academy today (Saturday, September 18th) at the Henderson farm Millbrook Road, Bangor, contact David on 07852283179.

The BBC's Nicola Weir