Ploughing Competition 3rd May 2014

Paul Studley

Vintage Hydraulic British Ploughing Champion

On Saturday the 3rd May 2014, I was taken to Laneast, near Launceston (Cornwall), to watch a very dear friend compete in a ploughing competition. I have never been to a ploughing match before and didn't realise the complexties of what these artisans do with a plough and a tractor. Here are the photos I took.
I'm not an expert with the parlance of ploughing so most of this writing will seem like gobbledygook! Paul is setting up the plough on the flattist part of the course where they DON'T plough. This allows him to set the depth, width, angle, and position of the plough blades and to change how many blades he's going to use. His is a two bladed plough and he can run just the one if the size of the field is "different".
The first Right-Hand cut has been made and the first Left-Hand one is in progress.
Slightly lower photo
The 1st Left-Hand cut will be tripled to get a 6 furrow cut which will be the finish cut for the guy ploughing to Paul's left as you see him here.
I cannot understand how he goes in straight lines whilst going forward but keeps looking backwards. Oh well, 40 years of ploughing must teach him something.
Then he had to go and spot some old duffer that he needed to insult....Oh! It was me.
2nd Left-Hand cut to make the initial one look neat.
To my untrained eye, this looks absolutely amazing. the furrows are so straight it's unbelievable.
I was amused by the way he would plough a bit and then get off to check it all. Luckily he'd stop the tractor so it didn't run that old duffer over...Yes, that's still me!
Starting the 3rd left-Hand run he places his number marker in the middle of the left and right furrows to show who had ploughed this area.
Paul making a minute adjustment to some of the furrows...with his foot.
Tractor parked but engine running, Paul is trying to leap over the furrows. I'm sure that's not what he was really doing but it sounds good - it might have been Cornish Morris Dancing he was practising?
Looking rather neat I reckon.
I am impressed I have to say.
Then it all went a bit "pear shaped". A huge boulder was in the field and directly on Paul's line. A friend of his came and helped him get it out...
This was big enough to break his plough. They managed to remove it....
and the stone was left on top of the furrows to show the Judges what had happened.
I am stunned at the precision of the ploughing.
The time was dragging on as I'd arrived at 11am and it was now 12.30pm
As Paul adjusts the plough again, I marvel at the precision of the furrows.
If I remember properly (might be a bit far fetched that), Paul is cutting a single furrow so he can finish his area off well.
Yes, single furrow
Nearly 2pm and the 2nd rather large rock is found on the last cut. it was too big to remove so Paul finished the cut and we cleaned the earth off of the Rock so the Judges could see the size and why it couldn't be removed. One Judge claimed he thought it was 40 to 50 kilos in weight!
You can see the rock, near the bottom of the picture, as Paul finishes the furrow.
I could see here why it could not be removed!
Paul won his class on the day!
That's me with my Granddaughter, Jessica, on my lap. Paul had finished ploughing and had stopped the tractor, turned off the engine and allowed us to sit on it whilst Mummy, Katie, took some photos. Jessica loved being on it.
That's Mummy's car parked behind.
Cute as buttons that girl.
How not to get a photo of a tractor!
It was just too much fun for Jessica
"Would you like to be run over now Mum?"
Many thanks to Paul and Lynne Studley for an entertaining mid-day watching a master in action. I hope his ploughing goes from strength to strength and he wins the European Championships.