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Challenging conditions for plough championships at Stanstill – three Caithness competitors are winners


By David G Scott

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Michael Mackay, West Greenland, with his International tractor and plough combination, in the vintage trailing section. Michael was a winner at the event. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Michael Mackay, West Greenland, with his International tractor and plough combination, in the vintage trailing section. Michael was a winner at the event. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Scott Rosie from Bower was voted overall winner in the Juniors section.
Scott Rosie from Bower was voted overall winner in the Juniors section.
Every now and then the fog would clear slightly, just long enough so spectators could at least get a partial view of what was happening around them. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Every now and then the fog would clear slightly, just long enough so spectators could at least get a partial view of what was happening around them. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
John D Fraser, Alness, on his Claas tractor with a Kverneland plough. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
John D Fraser, Alness, on his Claas tractor with a Kverneland plough. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
The national flags, along with the Caithness flag, flutter in the breeze. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
The national flags, along with the Caithness flag, flutter in the breeze. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Some of the competitors in the vintage trailing section. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Some of the competitors in the vintage trailing section. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios

The Scottish Ploughing Championships (SPC) returned to Caithness this weekend after a very successful event in 2013 and three locals won awards.

The Championships were hosted by Morgan and Nicola Milne at Stanstill once again and the directors were very appreciative of "the great site and warm welcome".

George Williamson, Thurso, with his Massey Harris 21 trailing plough and John Deere 720 tractor. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
George Williamson, Thurso, with his Massey Harris 21 trailing plough and John Deere 720 tractor. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Richard MacWilliam, Muir of Ord competing in the vintage trailing section with his McCormick-Deering plough and Fordson N tractor. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Richard MacWilliam, Muir of Ord competing in the vintage trailing section with his McCormick-Deering plough and Fordson N tractor. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Johnny Matheson, Inverness, cleans the sticky earth from his Ransomes Motrac plough. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Johnny Matheson, Inverness, cleans the sticky earth from his Ransomes Motrac plough. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Enjoying a ploughman's lunch. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Enjoying a ploughman's lunch. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios

A SPC spokesperson said: "A team of local volunteers had been working hard over the past year securing sponsorship and support in the local area.

"There was a good entry of local and national ploughers along with ploughers from Wales, England and Ireland for the Five Nations Challenge."

Local winners included James Tait from Thurso, Michael Mackay from West Greenland and Scott Rosie from Bower.

Gordon Beattie, Forfar, in the reversible ploughing section. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Gordon Beattie, Forfar, in the reversible ploughing section. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Another group of spectators board the trailer for a tour of the competition fields. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Another group of spectators board the trailer for a tour of the competition fields. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Gordon Rae, Lockerbie, checks the settings on his Kverneland plough. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Gordon Rae, Lockerbie, checks the settings on his Kverneland plough. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
The only way to get away from the weather and the mud was to visit the local craft stalls, in one of the farm buildings. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
The only way to get away from the weather and the mud was to visit the local craft stalls, in one of the farm buildings. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Local competitor Stevie Blackwoood, Thurso, making slight adjustments to his Kverneland plough. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northerh Studios
Local competitor Stevie Blackwoood, Thurso, making slight adjustments to his Kverneland plough. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northerh Studios

Over 100 tractors and ploughs took in the competition classes along with demonstrators. Caithness Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club members had a display of vintage agricultural machinery and carried out a demonstration. There was catering and a bar on site as well as craft stalls in the shed for all to enjoy.

The ground conditions were challenging due to weather conditions but the standard of ploughing was said to be high. The SPC said it looks forward to returning to Caithness again in the future.

Next year’s event will be held in Ayrshire.

Main sponsor: Kverneland UK; Five Nations Platinum Sponsor: Robertsons-Orkney Limited; Platinum Sponsor – Juniors – Pöttinger; Platinum Sponsor – Multi Furrow Reversible – HRN Tractors Ltd.

The tractor and trailer transport which toured the fields was the only way for spectators to avoid the mud, although the fog meant their view of the competitors was limited. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
The tractor and trailer transport which toured the fields was the only way for spectators to avoid the mud, although the fog meant their view of the competitors was limited. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
James Tait, Thurso, was competing in the reversible ploughing section. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
James Tait, Thurso, was competing in the reversible ploughing section. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Judges in discussion while competitors disappear into the greyness. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Judges in discussion while competitors disappear into the greyness. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
James Gunn, Wick, in the reversible ploughing section with his KV ES80 plough and David Brown 1494 tractor. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
James Gunn, Wick, in the reversible ploughing section with his KV ES80 plough and David Brown 1494 tractor. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Tractors in the mist. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Tractors in the mist. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Gavin Robertson, Thurso, in the reversible ploughing section. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios
Gavin Robertson, Thurso, in the reversible ploughing section. Photo: Robert MacDonald/Northern Studios

Scottish Ploughing Championships winners:

Conventional

William Grieve

Reversible butts

James Tait (Thurso)

Multi furrow

Sandy Linklater

Juniors

Scott Rosie (Bower)

Horticultural

Tom Tweedie

High cut

James R Fleming

Classic

David J Thomlinson

Non hyd classic reversible

Colin Crawford

Vintage mounted

Colin Hewetson

Vintage trailing

Michael Mackay (West Greenland)


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