Vintage Ploughing is strong in New Zealand and has a promising future. The New Zealand Vintage Ploughing Committee was formed in 1997 following a most successful trial at the Silver Plough Championship that year.
New Zealand Vintage Ploughing
John Stubbs of Ashburton remembers as a ten year old, the day his father drove the last six-horse ploughing team ever to compete in a Rakaia Ploughing Match. The year was 1947 and the venue was Tom Duncan’s Rokeby property.
Winners of five gold medals, the Stubbs horses were walked from the home block north of the Rakaia River, across the kilometre-long bridge to the competition site. It was the day before the contest started and motor traffic, such as there was, respectfully gave way to the team. Mr Stubbs senior was of the old school and harboured a deep suspicion of the new-fangled diesel-guzzling tractors which were beginning to make their appearance.
He firmly believed that if farmers stopped breeding their own horse power and growing their own fuel, there would be trouble. Storage facilities would have to be built for diesel and should New Zealand run out - as well it might – there would be no way of feeding the tractors. And it would take many years to breed replacement horses and get the country back on its feet.
Many qualifying events are held throughout New Zealand culminating in Regional “Plough Offs’ from which seven – ten Contestants are drawn to compete at the New Zealand Ploughing Championships.
Rules in Brief:
ELIGIBILITY OF COMPETITORS:
Any person who is a New Zealand resident and is 16 years of age at the time of his/her entry.
ELIGIBILITY OF TRACTORS AND PLOUGHS:
Pre 1956. Horse, Bullock or Steam Power.
Ploughs can be mounted or trailer. If a horse plough, two persons are allowed.
One working the plough, the other driving a tractor coupled to the plough by a chain.
TYPE OF PLOUGHING:
Plain ploughing, plain shares, vertical coulters.
Minimum depth five and a half inches (14cm).