SCOTTISH FARMERS WILL be ploughing a furrow in the direction of Lossiemouth later this month as the Moray community prepares to host the national ploughing championships.
The 53rd running of the event is to take place at Wester Greens thanks to the agreement of Pitgaveny Farms.
Around 200 contestants are expected including seven horse pairs in the competition over two day on October 24 and 25. A range of ploughing classes are up for grabs with the winners going on to represent Scotland at the World and European competitions in 2016.
Current European Vintage champion, Jock Sivewright from Blairgowrie, will be competing in an effort to qualify for the right to defend his title for a third successive year.
Also competing is Andrew Mitchell senior from Forfar who has just won the World Reversible title for a fifth time at the World Ploughing Championships in Denmark, while Andrew Mitchell junior was Reserve Conventional champion and has twice won the world title previously.
Local competitors hoping to retain trophies won last year include Gordon Hepburn from Elgin in the vintage trailing class and Raymond Middleton in the classic reversible.
Jim Elliott, world champion horse ploughman, will be travelling all the way from Beamish, County Durham to try to retain the horse championship title won last year – fresh from his victory at the British championships held in Kent earlier this month.
A spokesman for the championships pointed out that there will be a great deal of interest for all the family at the finals: “Alongside the competition ploughing there will be machinery stands, demonstrations by modern farm machinery as well as vintage machinery.
“The Spey Valley Vintage Engine and Tractor Club will have a display of vintage tractors and stationary engines on site, and the Royal Northern Countryside Initiative will have their livestock trailer on display over the two days.
“There will also be horse drawn cart rides courtesy of G & R Skinner, Strathorn Clydesdales, Inverurie.”
Ploughing start at 9.30am each morning and finishes at 2pm. Further information on the championships can be found at www.scotplough.co.uk.