Despite a night of gales and heavy rain, the Melplash Agricultural Society Ploughing Competition still went ahead.

Only two ploughmen didn’t turn up on the day, proving that even in wet weather, ploughmen are still prepared and proud to demonstrate their skills.

The society’s ploughing chairman, Tim Frampton, thanked Darren Cooper and Kevin Groves for the use of their land, the stewards and volunteers - who helped in very wet conditions to mark out the field - the judges and the ploughmen who competed.

He said: “It was a very good day with a good competitive spirit. Forty-eight ploughmen braved the weather, competing and demonstrating the traditional skills of ploughing over 60 years.

“The vintage and classic (match) classes enthusiastically keep the old-fashioned skills alive when settings and adjustments were done by hand, in contrast to the modern tractors with multi-furrow ploughs used by today’s farmers and contractors where everything is controlled by push buttons and screens.”

The judges were Roy Vickery, Mike Pugh, Les House and Simon Mills, with the prizes presented by society chairman, Jo Sage.

In the vintage classes, Brian Johnston was the champion vintage ploughman and winner of The Jack Dare Memorial Trophy as well as judged to have the best finish in vintage and match classes.

Trevor Miles had the best strike out - the start of the plot - and Malcolm Trott had the best ins and outs, the points where the plough enters and exits the soil at each end of the row that is being ploughed, which has to be in line.

The winner of The Streatfeild Perpetual Cup for the Best YFC ploughman went to Michael Crabb and the winner of the interclub Silver Perpetual Cup for the highest placed YFC went to Marshwood Vale, made up of Calum Pagey, Amy Wonnacott and Will Case.

In the more modern classes, Michael Fooks had the best ins and outs, Berry Dennett had the best strike out and David Rae had the best finish.

In regards to ploughmen using certain machinery, the best ploughing with a Case International Case or a David Brown with Kverneland plough went to Greg Smith, the best ploughing with Ford New Holland was Barry Dennett, the best ploughing with a John Deere tractor was Colin Stacey and David Fooks was presented with the Sam Dennett Perpetual Memorial Trophy for the best finish with a four or five furrow plough.

The champion ploughman was Tony Ascott and the reserve champion was Barry Dennett.

Class 8 - Vintage Trailed:

1st Brian Johnston

2nd Malcolm Trott

3rd David Cobb

4th Trevor Miles

Class 9 - Vintage Hydraulic

1st Pete Symonds

2nd Andy Westcott

3rd Michael Symonds

4th Dave Dennis

Class 10 – Match Ploughing

1st Mark Symonds

Class 11 - Classic Tractor & Plough (without Q cab)

1st Tony Ascott and winner of the Tony Ascott Perpetual Challenge Cup

2nd David Rae

3rd Richard Hartnell

4th Jim Mentern

Class 12 - Tractor & hydraulically operated 2 or 3 furrow plough

1st Greg Smith

2nd Michael Fooks

3rd Ted Yarde

4th Rick Cook

Class 13 – Tractor & hydraulically operated 4 or more plough

1st Barry Dennett

2nd John Shute

3rd Will Doble

Class 14 – Contractor Challenge – reversible ploughs to use both left and right hand board

1st David Fooks and winner of Creed Brother’s Seaborough Salver

2nd B G Hayball

3rd Will Case

Novice Ploughman

1st Richard Hartnell

2nd Darren Lang