Austin woman to compete in plowing match 0
Men and women from across Manitoba and Canada will be gathering west of Brandon in the coming weeks to display their plowing prowess in the Manitoban and Canadian Plowing Championships. (FILE PHOTO)
Plowmen and women from across Manitoba and Canada – including an Austin woman - will come together to display their plowing skills during the Manitoban and Canadian Plowing Championships being held near Brandon in the coming weeks.
Participants in both the Manitoban and Canadian championships come from all over the map. In fact, Heather Manns from Austin will be participating in the novice horse sulky class with her black Percheron horses Coal and Krusty using a John Deer sulky plow.
“In Manitoba here we’ve got one guy that comes from St. Andrews, some horse guys that are coming up from Steinbach, we’ve got people from Austin, we’ve got people from Bernie, we’ve got people from Boissevain, we’ve got people from Rivers, from Brandon,” said Barb Boundy, secretary of the Manitoba Provincial Plowing Association in Boissevain. “They’re spread basically all over southern Manitoba.”
Plowing has been a very important part of working the land for many centuries now. Although technology has changed over time – from manpowered, to horse powered, to machine powered – the general idea has remained the same. No matter if the plow is pulled behind a tractor or a team of horses it all relies on the skill of the plowman.
“They each plow a plot of land. They are supposed to get it done within a restricted amount of time and then it gets judged. It gets judged along the way as well as when they are plowing,” said Boundy.
The Manitoba Provincial Plowing Championship will be taking place on Sept. 29 and 30 near Kemnay, Manitoba, which is just west of Brandon. The site is being used with permission from Bob Mazer and family from Sundance Farms Ltd.
Things will be kicking off a little later this year with the horse and vintage categories beginning at 11:00 a.m. on both days. Competition will continue at 1:00 p.m. with the senior classes. On the Sunday at noon there will be a tractor pull competition.
For this year’s competition there will be more horse plowing competitors in the novice sulky, regular sulky, walking, vintage senior, and junior vintage categories - as well as a competitor in the reversible plowing category.
“For the first time this year we’ve actually got a reversible gentleman coming from Ontario to plow in the reversible class. He’s plowing on his own but there’s actually going to be reversible plowing this year,” said Boundy.
In the Canadian championship, which takes place on Oct. 5 and 6 at the same location there will also be additional categories.
“We have added the vintage and the course plowing to that. They wouldn’t normally do that,” said Boundy. “That’s just an extra thing that we’ve added on, so that’s going to be on the Friday and Saturday.”
Although plowing matches are not as popular in Manitoba as they are in other provinces and in Europe the horse plowing always seems to be a crowd favorite for the nearly 250 people who show up each day to watch the competitions.
“The horse plowing is always so popular here in Manitoba and the majority of people that you speak to turn around and say, ‘I like the horse plowing’,” said Boundy. “We’ve also got a threshing demonstration on the Friday and the Saturday starting at 11:00 a.m. and we’ve got the tractor pull on Friday and Saturday just for a little bit of an extra for people to watch.”