With just less than 100 days to go, organizers are getting excited about hosting the 60th World Plowing Championship at the Olds College. This major, international event is a major part of the College’s Centennial celebrations.
The match will feature 60 competitors from up to 30 countries vying for the prestigious title of World Champion for 2013. While plowing is the cornerstone, there is much more going on during the two days at Olds.
“Plowing is nearly a lost art on many Alberta farms, but Plowing Matches are big events. They’re a great way for farmers from around the world to get together and celebrate what they have in common – agriculture,” commented Olds Plowing Match chairman Mark Kaun.
He’s attended world matches in New Zealand, and last year in Croatia.
“We’ve got so much going on, it’s something Albertans won’t want to miss,” commented Joel Gingrich. “There’s entertainment, food, displays and a large vintage equipment component. With the enthusiasm of the visitors as well, it will be a very festive atmosphere.”
“It’s a great opportunity to show off Alberta talent, and there will be a real family focus for entertainment on the Saturday of the Championship.”
Vintage organizers confirm some 400 pieces of antique farm equipment from as far away as Montana, North Dakota, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan will be at the site, along with an antique tractor pull, and a daily parade of old tractors, machinery, trucks, and cars. There will be demonstrations of plowing with tractors and steam, and some draft horse plowing as well.
Registrations from international visitors have been pouring in to the Olds Plowing match office.
“We’ve already got over 400 people signed up to come for the entire ten day package,” confirmed coordinator Kerry Moynihan. “There’s a large group from Austria, lots from the U.K. and New Zealand, and Sweden too. These top competitors are like rock stars in their own countries, and they have fans that follow them wherever they compete.”
“This year, for the first time ever in the history of the World Plowing Match, we have two female competitors, representing Austria. They’re so serious, they’re arriving in Canada in mid-June to practice!”
Canada will be represented at the World Plowing Match by Barry Timbers and Brian Fried, both from Ontario.
Competition is keen when the plowing begins, with several international competitors even shipping over their own tractors and plows. There is plowing with both conventional and reversible plows, on stubble and grass. Judges use a scorecard to assess the finished plot, which contestants have had to keep straight and accurate with every pass up and down the plot, using mid-sized tractors.
Another highlight will be the unveiling of the World Peace Cairn, designed by Olds College students and including a stone from every participating nation.
Anyone interested in being part of this historic event as a volunteer can contact the Olds College Centennial office.