Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The Tiger Woods of Ploughing

Challenged by her brother, Elly Deacon took up tractor driving four days before the Redbourn and District Agricultural Competitions Association ploughing competition, and in a Disney-like story, beat out 40 rivals to take the blue ribbon in a ploughing competition after only four hours of practice.

Deacon, 13, of Gorhambury (about 50 minutes north of Buckingham Palace when the traffic cooperates), took part in the competition at Redbourn Berry Farm, where, according to the Telegraph, competitors are given "three hours to perfect a 5000 square meter (53,000 sq ft) patch of land on the six tonne John Deere tractor pulling a five furrow Dowdeswell plough."

Though she had never driven a tractor before, she practiced for an hour each evening for four days before, then nearly doubled her tractor experience with the three hours of competition. She defeated her rivals - some of whom had been driving tractors for 50 years - by achieving a score of 82.5 out of 100 based on putting the plow into the ground, taking it out when turning around a the end of a row, as well as furrow depth and straightness and general appearance of the ploughed field.

She is now set to qualify for next year's British national ploughing competition with a chance to go on to the World Ploughing Championships (held this year in Slovenia).

Said Will Dickson, chairman of the Redbourn and District Agricultural Competitions Association, "Elly was very confident throughout the competition and she was even waving to her friends on the hill whilst ploughing. It's a wonder she managed to keep a straight course."

The Times (photo)
Google Maps
World Ploughing Championships
Herts Advertiser

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