Heavy fog added to the atmosphere of the 64th National Ploughing Championships, held recently at Chertsey, near Rakaia, in Mid Canterbury.
Elvery Hunt has lived at Glen Orua, south of Sanson, all of his life and has a long history in the sport. He started ploughing in 1964 in local YFC events and in 1967 competed in his first New Zealand final at Lincoln.
"I have only ever competed with conventional ploughs and have used Reid and Gray, Ransome and Clough ploughs with either Ford or IH tractors," Hunt told Rural News.
Over the years, Hunt has achieved a first and three seconds at New Zealand final level and represented New Zealand four times in Finland, Northern Ireland, Australia and Spain at world ploughing events. He also coached the NZ team in 1993.
Hunt is still competing in the vintage ploughing division and – to keep it in the family – his son Bryce also competes with a conventional plough and has represented NZ three times.
Eddie Dench is a former dairy farmer and sales rep and has lived in the Manawatu all of his 70 years. He has been ploughing for 40 years, but only ever competing in the vintage section.
"I have always had a Reid and Gray plough and when I started I used an Oliver 77 tractor. In more recent years, I have used a McCormack Deering W4 built in 1945."
Dench competed in his first NZ Championship back in 1994. Since then has gone on to collect two third placings, one second placing and twice winning the vintage division in 2004 at Reporoa and Blenheim in 2014.
Asked why he ploughed, Dench told Rural News that his father had ploughed before him and that he still enjoyed it with a passion.
"I love the attention to detail and looking at the finished plots and realising the effort you have put into it."