Lots of visitors as countys annual plowing match returns to town

There were a number of visitors out early Thursday morning as the county Plowing Match returned to the Hillsburgh area for the first time in 58 years.

The match this year took place on grounds behind the Sports yards in the community.

Helen Moffat, a director with the Wellington County Plow­men’s Association was one of those on the field in good time. Moffat, of RR2 Drayton, has been competing at events like this one for ten years now.

She started competitive plowing with her husband, Robert, who was also a big fan. He passed away in 2006 at the International Plowing Match in Peterborough, and Helen Mof­fat said she decided to carry on competing “because I had the equipment.”

Ken O’Brien was busy poun­ding in stakes to help direct plowing traffic – a vol­unteer from out of town. He comes from Midhurst, near Barrie, and said he plows for a hobby.

“Old farmers play,” he said with a laugh. “Some play golf. Others play with the dirt.”

He loves the latter. The previous day, he had plowed at the competition in Ayr.

Richard Augustine, of Kil­warton, near Gravenhurst, is also an avid plower.

“I’ve been doing this a number of years,” he said. “There’s no plowing match in The Muskokas, so I have to go to other counties.”

He said he will probably at­tend a dozen matches in the next while, but he said of the Wellington competition, “This is the first real match.”

He also plans to attend the IPM in St. Thomas in Sep­tem­ber.

Gene Moreau, of the Barrie area, also attends several mat­ches a year and the IPM, and he is a big fan of the Wellington match.

“They’ve been absolutely wonderful,” he said of the or­ga­nizers. “They even have good soil to plow in.”

Plowmen directors and county councillors Carl Hall and Walter Trachsel were pleas­ed with the day’s events.

“We’re getting a good show­ing of spectators,” Trach­sel said, watching a large num­ber of people wandering around with cameras to catch the action.

Hall said he had received a number of phone calls about the match from the Hillsburgh area after there was publicity about it.

Les Darrington, a long time competitor and board member said, “It’s a good one … The site is perfect.”

Katherine Clyne, of Harris­ton, is the reigning Queen of the Furrow, and she was busy helping with the show and waiting for the Queen of the Furrow contestants to arrive in the early afternoon. Those contestants also compete in a special plowing division to help judges determine the winner.

Clyne was thoroughly lik­ing her work.

“It’s enjoyable,” she said, noting that, as Queen of the Furrow, “It is exciting to see what goes on behind the scenes. There’s a lot of work.”

Clyne is also eagerly await­ing the IMP near St. Thomas. She is Wellington County’s representative in the IPM competition for Queen of the Furrow. “I’m excited by the IPM,” she said.