Enjoy family fun at ploughing match

Young handler's classes are always popular.  Photo: Anne-Marie Oliver SUS-150915-095726001
Young handler's classes are always popular. Photo: Anne-Marie Oliver SUS-150915-095726001

The very best of local farming and agriculture will showcased again in a great day out for all the family this Saturday ( September 19).

West Grinstead & District Ploughing & Agricultural Society will hold its annual ploughing match and show at Upper Chancton Farm, Washington.

The event is being kindly hosted by the Eales family, long term farming tenants of the farm which is on and owned by Wiston Estate. Entrance on the day will be via Hole Street, Wiston only.

The Society, established in 1871, has been holding these shows for more than 130 years and is very pro-active in promoting the interests of the local farming community. It stages an extensive range of Field

Competitions through the year leading up to the popular Ploughing Match, which are always hotly contested.

The winners of the Best Farmed Farms this year were W.D. Passmore & Sons at Applesham Farm, Coombes Nr. Steyning (farms over 500 acres) and T.J. & J.J. Binnington at Thakeham Farms, Thakeham (farms under 500 acres). The overall winner of the Best Whole Farm Conservation Policy was Philip Bower of Upper Maudlyn Farm, Steyning.

This year the society is pleased to continue their new Bursary Scheme launched two years ago to assist candidates working or living in the society’s area and keen to pursue a career in agriculture.

Last year’s winner was Matt Griffiths from Ashurst who used the bursary to support his farm training and work experience in New Zealand.

On the day itself, there will be twelve different Ploughing Classes including Novice & Open, Vintage in which ploughmen compete to a high standard. There will also be the great crowd-puller, Heavy Horse Ploughing with these gentle equine giants competing in their own championship.

Another form of ploughing- steam ploughing- will have some massive engines at work on part of the site to fascinate spectators, giving an insight into yet another method of preparing farmland.Hedge Laying, Hedge Cutting and Welding competitions will enable competitors show off their skills in these other rural crafts.

The traditional Livestock Show will include a range of cattle and sheep classes including the ever popular lamb and calf handling classes with the future generation of farmers taking part.

There will also be a selection of other rural based attractions including the parade of hounds from the Crawley & Horsham hunt and the very popular terrier racing; ferret racing; clay pigeon shoot; competitive training by the Utility Gundog Society including scurry open to all and demonstration.

There are the field produce competitions with entries being later auctioned for the society’s funds and the domestic produce stall with its delicious range of home-cooked cakes. Numerous other side showsincluding tug-of-war; coconut shy; sheep shearing demonstration, skittles, poultry display and much more.

The emphasis is on entertainment for the whole family and education in farming and country life, including tractor and trailer rides around the show. There willalso be the ever popular Harris Fun Fair with their classic rides.

Excellent catering facilities will be available and a licensed bar with Stanislauski’s Polka Band nearby, many trade stands and demonstrations and the annual raffle which is usually a sell-out with its many prizes.

All in all there is much to see and do, with entry at just £5 per adult with children under 14 free, it makes a great day out for all the family- everyone welcome to support and enjoy the day.

Report contributed by Jeannie Knight. Picture by Anne-Marie Oliver.