by Meyrick Brown

The success of almost any outdoor agricultural event is heavily dependant upon the weather and, over recent years, the annual Llandygwydd Young Farmers ploughing match has not been particularly well blessed.

This was certainly not so as the spectators and skilled competitors – some of whom had travelled 250 miles from as far away as Cornwall and several others from north Wales – had a thoroughly enjoyable early spring day seemingly without a cloud in the sky.

The seeds of competitive ploughing at Llandygwydd were sown in the spring of 1961 when some YFC members submitted their names in order to obtain proficiency awards.

Following successful tests two club members, Islwyn Griffiths and Wyn Jenkins took to match ploughing and competed in the 1962 Welsh championships at Pantgwyn. The championships have since been held in the county on four occasions and, when hosted by Llandygwydd members in 2000, attracted 92 ploughmen and a "gate" of over 4,000.

The site for this year's annual match was again Pantgwyn, Llangoedmor, by kind invitation of the owner Mr S Lloyd of Upton on Severn and the occupier, Mr P Reed.

The wheat stubble was in surprisingly good condition and the soil was seen to turn very well. The overall winner was Evan Watkin who has represented Wales with distinction at world championships on several occasions.

The judges were: Messrs Leighton Bryan, Llangolman, Mervyn John, Hundleton, Islwyn Harries, Fishguard and Aled Morgan, Newcastle Emlyn.

Main results: Classic – Dai Nicholas; res – Gareth Jones.

Semi digger, open – Evan Watkin; res – Rhodri George.

Under 26 years – James George; res – Morgan Evans.

Vintage, trailed – Gordon Harries; res – Sam Jones.

Vintage, hydraulic – Huw Griffiths; res – Cliff Hamer.

Ferguson TE20 – John Evans; res – Wil John.

Novice, open – Emlyn Hughes.

Special awards: Best work (South West Wales entry) – Rhodri George. Best Vintage turnout – Clive Pugh (1962 Fordson Dexta tractor with Robin plough).

Mr Aled Morgan, chairman, expressed the society's appreciation to all 27 competitors and local supporters who had again made the event possible.