Trio plough through

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Don Tomlinson, Russell Mehrtens and Gerald Richings competed in the Victorian and Australian Mouldboard Ploughing Championships.
Camera IconDon Tomlinson, Russell Mehrtens and Gerald Richings competed in the Victorian and Australian Mouldboard Ploughing Championships. Credit: Supplied

It is a tough playing field in competitive ploughing — and the art of the perfect plough is a hole worth digging, according to Albany’s Don Tomlinson.

So it was that he headed east with Collie’s Russell Mehrterns and Gerald Richings, of Bridgetown, for the Victorian and Australian Mouldboard Ploughing Championships.

Travelling with their tractors and mouldboard ploughs all the way to Wonthaggi, Victoria proved worth it, as the trio came home with an array of trophies.

Entered in the vintage ploughing section, Mr Mehrtens won first place in the Australian championships, with Mr Tomlinson placing third and Mr Richings fourth.

British-born Mr Tomlinson said he used to plough as a teenager on his farm in England, so competing in Australia was something he had always wanted to do.

“The sport is huge in Europe and North America,” he said.

“In the competition, you have to plough 100m x 20m and you have three hours to do it in.

“You have what you call your opening split in 20 minutes and that is judged, then you have the rest of the time to finish it.

“It is judged on many things — straightness, evenness, how you start and finish, and it is so complicated.”

A ploughing training day and competition will be held in Collie on Saturday, June 15.

It is hoped to hold one in Albany — and anyone who can donate a paddock to be ploughed is asked to call Mr Tomlinson on 0427 366 040.

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