Feature Story Saturday, April 12, 2014
Plowed 'n Proud
Top plowmen and women in the province face off for the chance to represent BC in the nationals this August
Lytton's Dugan Montjoy works his team last Saturday at the 92nd Annual Chilliwack Plowing Match.
he sun crests nearby mountains and begins to burn off a heavy fog. The thumps of big Belgian hooves startle a heron. The bird squawks a note of displeasure before disappearing into the mist.
The horses respond to your call. Traces snap tight and the whippletree rattles as they lean into their collars. Your calloused hands grip the tiller and it cuts into the ground. By Jesus, you’re a plowman. Is there anything else better in the world?
A light rain fell on the field at Annis and Chilliwack Central last Saturday where teams from across BC and Washington dug in for a day of competition at the 92nd Annual Chilliwack Plowing Match.
Match contestants have one-and-a-half hours to finish their plots. Points are assessed for straightness of rows and how the rows are furrowed in relation to the crown.
Judging is also based on covering weeds, firmness, packing, and just the general appearance of the plowed plots.
Good plowing is the land’s best friend. When fields are properly tilled, rows are turned over at just the right angle and a "furrow comb" is created. This makes for a good seed bed and helps stop soil erosion by slowing down the wind.
Like he’s done for the past 17 years, Dugan Montjoy brought his team in from Lytton.
“I’ve had the same horses for about 8 years,” he told the Voice.
Montjoy liked Chilliwack weather.
“It’s nice here, it’s still winter up there,” he said referring to Lytton. “Not much plowing up there right now.”
Families took tractor rides for another perspective of the matches.
In all, there are 11 different classes including walking plows, antique tractors, modern tractors with high tech plows, juniors, seniors and a mayor’s class. This year, Chilliwack was represented by acting mayor Ken Popove vying for the Neil MacGregor Memorial Trophy.
Winners of matches go on to national championships this August in Thorndale Ontario.
Special thanks to the Sardis Kiwanis Club who brought out their food wagon and also did a some singing at the event.
2014 Chilliwack Plowing Match Results
Horse Walking Plowing
1st Dennis Ryan, Westwold BC
2nd Dugan Montjoy, Lilloet BC
3rd Joyce Marchand, Salmon Arm BC
1st Joe Muik, Salmon Arm BC
2nd Hunter Ramey, Agassiz BC
1st Al Pearson, Kelowna BC
1st Dave Loewen, Abbotsford
2nd Duane Post, Agassiz
3rd Ken Popove, Chilliwack
BC Reversible Championship
1st Francis Sache, Rosedale BC
BC Senior Conventional Championship
1st Pierre Sache, Rosedale, BC
2nd Mike Strotmann, Salmon Arm BC
3rd Phillip Graham, Abbotsford BC
See more photos below.
© Copyright (c) 2009-2014 The Valley Voice
Thanks for looking. See you next year.