Scottish ploughmen coming out of retirement to come to Lake of the Woods
Angus and Mearns ploughing pair head Stateside into field of battle
A pair of Courier country ploughmen are heading to the US to take on the world’s best in the field of battle.
Dave Carnegie from Laurencekirk and Forfar’s Andrew Mitchell are heading for Minnesota to line up against rivals from across the globe in this month’s showdown.
The two Scots have spent an eye-watering £16,000 ($17,771.60) transporting their own kit across the pond to give themselves the best possible shot at glory.
Dave, 75, and Andrew, 61, are multiple champions in the hotly-contested pursuit, where success is defined by the finest of margins.
Their record of success goes back decades. Dave began driving tractors on the family’s Steelstrath farm at the age of eight and was chosen to be a Goodyear tire company poster boy, alongside Formula One World Champion David Hill, in 1996.
Last year he judged the Russian championships, casting his eye over the skills of the Steppes ploughers who he will line up against in the US.
“I traveled to their wheat fields to see the country’s top ploughers so I have an idea of what the competition will be like,” said Dave.
“They have decades of agriculture behind them. So too, have the American and Austrian farmers who are also taking part.”
Home countries rivals will also be in the competition, which is taking place in the states for the first time in more than 30 years.
Dave admitted giving it their best shot had turned into an expensive affair when they added up the transatlantic transporting costs for the tractors and ploughs.
“This will be my eighth time ploughing in the world championships, but I’ve only won it once, so it’s not too good a record. We’re hoping to go out and have a good go at it anyway,” he added.
Andrew has come out of retirement to make the journey to Minnesota for the event at the end of this month.
“I retired from competing in 2016 but have got the bug again,” said the six-time world reversible champ.
The pair won their passport for the US event with success at the Scottish championship in Kelso, where a crowd of more than 2,000 turned out to watch 100 ploughmen compete in near perfect conditions.
Click here for more info on the 2019 World Ploughing Competition.