Unexpected and very challenging weather conditions tested Britain’s ploughmen and women in the 68th British National Ploughing Championships at Austrey, near Atherstone, Warwickshire last weekend.

As Storm Callum hit the country, high winds on the first day followed by rain on the second day challenged not only the competitors but the organisers and everyone taking part in other capacities at the event.

In spite of this, an extremely close contest saw Peter Alderslade from East Bolden, Tyne & Wear win the British National Reversible Champion title for the seventh time using a Valtra/Kverneland combination. Peter beat last year’s Champion, Mick Chappell, from Yorkshire who was using a Kubota tractor and Kverneland plough by just one point and four points ahead of another previous champion, Ian Brewer from Cornwall who took third place with his Case IH and Kverneland.

The British National Conventional Championship was won by David Chappell from Doncaster, South Yorkshire, winning the title for the fifth time. David ploughed with a Massey Ferguson tractor and a Kverneland plough which has been painted pink as he has been raising money and awareness for Breast Cancer Now through #PloughForLife. Runner-up was ex-world champion, Simon Witty from Filey, North Yorkshire and third place was taken by Evan Watkin from Newton, Powys.

In the vintage sections, the Vintage Trailing Championships was won by Ray Alderson from Darlington, County Durham who ploughed with an International B275 and Ransome RSLD plough. Second place was John Crowder from Torksey, near Lincoln and third place was Trevor Johnstone from Wigton, Cumbria.

The Vintage Hydraulic Championship was won by local man, Richard Ingram from Atherstone, Warwickshire, who had his faithful companion, his dog Joey by his side on his Massey Ferguson 35 tractor all day. He is a previous champion and trounced the opposition with a 31 point lead over George Black from Earlston, Berwickshire and Phil Allman from Stafford was third.

Dogs must be a lucky charm, as spaniel Rosie rode with Herefordshire’s Jon Cole as he took the Vintage Classic title for the second year in a row with his Nuffield 10/42 and Ransome TS86, beating two Yorkshiremen, David Thominson into second place and Carl Fretwell into third.

The other main titles over the weekend were the Overall Horse Ploughing Champion which was won by Jim Elliott from Stanley, County Durham who had won on both days; the overall High Cut Ploughing Champion which was won by Shaun Garrod from Norfolk; the overall Young Farmers Champion which was won by Stuart Vickers from Sarn, near Malpas, Cheshire and the overall Vintage Champion, won by Richard Ingram.

The Supreme Championship title is judged independently from the Championship winners and was won by David Chappell. It was a family affair as the trophy he won was the Ken Chappell Trophy and his brother Ken presented it to him.

Another family to take note of was the Vickers family from Cheshire. Dad Nigel was placed 4th in the conventional championship, mum Janet, was the proud winner of the David Brown class and son Stuart was 5th in the conventional championship and also won the YFC Championship.