There will be a tinge of sadness at Saturday's Takapau Ploughing Club Match.

This year's ploughing competition will be the first the 109-year-old club has hosted since club stalwart Barry Bayliss passed away after Christmas last year.

"It might not be for me to say, but there have been quite a few times over the years when the club was in danger of folding, but Barry and his wife Judy kept it going," said club member Ian McSporran, who will be competing this Saturday.

Born and bred in Takapau but now retired and living at Tongoio, north of Napier, Mr McSporran will compete in the vintage class for tractors and ploughs built before 1956.


At least four teams of horses are expected to take part in the horse-drawn ploughs at the match, which also features classes for silver plough, conventional ploughing and reversible ploughs.

About 20 ploughmen are expected to enter, including last year's winner Kelvin Stokes from Taupiri.

Mr McSporran said being the slowest, the vintage-class competitors had the smallest piece of land to plough, followed by the horse-drawn ploughs. Judges would be marking the ploughmen on a number of criteria.

"There's your crown [the start], straightness of your furrows is another big thing and then the appearance and your overall finish.

"The aim is to have a suitable seed bed. It's a qualifying event and competitors earn points towards the New Zealand Ploughing Association Nationals in Invercargill early next year," said Mr McSporran.

He qualified for the Vintage NZ Championships for the first time in Christchurch in April this year.

"I was pleased with how I went but at the end of the first day I left two wheel marks, which is a real no-no," he said.

His wife, Helen, Takapau Ploughing Club's secretary, said it was free for spectators to watch this Saturday's ploughing match, at Chris and Debbie Minehan's farm off Speedy Rd near Takapau. It would be signposted from SH2.

"We really appreciate the Minehan family making the land available to us, because without this we could not have a match and without local businesses' support we would not be able to give the ploughmen any prizes, because some of them travel a long way," she said.

Ploughing will start at 10.30am and finish about 2.30pm, with a half an hour break for lunch in between.

• The club would like to thank its sponsors Anderson Ag Ltd, Minehan Farm, Ben Allen Transport, CHB Mail, Countdown, Drummond Contractors, Farmlands, Fogarty Chemical Applicators, Foley Agri-Systems, Hatuma Lime Works, Lancaster Tractor Services, Middlehills Contractors, Mills Honda, Mitre 10, P.G.Wrightson, Pedersen Spreaders, Taylor Made Gates, Central Mechanical Repairs Ltd, C.J.Pask Winery, Dear Tech. Ltd, C.B. Norwood Ltd, Power Farming H.B. Ltd, H.B.Tullock Farm Machines.