Tractors took over Thornbury in the weekend as competitors from all over New Zealand ploughed in to the town.

Forty finalists from Northland to Southland put their skills to the test in the New Zealand Ploughing Championships over two days.

The event was hosted by the Thornbury Vintage Tractor and Implement Club for the first time and the small Southland town was abuzz with all the visitors.
Club president Fraser Pearce said the weekend of competition went really well.

"The weather even played ball."


Overall feedback from competitors had been they were happy with this year's championships, and were pretty pleased with the land used in the event.

Rain most of the week in Southland had organisers worried, but overall ground conditions were not too bad aside from the odd wet area, Mr Pearce said.

The horse plough class drew in a large group of spectators with six teams competing — two from the North Island, two from Canterbury and two from Otago-Southland.

"It's been a huge success not just for the vintage club or the New Zealand Ploughing Association, but for Thornbury," Mr Pearce said.

The vintage club's museum had a great response from visitors and the church service and other events held before the championships went really well.

"The feedback from the New Zealand Ploughing Association is they were really pleased with what we've done for them," Mr Pearce said.

Hosting the championships could not have been possible without the work from the entire vintage club and the support from sponsors and the community, he said.

"All the planning and hard work has paid off. It's been a real learning curve."

The Thornbury Vintage Tractor and Implement Club had only been associated with the New Zealand Ploughing Association for five years, and it had been an exciting venture, Mr Pearce said.

"It's brought us back to our roots. It's great to have the passion back in our club for ploughing."