Casey Rae, of Middlemarch, and Tom Fowler, of Tuatapere, guide a vintage plough and a team of Clydesdale horses Mac and Nugget, of Middlemarch, and Suzie and Harry, of Gore, at the Middlemarch Ploughing Match yesterday.

Mr Fowler (84) said the double-furrow steel horse plough was forged at J. Fowler Agriculture Implement Works in Mosgiel between 1870 and 1900. James Fowler, who owned the foundry, was the uncle of Mr Fowler's father.

Middlemarch Ploughing Club match organiser Sean Leslie, of Middlemarch, said as well as the horse team, 10 competitors drove tractors in the conventional, vintage and reversible categories.

Competitors travelled from between Lincoln, near Christchurch, to Thornbury, near Invercargill, to plough.

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The soil on the sheep and beef farm in Garthmyl Rd was "really good", but the thick thatch on top was "testing" competitors.

"They are having to work hard to get it tipped over and make a nice job — but we like a challenge."