Gore High School pupil Hamish Baird has qualified to plough in next year’s New Zealand Silver Plough final, to be held in Rakaia in May.
The 16-year-old from Wendon qualified after competing in a Waimea Plains Ploughing Match Association event and a Waimea Plains Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club event early this month.
Hamish said he had been ploughing since he was 12 and started after a school trip to the Waimea Plains Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club in Riversdale.
“We were talking to [club member] Dick Dillon and looking at all the vintage tractors and ploughs and he said ‘well, one day you should come along to a ploughing match to see if you’re interested’,” he said.
“I think we went to a ploughing meeting and I was talking to Uncle Murray and so then I came up here [to Mr Baird’s place] and started ploughing.”
His, a highly successful ploughman who had competed for the New Zealand Silver Plough title 18 times, coached him.
Hamish competed with a 1958 Ferguson tractor and an old competition plough his uncle used to use.
Hamish said he enjoyed ploughing as he liked machinery.
His mother, Sharryl Baird, said it was Hamish’s first year in the Silver Plough event, as until now he had been in the novice competition class.
“You can’t qualify for Silver Plough when competing in novice.”
As well as the two Southland events, Hamish competed in ploughing competitions in Milton, Taieri, Winton, Thornbury and Hawea.
Hamish was also named best amateur ploughman this year by the Waimea Plains Vintage Tractor and Machinery Club, for the third time.