Contestants took turns turning the soil at a recent plowing match in the rural part of Ottawa, and one of the winners is from Chute-à-Blondeau.

The Ottawa Carleton Plowmen’s Association (OCPA) Plowing Match was held on August 25 and 26, 2023 on property owned by Chris and Tricia Schouten on Eagleson Road in Richmond.

On Friday, August 25 there was a brief opening ceremony followed by a VIP Plowing Competition. From a field of nine local VIPs, the first-place winner was Carleton MPP Goldie Ghamari, in second was first-time plower, Ottawa Mayor Mark Sutcliffe, and third was George Osgoode Ward Councillor George Darouze.

Saturday’s competition drew 14 plowers using both modern and vintage tractors as well as horses to vie for titles in the OCPA Plowing Match. The judge for the day was Allan Carruthers and the stewards were Lawrence Payne and Ray St. Denis.

“The participation and calibre of competition was outstanding again this year and we were glad that the weather held up as well,” said OCPA President Don Good.

“Our thanks are extended to our hosts, Chris and Tricia Schouten, as well as to our volunteers, plowers, and sponsors, and to Delta Power Equipment of Richmond for displaying some of their equipment.” 

An awards banquet celebrated the day’s winners along with marking the 40th anniversary of OCPA hosting the International Plowing Match in Richmond in 1983. To commemorate the occasion, there was a ‘Meet & Greet’ reception at the plowing site along with recognition of the committee chairs and their members from the 1983 IPM who were extended complimentary invitations to the banquet.

In the Horse Classes, Glenn Conway of Chute-à-Blondeau, won the Jointer Plow Open, Champion Horse Plowperson, and Person Who Drove the Farthest.  

It was a big day for Jean-Marc Dessaint of Sarsfield who placed top-of-class in the Antique Tractor Class (open split required) Trail Plows 1946 – 1960; Best Antique Plow Person; Best Open Split; Best Crown; Best Finish; and Oldest Plowing Tractor on a MH22 – 1949.

Allen Hills of Ashton also had a good day winning Two-Furrow Mounted Plow – Open (open split required) 21 years and over; Best Plowed Land Overall; Best Plowed Land Conventional; and shared the CPC-16 Award with Brian Maitland, Robert Maitland and Mark Dowdall.

Alex Dowdall (17) of Lanark took top spot in the Two-Furrow Mounted Plow – Open (open split required) for 16 – 20 years; Best Plowed Land (20 years and under); and Youngest Female Plower.

In the conventional division, Brad Moore of Chesterville won Two-Furrow Mounted Plow – Amateur (open split not required) 21 years and over. Whereas Stephen Manley of Berwick won the Two-Furrow Plow – Open (open split required) for 21 years and over. 

Antique Tractor Class (open split require) Trail Plows was won by Denis Bourbonnais of Gatineau.

Best Plow Team over/under 20 years using the same tractor/team and plow went to Mark Dowdall and Alex Dowdall of Lanark.

Prizes for the Oldest Plower went to Lyle Killeen (82) of Carp and Youngest Male Plower to Robert Maitland (29) of Jasper.

All plowers must compete at local matches to be eligible to advance to the 2023 International Plowing Match (IPM) and Rural Expo to be held in Bowling Green, Dufferin County from September 19 to 23. Plans are also progressing for IPM 2024 to be held in Lindsay, Kawartha Lakes.