2018 Hedgelaying and Ploughing match results

The 171st Melplash Agricultural Society’s annual hedge laying and ploughing match took place on land near Corscombe with spectacular views over the West Dorset countryside, by kind permission of Mr & Mrs Oliver Hemsley of Urless Farm.  Over 70 competitors including farmers, contractors, young farmers, vintage tractor and rural craft enthusiasts put their skills to the test in the hope of coming away with a prize.  Alongside the competition there was the opportunity for spectators to have a go at ploughing, test their woodland knowledge and enjoy the refreshments provided by Beaminster YFC and Wyld Meadow Farm.  While the judges compiled their scores, competitors and spectators enjoyed music  played by the Chantry Buoys from Colyton who this year are raising funds for the RNLI.   The prizes were presented to the winners by the Society’s 2018 President, Mr Richard King.

Ploughing Match

Unusually the ploughing competition took place on grass land which challenged all the ploughmen.   “Although a very testing day for the ploughmen, everyone did very well” said judge, Roy French.


Commercial Ploughing:  Mr George Huxter from Bridport and Mr Andrew O’Brian from Exeter.

Vintage Ploughing: Mr Roy French and Mr Malcolm White, both from Yeovil

2018 Results

Class 8- Vintage Trailed:

1st           Roger Nicholls

2nd          Colin Stacey

3rd           Alan Hayball

4th           Malcolm Trott

Class 9 – Vintage Hydraulic

1st           Michael Symonds

2nd          Roly Collett

3rd           Richard Hartnell

4th           Philip Fry

Champion Vintage Ploughman and winner of The Jack Dare Memorial Trophy  – Roger Nicholls

Best Strike Out Vintage – Michael Symonds

Best Finish Vintage – Alan Hayball

Champion Ploughmen (classes 8, 9 and 10) & winner of the Blandford & Webb Perpetual Challenge cup – Roger Nicholls

James Wallbridge and Michael Crabb, Beaminster YFC

Class 11 – Young Farmers General Purpose Ploughing

Winner of The Streatfeild Perpetual Cup – Michael Crabb

Winner of the Interclub Silver Perpetual Cup – Beaminster YFC

Class 12 – Classic Tractor & Plough (without Q cab)

1st           Tony Ascott

2nd          David Rae

3rd           Colin Dyer

4th           Jim Mentern

Winner of the Tony Ascott Perpetual Challenge Cup – Tony Ascott

Class 13 – Tractor & hydraulically operated 2 or 3 furrow plough

1st           Greg Smith

2nd          Michael Fooks

3rd           Michael Crabb

4th           James Wallbridge

Class 14 – Tractor & hydraulically operated 4 or more plough

1st           Will Doble

2nd          Barry Dennett

3rd           John Shute

Class 15 – Contractor Challenge – reversible ploughs to use both left and right hand board

1st           Tim Frampton

2nd          David Fooks

3rd           Robert Fooks

4th           Gary Stevens

Open and Local Champion Ploughman – Tony Ascott

Champion Ploughman – Open and winner of the Perpetual Challenge cup presented by Col. Sir Stuart Mallinson – Tony Ascott.

Champion Ploughman – Local and winner of the Perpetual Challenge Cup – Tony Ascott

Special Prizes

Best Ins & Outs – Tony Ascott

Best Strike out – Greg Smith

Best Finish – Greg Smith

Best Ploughing with Case International or David Brown with Kverneland Plough  – Greg Smith

Best Ploughing with Ford New Holland – Michael Fooks

Best Ploughing with John Deere Tractor – Colin Stacey

Novice Ploughman

1st Philip Fry

2nd Alan Farley


Hedgelaying Match

All hedges had to be laid Dorset Style –  low to the bank/ground, tightly woven with itself and bonds/binders used internally and externally as and where required to secure.  The finished hedge had to be a half barrel at a height of 2ft 6″ – 3ft.     Prior to the competition the Society ran a free hedge laying training day and several of the attendees entered the novice sections of the competition, some travelling from the Isle of Wight, Forest of Dean and Bristol!

”It was a good even hedge for all competitors.  Being a long straight hedge meant it was not just easy for the judges to assess their work, but also good for the spectators to see the skills and techniques required to lay a hedge well”  said judge Peter Yeates.


Mr David Pitman, Shaftsbury

Mr Peter Yeates, Dorchester

Mr Mark Tilley, Crewkerne

Mr Terry Copp, Honiton

Mr Roger Parris, Honiton

Class 1  Open

1st           Russell Woodham

2nd          Terry Coombe

3rd           Steve Eldridge

Winner of The Elizabeth Lady Williams Perpetual Challenge Cup – Russell Woodham

Winner of The Cecil A Marsh Memorial Perpetual Challenge Cup – Russell Woodham

Class 2 Novice

1st and winner of The Marcus Beresford Trophy – Alex Clayson

2nd          Graham Adams

3rd           Robert Sturmey

Class 3  Intermediate

1st and winner of the Bodger John Trophy -John Sibthorpe

2nd          Liam Jefferson

Class 4 Ladies

1st  and winner of The Bill Hook Trophy – Mandy Woodham

Class 5 Open Pairs

1st and winner of The Bartletts (Dorset) Cup Heath and Lynda Cregan

2nd          Richard & Katie Clayson

3rd           Simon Cullingford & Stuart Curtis

Class 6  Novice Pairs

1st and winner of Shedbush Farm Trophy – Will and Sam Cross

2nd          Con O’Kelly & Catherine Carter

3rd         James Tarrier & Stephen Bartlett

Champion Hedgelayer, Russell Woodham


Winner of Cleaves & Edwina Palmers Cup – Russell Woodham


Highest placed Young Farmer and winner of The Philip Hardwill Cup – Alex Clayson, Westbury on Severn YFC

Best Hand Tool competitor and winner of the R Woodham Bill Hook Trophy – David Ewers

Tidiest Kept Site:  Liam Jefferson

Cleanest Cut: Colin Risdon