Straight, even furrows with no weeds in sight is what the judges are looking for during a championship plowing match.
Francis Sache of Chilliwack just won the 2017 Canadian Plowing Championship in the senior reversible class last week, beating out the very best from across Canada.
The competitors had three hours to show off their sod-turning mastery of the equipment.
Sache described his plot as “25 feet wider at one end than the other,” with the goal to taper it off.
So what makes a national plowing champion?
“It’s whoever does the best job of plowing on the days of competition,” Sache offered, adding that it takes also takes practice, dedication, and time.
As a farmer, he uses the reversible plow in his work on their Rosedale dairy farm.
Sache is no stranger to being crowned champion, having won the title in 2007 in Thunder Bay, Ont., which sent him on to Austria for the worlds. This most recent win earns him spot at the 2018 Worlds, where he’ll compete next year in Germany.
Jim Sache, Francis’ uncle, was one of six judges presiding over the 2017 Canadian match, near Walkerton, Ont. last week. He is also Canada’s representative on the World Plowing Organization,
“Francis plowed very well,” Sache said about his nephew’s performance.
“He plowed very straight. His furrows were the most even and straight, as well as his crowns and general work.”
Those are the attributes rewarded at competition level, and displayed by the winners, along with firmness, and symmetry of the lines.
As an example of the top calibre Francis won against, one of his fellow competitors, Tom Evans of Tiverton, Ontario, is heading to Kenya in November to plow for Canada in the worlds as the reigning Canadian champ.
“It was a fun week,” Sache said about being at the nationals. “It’s a really good bunch of people.”
The two-time champion doesn’t actually remember his first time on a plow at a competition match. Sache has been entering matches for more than a dozen years, having started as a junior.
“I just love the experience of it,” he said. “It’s a hobby I love.”