The rain will be beneficial to those competing at this year’s Ploughing, as ground conditions in Laois have become very dry over the past few weeks, according to the current World Conventional Ploughing Champion.

According to Eamonn Tracey, the forecast rain for this week’s National Ploughing Championships will have more of a negative impact on the onlookers at Ratheniska rather then those competing.

“It could improve the conditions as the land in Laois is very dry, it is well able to take the rain and a little moisture makes it easier to plough.” he said.

The Carlow native is hoping to retain his National Conventional Ploughing title on the Thursday of this year’s National Ploughing Championships.

“I am after winning the competition five years in a row, without boasting I am probably the man to beat.”

But he added that success is dependent on a lot a factors, the most important of which is getting the job done correctly.

According to the current World Champion, the draw for plots has a lot to do with a good or a bad result in Ratheniska.

The basics of both commercial and competition ploughing are quite similar, but there is an added level of detail required for the latter, said Tracey.

“There are 16 aspects on the score sheet, straightness and uniformity of the furrow are particularly important.”

All furrows must be straight, uniform, neat and well turned over to bury the trash, he said, the furrows must also be compact, added Tracey.

Depth is also an issues which warrants consideration, as ploughed to deep or to shallow will have a negative impact on scoring, said the current World Champion.

World Ploughing Championships

The Carlow ploughman will have very little time to rest following this year’s national competition as his attention will move swiftly to the World Ploughing Championships in Vigso in Denmark, which starts on October 3.

The World number one added that he will be watching the clock on Thursday afternoon as his Valtra A95 and Kverneland Plough will have to be in Dublin Port by 9pm.

According to Tracey, the conditions the Irish team will face in Denmark will be quite similar to those of France last year, where he was successful and hopes that these similar conditions will allow him to secure gold.

However, he said that the competition will be strong as the Irish team will be facing 31 other nations.

“The conditions are the very same as France last year, I would be happy to retain the title but it might be difficult as I am up against five former World Champions.”