Masters in their field: Irish ploughing men win big on world stage

All corners of Ireland have been sending in their well wishes following the announcement of the Irish team’s results over the weekend from the World Ploughing Contest in Njoro, Kenya.

Ireland’s representatives on the world stage, John Whelan from Co. Wexford and Eamonn Tracey from Co. Carlow, won first and silver places respectively for Ireland in Kenya.

Wexford man John Whelan fought off tough competition with an outstanding performance to become Supreme World Ploughing Reversible Champion.

Meanwhile, neighbouring Carlow man Eamonn Tracey also secured a silver place victory in the Conventional Class with a strong display.

Both seasoned ploughmen and previous Supreme World Ploughing Champions, Whelan has represented Ireland at the World Ploughing Contest nine times, while Tracey has represented his country internationally 12 times.

Managing director of the National Ploughing Association (NPA) Anna May McHugh congratulated the paid, stating: “This is a fantastic win for both men and Irish ploughing as a whole. Since winning the nationals last year, the men have been working hard on preparing for the worlds in Kenya and all their effort have paid off.

They have done their country extremely proud. Congratulations and a very well done to both.

General secretary of the World Ploughing Organisation, Anna Marie McHugh, also commented on the wins.

She said: “Ireland has always been highly respected internationally in terms of producing ploughmen to compete on the world stage.

“However, Eamonn and John in particular are held in extremely high esteem not only in Ireland but across the international ploughing community.

Another great result such as this for both men further adds to their global reputation as masters in their field.

This year, the Republic of Ireland was coached by Declan Buttle, who has been described by the NPA as “one of Wexford’s finest ploughmen”.

Also travelling with the contingent to France was Brian Mahon of Co. Offaly, who was acting as judge. Kverneland sponsored the Irish Team and delegation.

The Irish team will fly home on Thursday morning, December 7, for a celebratory reception.