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Ploughing is the practice of turning the soil in strips or furrows, to make a seed bed. Since ancient times ploughmen have gathered to show off their skills, in an attempt to be known as the straightest or neatest ploughman in the area.

Ploughing matches were a very popular rural pastime, for ordinary farm ploughmen. with the advent of reversible ploughing and the much larger tackle, the activity is gradually being taken over by vintage, steam and working horse enthusiasts.

Ploughing matches (competitions) are held in rural villages across the country each Autumn time.

In the U.K. it is illegal for any one under the age thirteen years to ride on a tractor, and if attempting ploughing with a horse, a ploughman must have sufficient strength to balance the plough, again around thirteen, this therefore is the minimum.

Although much has been written about ploughing, ability is mostly gained from practice and experience, although advice is always available from more experienced ploughmen.

Whether tractor, steam or horse ploughing, the principles are the same. To turn the soil so that all the ground is turned to an even depth, with a level Finnish, and all vegetation buried. furrows should be straight. All ground when opening should be moved and finishes should be narrow and even. There is normally a desired depth that must be maintained. Contests have different classes for different sizes of ploughs also for the age and ability of the contestant, and special category prizes.

No particular dedication is necessary, although plenty of practice, and a knowledge of the ground are a distinct advantage.

after success at local district levels, progression is to represent district at county, county at national and ultimately to represent country at the world championships.

Closely Related Activities
Steam engines, (cable ploughing was the original reversible plough), and vintage tractors.

At local ploughing matches ploughmen use there own, or there employers tractor and plough, that is used commercially on the farm. If the ploughman is an enthusiast and keeps the machinery purely for ploughing matches, the activity can be costly , a tractor and plough can cost from a few hundred to many thousands of pounds. Contest running costs are around twenty pounds an acre which is a normal contest size, plus traveling costs to the contest.

Level of Demand
The table below shows the maximum levels of demand that this activity requires. NOTE: These are not entry levels or levels of requirement and has nothing to do with ability.

  The level of energy that could be required Energy  
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  The level of demand of Cerebral Learning that could occur as a direct consequence of absorbing factual information. Learning  

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