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Horse Ploughing Match At the National Folk Museum Cregneash 23 March 2010

Traditional Ploughing techniques practiced at Cregneash.The National Folk Museum at Cregneash is holding a ‘Ploughing Match’ on Saturday 3rd April from 10am. Skilled ploughmen and their teams of working horses will compete in this highly competitive event.

Ploughing matches were first promoted by the Society for Agriculture in the early 1800s and were great occasions where the turn-out of man and horse were just as important as the quality of the ploughing. Today matches are still held throughout the Island and provide the perfect opportunity to see highly skilled ploughmen and women pitting their wits against one another to plough the best butt.

A hundred years ago horsemen were hired by farmers at the end of September to begin the cycle of traditional agricultural work. Between autumn and Christmas the muck was spread and stubble fields were ploughed ready for sowing. The ploughman was considered one of the most skilled of the farm workers and they took a great pride in the quality of their furrows.

The Cregneash Ploughing match provides the perfect opportunity to find out more about the ploughman’s skill, his preparations, including the fine tuning of his plough and the way he works with his team of horses. The Cregneash Blacksmith will be on hand to make any running repairs required to the ploughs throughout the day.

Andrew Metcalf the area site manager for the Manx National Heritage sites in the South commented ‘Cregneash is the perfect location for a traditional ploughing match. It is a wonderful opportunity for the public to meet our resident working horses and see firsthand the traditional farming methods still used at Cregneash.’

This will be an exciting day for all the family including all budding ploughmen/women, with the chance to see the art of ploughing with horses in the stunning landscape of Cregneash. Standard Admission charges apply – concessions available.

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