Ploughing contest triumph follows success of brother and father

This Is Wiltshire: Jack Woolley with his trophies Jack Woolley with his trophies

Seventeen-year-old student Jack Woolley is keeping up a family tradition after taking three trophies in the ploughing contest in Yatesbury.

Jack, who is from Marden, near Devizes, and is a sixth form pupil at Devizes School, won the top prizes at the annual competition run by the Avebury Ploughing Association.

His 20-year-old brother Joe, who has won the competition three times before – the first time when he was just 14 – took third place. There were six competitors in the final.

Jack said: “We have a sort of friendly rivalry. I was on the better tractor and plough, so that’s probably why I won.

“I don’t normally plough.

“In fact, apart from a quick practice session on the Friday night before the competition, I hadn’t driven a plough since the competition last year.

“It’s not as easy as it looks. You are judged on six criteria: opening, start, seed bed, firmness, uniformity, finish and ins and outs. The judges pick on the smallest detail and I was absolutely delighted when I was told I’d won.”

As well as the overall Challenge Cup, Jack won the Winterbourne Cup and the Marlborough Young Farmers Cup for the best competitor under 25.

Jack’s father, Andrew, who won the cup in 1993, was delighted with his son’s success. He said: “Jack did brilliantly and we are all very proud of him.”

Jack is currently studying for four A-levels in maths, physics, biology and ICT but is not thinking of going to university.

He said: “I want to go into farming and I think the best way of doing that is getting a job on a local farm and working my way up.”

He plans to travel to the USA next year and take part in the 2,000-mile harvest in America’s mid-west.

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