Four close friends were celebrating last night after vintage ploughing enthusiast Dougie McNicoll smashed his £5,000 charity ploughing marathon target after 24 hours on a 76-year-old tractor.
Dougie ploughed from midday on Saturday all through the night on his cabless 1944 Fordson N tractor trailing a 1930s Massey Harris plough and crossed the finishing line at midday yesterday to cheers and clapping from a crowd of spectators and supporters.
His efforts were in aid of Parkinson’s Scotland and in tribute to his father who died from the disease last year. The marathon was organised in just a few months by Dougie and his friends Pete Burdass, farmer Gordon Nicholson and Greg Wilkinson.
“I enjoyed every single hour on the tractor,” said Dougie.
“My old friend the Fordson looked after me and we stopped every eight hours to check everything over and top up the diesel.
“I think we ploughed six acres in all. It was a great experience and a fantastic way of raising awareness of the illness and raising money in a way that reflects my father’s passion for ploughing matches and vintage machinery.”
The event took place on Gordon Nicholson’s Welton Farm on the outskirts of Blairgowrie and covered 85 acres.
The farm also hosted demonstrations by world-class ploughmen Andrew Mitchell and Dave Carnegie.
There were commercial displays by local tractor dealers and two pairs of Clydesdales from Benny Duncan, Balmacolm, Fife and Adam Young from Kinross.
Gordon Nicholson said the land would be “tidied up” by the organisers this week and sown in spring barley next month.
Spectators were offered the opportunity to try horse ploughing in return for a donation to the marathon target.
Benny Duncan said there had been so much enthusiasm for ploughing behind the Clydesdales he hadn’t ploughed a single furrow himself all day on Saturday.
“Volunteers ranged from children to one lady who was 87,” he said.
“We’ve no idea how much we made – people were just stuffing money in the bucket.”
There were also static displays of vintage equipment and a stand of working equipment from the Ford Country Club.
Representatives from the Scottish Ploughing Championships were on hand to explain different styles and techniques.
Donations can still be made to the appeal at justgiving.com/fundraising/charity-ploughing-marathon