The plains of Minnesota have proved a field of dreams for Angus ploughman Andrew Mitchell.
More than 20 years after capturing the first of six World Reversible Ploughing Championships, the Forfar farmer has added a conventional crown to his roll of honour after beating the best on US soil.
Andrew and Laurencekirk’s Dave Carnegie carried the hopes of the nation in the weekend’s Lake of the Woods County showdown involving qualifiers from countries across Europe as well as New Zealand, Australia, Kenya and hosts USA.
The pair spent more than £15,000 transporting their own tractors and ploughs to the States in pursuit of glory and Andrew’s success was watched by a huge Minnesota crowd – as well as farming friends back home who took a break from their own busy harvest during Saturday night to follow the event.
Andrew’s last reversible world title came in 2016 as part of a unique family double when his son, Andrew Jnr, took the world conventional crown.
He had planned to retire from matches but admitted to being bitten by the competition bug and his US success was hailed as an “amazing” triumph by Scottish Ploughing Championship chairman Willie Grieve.
World Parade of Tractors to Grassland Contest
Posted by World Ploughing Organisation on Saturday, 31 August 2019
“To be six times reversible champion and then go out again and win the conventional title is just remarkable, a fantastic achievement,” said Willie.
“The standard of competition in both categories was, as always phenomenal.
“You could see from social media there was a big crowd watching him on the opening day and since the results came in the messages of congratulation have been flooding in.”
In the equally hotly-contested reversible category, Dave, who was Scotland’s first world champion in 1996, delivered a mid-field result of 14th place among the best from around the globe.
The Minnesota showdown was the first World Championships in the US for 30 years.
Andrew and Dave booked their world finals berth at last year’s Scottish Championship and organisers are hopeful both men will return to defend their titles in Fife next month.
The national event takes place near St Monans on October 26 and 27, with the 22nd European Vintage Ploughing Championships also part of the programme.