Ploughing Match

Ploughing Match Prizes 2010

Farm Classes

Class 0 – The King George VI Challenge Cup

The supreme challenge cup competed for by the winners of classes 1 & 2

Judges: Richard Janoway & John Usher

1st Royal Farms, Windsor
2nd Randall Farms Ltd

Class 1 – The Maidenhead Advertiser Challenge Cup

For the best farmed farm over 1000 acres

Judges: Michael Brown & Geoff Simms

1st Royal Farms, Windsor A well presented farm with several enterprises integrated well together. Good use of labour. Impressive implementation of organic farming practices. A very knowledgeable manager with, what seemed to be, total control over even the small aspects of the business.
2nd Emmett Bros A passionate farmer looking at the farm as a whole rather than simply the bottom line. Very impressive blackgrass (!) with a very refreshing attitude towards battling it. Sound conservation principles and good all round business ideas.
3rd David Philp & Partners An enthusiastic farmer making the most of the opportunities he has. Good soil management through use of alternative fertiliser/organic matter sources. Sound business sense with regard to building use and planning.

Class 2 – The Lord Astor’s Challenge Cup

For the best farmed farm under 1000 acres

Judges: David Canty & Rob Mintern

1st Randall Farms Ltd A tidy well run and managed farm. Capital assets are being utilised well for both in hand and diversification enterprises with active plans in place to renovate others as cash flow and opportunities allow. The farm was clean and tidy throughout – which can be difficult when let out to tenants, the crops were even, clean and healthy.
Conservation is clearly important from the amount of land taken out of production for ELS and additional schemes. Plans to enter HLS by incorporating buildings was seen as a positive use of public funds and the protection of a heritage building.
Succession has been thought through with the next generation included as a director and other factors are being considered and discussed with the appropriate professionals.
2nd J&S Whitby A well run business with a variety of separate diversification enterprises all being run well and profitably. This adds to the appeal of the farm and strengthens the case for more funding for training and school visits; a clear interest of Mr Whitby. There has been some good use of grants to facilitate additional buildings for new projects that will benefit existing enterprises. The dairy herd looked well and provide a rounded mixed farm enterprise. Conservation plays its role on the farm with HLS being entered into on a primarily educational basis.
Succession considered but it was understood that the next generation is still young and undecided on their futures.
3rd Portman Burtley Estate This farm has clearly been improved over the last few years. The animals are of very high quality producing a value added product. There were several options being looked at for increasing the output of the herd through diversification plans and different market places and strategies. There are a number of other diversification opportunities in the pipeline to make further use of existing assets. The service station was certainly unique and showed the benefits of location. Conservation is important to the business and could be seen from environmental strips around the farm. Further potential lies with grazing stock on trust land. There is a requirement for developments in the housing and improved attention to detail in the winter housing area.

Class 3 – Richard Simmonds Diversification Award 2010

For the best diversified project not necessarily related to main stream agriculture

Judges: Geoffrey Adams & Roger Seed

“Roger Seed and I would like to thank the Royal East Berks Agricultural Association very much for the invitation to judge the competition. It was an extremely interesting and enjoyable day.
The range and scale of the different entrants made judging a challenge. The management of all enterprises was first class. We used a score sheet to make our assessments as objective as possible and a copy is attached. Please send to entrants if you think it worthwhile as it shows the parameters we used.”

1st J Rayner & Sons for the shoot We were particularly impressed with the way in which two business problems – pest control and trespass/vandalism had been made into an opportunity. Colin has harnessed 180 shooters to pay his business to, in effect, control pests and provide information on any nefarious activities on his farms. The detail and thought that went into the design and operation of this innovative project in a heavily populated area was first class.
2nd Michael Craig for his premises salting business Again it was innovative, fairly low cost, made a substantial contribution to the family income and presented out of season employment opportunities for farm staff.
3rd Rachel and Phil Archer for their polo pony facilities TRachel and Philip have developed a Polo Pony stabling business that takes advantage of the location and Philip’s expertise and provides a substantial and important contribution to family income.

Farm diversification competition 2010

Judges score sheet


Item   Max.
1. Initial impact 5  
2. Reasons for diversification 8  
3. Appropriateness of enterprise to location 8  
4. Appropriateness of enterprise to personnel available 8  
5. Design sympathetic to environment 5  
6. Design appropriate to enterprise 5  
7. Standard of management – finish of premises 5  
8. Standard of management – staff training and development 8  
9. Standard of produce/service in relation to the intended market 8  
10. Community benefits – employment 5  
11. Community benefits – wider community 5  
12. Community benefits – provision of local produce 4  
13. Contribution to family business finances 10  
14. Plans for future development – a vision 5  
15. Preparedness for changing circumstances 8  
16. Plans for inheritance 3  
  TOTAL 100  

Bonus points awarded for innovation. Points deducted if relevant regulations, in judges opinion, not thought to be met.

Class 4 – Duke of Edinburgh Award for Nature Conservation

For responsible farming coupled with care for the countryside

Judge: Marek Nowakowski

“I enjoyed my day which ended with a well received supper so many thanks for that. Just an idea but if there is a group members with an environmental interest then I would be happy to give them a day at Jealott’s Hill where we could have an environmental day. I do a lot of work with Syngenta and I think, subject to support from Innes McEwen, we could have an interesting work shop type day. See what Innes and others think.”

It is always difficult to compare different farms in this type of situation as size, money, opportunity, aspect etc all come into it. It was not possible to see all that was on offer in one hour so some guestimates had to be made. Congratulations to all for having a go and it goes without saying that environmental issues are climbing the agricultural agenda so this is an important category.

1st Randall Farms I saw a good range of habitats that blended well with a well run farm. Pride and achievement were both very evident and it was a good model for others. Perhaps delay the mowing till 2nd half of June which is safer for wildlife.
2nd Emmett Bros. A lot of thought and commitment has gone into the farm and its wildlife. Woodland and hedge management were a speciality. There were arable habitats but not enough time to see them properly.
3rd Portman Burtley Estate We had only time for a 30 min whiz round but I was impressed with the enthusiasm Andrew displayed. Pollen and Nectar were well planned and I felt that this estate had a developing potential and an obvious environmental determination.

I would also like to commend Copas Farms for their commitment to environmental educational. This estate has done a great job down by the river but due to public pressure has not introduced habitats into the arable land which was what I was looking for as a judge.

Class 5 – Dick Wilder Award

1st Randall Farms An excellent piece of drilling, well done.
2nd Copas Farms Another well drilled field, overlap between bouts just right and although it was difficult to see the coulter lines, the overall look was very pleasing.
3rd Rayner & Sons Excellent piece of drilling again, overlap between bouts set perhaps just a bit to minimal in places still a very pleasing field to see.

Class 6 – Drilling Award

1st Mark / Ross Pottinger for the conversion of bale wrapper into a double system.
2nd J Rayner & Sons heavy duty security folding arm (lockable) for ARV quad bike.
3rd Royal Farms (Windsor) manufacture of transport box for moving piglets around.


Class 7 – S.W. Philp Challenge Bowl

For the best field of Winter Wheat

Judge: Ben Giles

1st Royal Farms, Windsor A really excellent field of Oakley that looked fantastic from both the roadside but especially when walked through – clean of grass and broad-leaved weeds, disease free (a difficult task with Oakley, even this season), well tillered with a good head count / m2. Also very impressive was the management of the field edges – very little if any encroachment of grasses from the margins into the crop.
Also of note is the impressive repair to soil structure after the gas pipeline was laid through the field – you could not distinguish the path of the pipe.
2nd Randall Farms Ltd Lovely crop of Cordiale with good head count / m2. Sensible levels of fungicide inputs in a low disease year and a robust grass weed programme that has taken out the vast majority of any problems that have occurred. I was impressed with the crop stand (tillering) in this field, this season considering the soil type was not as heavy as on some of the other farms I visited.
3rd William Emmett, Emmett Bros Trust William to enter a 55ha field but he chose well! A well managed and good looking crop of Solstice again with sensible levels of inputs from seed through to crop protection. The all important timing of inputs also look to be on the optimum dates for crops in 2010. I was impressed with the weed control in this field considering the problems I know William faces elsewhere on the farm. Also looking good was the quantity and timings of fertilizer applications to what will hopefully be a high yielding crop of milling WW.

Class 8 – Henry Denny & Son Challenge Bowl

For the best field of Winter Barley

Judge: Andrew Cowan

It was a very interesting day on Monday and I can say truthfully that I visited some of the best farmers in the region given the caliber of the crops I was judging and the attention to detail paid by some. With few exceptions and hopefully ‘normal weather’ from now until harvest there should be some good yields if the crops I looked at are indicative of the rest. Difficult choices amongst the rape with high input, medium input and low input systems to choose from. I have taken inputs into consideration but have not judged solely on potential economic return. And so my choices:

1st Rinder Brothers A crop of Saffron with a bold berry to it and although there was a little Rynchosporium present it was low down the plant and not widespread. The crop was clean of weed.
2nd J Rayner & Sons A crop of Carat on lighter ground so was suffering a bit more from the dry. There was a good bit of brome present despite ploughing which did spoil the appearance somewhat although confined mostly to headlands.

Class 9 – E T Biggs Challenge Cup

For the best field of Winter Oilseed Rape

Judge: Andrew Cowan

Quite difficult to choose the top three but going on potential yield, overall appearance and cleanliness I place :

1st J Rayner and Sons: Expert The Rayner Rape was even across the field and well branched. Pods were well formed with little pod loss through abortion or midge. Yield potential good.
2nd Randall Farms Ltd: Expert Randall rape was a close second with very little pod loss and good branching. Yield potential good.
3rd Emmett Brothers: Cabernet Emmett Brothers Cabernet was again an even crop but had slightly more pod abortion than the top two. Having said that the yield potential is good.

Class 10 – The NFU Cup

For the best field of Spring Barley or Spring Wheat

Judges: Michael Raynor & James Strang

1st David Philp & Partners (Spring Wheat) An excellent crop which will perform very well if the weather behaves!
2nd Royal Farms, Windsor (Spring Barley) A very nice even crop with great potential, though we don’t envy the combine man amongst the trees!
3rd Hutt & Partners (Spring Barley) A nice bit of barley, unfortunately beginning to show some stress.

Class 11 – The Knight Frank & Rutley Challenge Cup

For the best field of Oats

Judges: Michael Raynor & James Strang

1st Royal Farms (Winter Oats) A great crop despite upsetting HRH with the wiggly tramlines she looks out on every day!
2nd Shottesbrooke (Winter Oats) A strong crop but with a smattering of volunteer wheat.
3rd Fairacre Farms (Spring Oats) A useful crop and excellent black grass control.

Class 12 – The Patullo Higgs Challenge Cup

For the best field of a spring sown break crop

Judges: Michael Raynor & James Strang

1st Shottesbrooke (Spring Beans) A good clean crop with excellent podding.
2nd Royal Farms, Windsor (Winter Beans) A nice crop with a slightly high population.
3rd Emmett Bros (Spring Peas) A good plant population under the prevailing weather conditions.

Class 13 – Nat West Salver

Best Field of Maize

1st Royal Farms
2nd J & S Whitby
3rd Giles Philp & Partners


Dairy Judging

Class 14 – Shottesbrooke Challenge Cup

Best Dairy Herd

1st Haines Hill
2nd Royal Farms
3rd Syngenta

Class 15 – Thimbleby & Shorland Cup

Best Dairy Herd other than Holstein

1st Royal Farms

Class 16 – Field Challenge Cup

Best Dairy Youngstock

1st Syngenta

Beef Judging

Class 17 – R H Muir Challenge Cup

Best Beef Bull

1st Donald Dawes
2nd Royal Farms
3rd Portman Burtley

Class 18 – Dalgety Challenge Cup

Best suckler herd

1st Portman Burtley
2nd Royal Farms
3rd Donald Dawes

Class 19 – G Copas Challenge Cup

Best commercial beef enterprise

1st Giles Philp
2nd Rinder Farms
3rd Malcolm Burfitt

Class 20 – Beef Stockman Prize

1st Portman Burtley

Sheep Judging

Class 21 – F R Cartman Challenge Cup

Best commercial sheep

1st Gerald Lavinge
2nd Michael Craig
3rd Malcolm Burfitt

Class 22 – Sheep Stockmanship Prize

1st Gerald Lavinge


Domestic Classes

Class 32 – Fairy Cakes

1st George Copas
2nd Laura Copas

Class 33 – Flower arrangement

1st Laura Copas

Corn Classes

Class 36 – Best Class 1 Wheat

1st Fairacres Farm
2nd Randall Farms
3rd Rayner Farms

Class 37 – Best Class 2 Wheat

1st Emmett Bros
2nd Randall Farms
3rd Rayner Farms

Class 38 – Feed Wheat

1st R Hutt & Partners
2nd Fairacres Farm
3rd Rinder Farms

Class 39 – Oats

1st Randall Farms
2nd Fairacres Farm
3rd Emmett Bros

Class 40 – Feed Barley

1st Rayner Farms
2nd Rinder Farms

Class 41 – Malting Barley

1st Rayner Farms
2nd R Hutt & Partners

Class 42 – OSR

1st Fairacres Farm
2nd Randall Farms
3rd Copas Farms

Class 43 – Beans & Peas

1st Emmett Bros
2nd Rinder Farms
3rd Shottesbrooke Farm

Class 44 – Castlemans Challenge Cup

Best bale of hay

1st Rinder Farms

Class 45 – Queen Challenge Cup

Best Feed Straw

1st Rinder Farms


Fairacres Farm

HOLYPORT CHALLENGE CUP – Best overall Barley

Rayner Farms



Open to all members

1st Helen Emmett
2nd Thelma Copas
3rd William Emmett


Open to all employees of members

1st Alan Boyd
2nd Peter Shaw
3rd Margaret Ewers


Andrew Shurley Philip Mortimer Farm
Graham Walker Philip Mortimer Farm

© Royal East Berkshire Agricultural Association 2024