International Plowing Match Grounds Improving; Full Schedule For Thursday
Although wet conditions dominated the opening day of the 100th International Plowing Match and Rural Expo in Walton, a sunny afternoon on Wednesday with a light breeze has improved the conditions drastically according to Executive Members, and the excitement that existed on Day 1 has hit those involved all over again.
The conditions of the roadways were a major concern, but IPM members launched a plan very early Wednesday morning to get them dry. Secretary Lynne Godkin says the upper layer of mud has been pushed to the side of most roadways with harrows, allowing the firm base underneath to dry, and with sunny conditions at the site for most of Wednesday afternoon the conditions of the roadways “are like night and day compared to Tuesday night”. Godkin did note, however, that those attending should dress appropriately, which includes dressing in layers, as well as proper footwear, like rubber boots.
Godkin mentioned that the closure fell on what they expected to be a low population day on Tuesday, which they’re happy about all things considered, as a Saturday closure like the 2013 competition in Mitchell would have been devastating to the bottom line of the 100th event.
The areas near Tented City have improved drastically, with IPM members and volunteers working late on Tuesday and very early Wednesday morning to drop down shavings and straw in order to make those areas available to the public. The AgMazing Tent was one of the most badly-effected areas on Tuesday, as two entrances sloping down into the tent provided more then enough grade for water to flow and pool in the tent, but the area is now mostly mud-free, as it was an area members & volunteers worked hard to prepare it for the re-opening on Thursday.
Those in the RV Park were treated to live entertainment Tuesday, which was moved from the main stage to the RV Park stage, where some attendees noted the atmosphere was much like the “Music in the Fields” event in Lucknow.
The plowing competition went ahead on Wednesday, with competitors deciding in the morning deciding the conditions were good enough for them to plow. Results and schedules for the plowing competition can be found at PlowingMatch.org.
Many events have been shuffled around to accommodate for the lost time, including the Auctioneer’s Challenge being bumped back to a 2pm start on Thursday, which will feature Huron-Bruce MP Ben Lobb. Judging the auctioneers will be 2016 champion David Jacobs, Belmore’s Bob Hammel as well as Mark Ferraro of Brussel’s Livestock Market. Ferraro tells CKNX he won’t be making any exceptions when it comes to Mr. Lobb’s participation in the event, and expects all competitors involved to show professionalism and proficiency when it comes to the art of auctioneering. Lobb says he will be leaning on experience learned from his father Richard during his time conducting livestock sales, and some charity auctions that Ben has auctioneered for, which he says numbers close to 30 per year.
The Knights of Valour Show was a big hit on Tuesday, as people packed the stands to have a look at jousters clad in steel armour atop horses riding into each other, using lances to try and knock their opponent off. Shane Adams, who is a former international jousting champion, told CKNX they have increased their event-load in light of losing a day on Wednesday, and will now run two shows per day for the remainder of the competition.
Special Events Coordinator Mallory Kernighan says those involved with the motocross competition woke up expecting to compete on Wednesday, despite the muddy conditions that forced the closure, and they will now run three events per day for the remainder of the competition.
The Dancing Tractors will also be holding three events per day for the remainder of the competition.
Full Statement from IPM Marketing Coordinator Emily Morrison:
Walton, ONTARIO—September 20, 2017
The Ontario Plowmen’s Association (OPA) and the Huron County Local Organizing committee of the
2017 International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) are thrilled to announce that all events are
running and Tented City will be open tomorrow – Thursday September 21 st ! Gates open at 8:30am.
Highlights for the balance of the Match will include –
RAM Rodeo Tour
Farmall Dancing Tractors
Over 500 vendors in Tented City
Local talent on multiple stages
Food and home décor demonstrations
Juno award winner, George Canyon
BMO Kids Day
Celebrations of the 100 th Match and Canada’s 150 th
The IPM would like to thank the County of Huron and all the volunteers that have generously given
resources and hours of their time to get Tented City and all areas of the IPM ready for the remainder
of the Match.
We look forward to a fun-filled, exciting 3 days at the 2017 IPM.