By John Keast
Jim Earl and John Booth guide Sam and Anja at Geraldine Snap of leather, click of harness, muscular frames edging forward.
John Booth had the reins, Jim Earl had his hand on the plough.
At Orari, they were in control in the horse section of the annual ploughing match of the Geraldine Vintage Car and Machinery Museum.
There were just two entries in the horse event – Mr Booth, and John Chynoweth of North Otago.
Mr Booth, with partner Gaye Day, operate Dayboo Clydesdale Stud near Winslow.
On Monday, horses Sam and Anja were hitched to hames and traces and a swingletree to pull a single-furrow plough through stubble ground on the property of Ray Bowan, he of Heartland chips fame.
They made the opening cut at 10, stopped for a cuppa, then got the horses to work.
Mr Booth was working with Jim Earl, of Scargill, who is keen to learn all there is to know about ploughing with horses.
Mr Booth, in turn, is learning from Bill and Les Andrews, at Pareora.
He is using their plough, too – a plough that earned the Andrews, teamsters, plenty of plaudits.
Mr Booth said ploughing was good discipline for clydesdales and they enjoyed the work.
Horse events are popular with the public, too.
“When we are at Timaru the cars kept pulling up to watch the horses,” Mr Booth said.
The ploughing instructions at Orari were simple: Strike out towards the mountains, plough to the higher number. Lunch at noon. Mr Cheynoweth was first, Mr Booth second.
annual ploughing match run by Young Farmers at the Lowe property at Hinds, and on Sunday, it is the turn of the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club, which runs an event at Wakanui.
Nearly 30 competitors, including both horse teams, will compete, and the public are welcome.