Community support behind rally event

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GOLD BELLY: Ross Worner with the Ferguson FE35 up for grabs in the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club charity raffle.
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Military, tractor and combine harvest displays will be among the attractions at the Mid Canterbury Vintage Machinery Club’s Wheat and Wheels Rally next weekend.

There will also be classic cars, trucks and motorbikes, bouncy castles for the kids, and food and beverage vendors.

The two-day event, being held at Anthony Hampton’s farm, 377 Lauriston Barrhill Rd on April 6 and 7, has in the past drawn people from across the country and the world. Past rallies were in 2016 and 2013.

Club member John Hall said major sponsor Cochranes would have the latest Farmall tractors on site.

There will parades in the main ring – with ringside bale setting – from 10am each day, starting with harvesting machinery.

Items on show will range from old machines to the latest and greatest, including British and American tractors, traction engines, Farmall tractors, fire engines, a military display with a tank, Hummers and old military vehicles.

STILL WORKS: John Hall stands between the only 2023 Fendt 943 Vario MT in New Zealand and a 1954 Caterpillar D2, bought new by his late father Ivan. PHOTO SUPPLIED

‘‘There are parades continuously each day,’’ John said. More than 300 exhibitor entries had been received as of earlier this week but there was still time for more.

Among the many displays will be tin mill threshing, chaff cutting, logging truck loading, sprayer foldout, pivot steer tractors, plot harvesters, a binder operating, and a big and small parade comparing machinery across the ages.

ORIGINAL: Bailey and Roger Smith with their gold 1975 International Hydro 100.

‘‘The big and small parade will have the biggest combine and a little old one, the biggest Cat and a little old Cat in front,’’ John said

‘‘Hewson Farms have a 600-horsepower quad track tractor – a Case Steiger – it’s going to be towing a 40-foot set of discs, and in front of it, showing the difference, a Ferguson 35 with a little set of hydraulic discs,’’ he said.

‘‘It just shows the public the progress from the 60s to now.’’

The last parade of the day will be an all-makes tractor parade at 3pm.

OVERHAULED: Ian Hydes with his 1948 model WD9, a tractor he used for contracting work in his teens back in 1955.

John said along with club members, many members of the community were behind the event.

Lauriston Fire Brigade members would be manning bar facilities, Lauriston School and members of Variety Theatre Ashburton will be selling food, the latter from the Ashburton Lions food truck.

Methven Lions will be on the gate and LandSAR members on security.

Entry is $15 adults, school aged children and preschoolers free.

‘‘We are also proudly supporting the Canterbury West Coast Air Rescue,’’ he said.

The rally, which will have the same schedule each day, will showcase some classic models and makes in varying sizes.

HOST: Anthony Hampton will host the Wheat and Wheels Rally at his Lauriston farm.

Among the displays will also be a celebration of 100 years of IH Farmall production and club members were hoping for a large turnout of the tractors which started production in 1924.

International Harvester – or IH – released the Farmall commercially in 1924. Farmall make the small-sized tractor at 60 to 70 horsepower, and Case IH make bigger tractors up to 100 horsepower.

It was the first row-crop tractor featuring closely spaced front wheels and a high rear axle to pass over plants during cultivation. More than 134,000 of the all-purpose tractors were reportedly sold internationally between 1924 and 1931.

The rally’s major sponsor Cochranes, which still sells Farmall tractors. There will be a Farmall parade each day. Cochranes will have a new model on show during the twoday event.

By contrast, Gerard McCloy of Methven, will have his restored 1927 Farmall regular on show.

Gerard McCloy and his restored 1927 Farmall regular, and at rear, the 2014 Case IH bought brand new by his late-father Laurie.

Harvest displays in the afternoons on a 3ha wheat section were also planned, club member John Hall said, which were weather dependent.

There would also be a pulling sledge for tractor owners to test their machines.

‘‘We want people to let us know what they are bringing, so we can make room for them,’’ John said.

People can find an entry form online via midcanterburyvintagemachineryclub.co.nz

CLOSE CONTACT: The 1951 ex-New Zealand Defence Force Walker Bulldog tank, now in Mid Canterbury, will be in action during the Wheat and Wheels Rally.

Other machines set to appear include a 1939 LANZ Bulldog, which was still in the same Mid Canterbury family since it was new, a 1983 six-cylinder John Deere 4640, and the latest Case combine courtesy of Cochranes.

Fairfield Farms, of Talley’s Group, will show a New Holland combine, May Brothers will show a X9 John Deere combine, imported by D&E’s, thought to be one of the biggest in the world with a 13-metre front, as well as a John Deere quad tractor.

Lovett Family Farms will bring a Agrifac sprayer, imported by Power Farming Ashburton, with a 55-metre boom sprayer and 8000-litre tank.

‘‘It’s probably as big as you can get in New Zealand,’’ John said.

ESSENTIAL INFO:

Mid Canterbury Wheat and Wheels Rally, at the property of Anthony Hampton, 377 Lauriston Barrhill Rd on April 6 and 7. Entry from Orrs Rd.

Entry costs adults $15, school aged children and preschoolers free.

Overnight stay is available for self contained campers.

Check out midcanterburyvintagemachineryclub.co.nz for exhibitor entry information.