WEXFORD ploughman John Whelan became the first man from Ireland to win the European Reversible Ploughing Contest at the weekend.
Mr Whelan, who is from Ballygarvan, Gusserane, New Ross, Co Wexford, took the title at Zábreh in the Czech Republic, having dashed to the event from the national championships in Athy, Co Kildare, with teammate Brian Mahon from Offaly.
The Wexford man took second position on the first day of the contest and won the event outright on day two.
Winning the contest was especially sweet for Mr Whelan because next year’s European championships will be held in Athy in conjunction with the national ploughing showpiece.
“Winning the contest and having the opportunity to defend the title when the event is held in the Republic (of Ireland) for the first time next September is as good as it gets,” he said.
The Irish team in the Czech Republic included team manager James Sutton, Dublin, and judge Lennie Matthews, Offaly.
Two competitors from each of 15 countries will travel to Athy next year to compete in the European contest on days two and three of the national championships on September 21, 22 and 23.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved