By Jean-Paul MacDonald
A wave of excitement and agricultural flair took over the Orangeville Fairgrounds for four vibrant days. The air buzzed with anticipation as local plowmen gathered to showcase their skills, vying for prestigious awards at the celebrated plowing competition. It was a stage where attention to detail, mastery of craft, and a passion for agriculture were the tickets to glory.
At the heart of the event, Daryl Hostrawser became a name etched in history. He was crowned the very first recipient of the Brian Fried Memorial Trophy. This was no ordinary accolade; it was a symbol of perseverance, dedication, and a deep love for the land, attributes that Brian Fried, the late plowing champion, embodied throughout his illustrious career.
The competition was fierce, but it was Scott Thomas of Elmwood and Terry Linton of Roseneath who emerged as the Champion and Reserve Champion, respectively, in the International Plowing Match and Rural Expo (IPM) Champion Horse Plow category. Their achievement was not just a personal victory; it was a testament to the thriving spirit of the farming community.
The stakes were high, with the title of Ontario Plowing Champion hanging in the balance, opening the gates to the Canadian Plowing Championships in Kingston, Ontario, next year. Earning the honor to represent Ontario were Austin Brodhaecker, Alex Cameron, Brian Davenport, Patrick Sanders, Daryl Hostrawser, and Bob Campsall, each bringing a unique flair to the plowing field.
Special hats and coats, presented in memory of Graeme Craig, adorned the six representatives, a subtle yet poignant reminder of the legacy and traditions that fuel the competition. Various awards celebrated the participants’ hard work, with names like Austin McLeod, Richard Elliott, and Gene Gruber shining brightly in the agricultural constellation.
The introduction of the Brian Fried Memorial Trophy added a layer of depth and sentiment to the competition. Donated by the close-knit plowing community and presented by Fried’s son, Nathan, the award found its rightful owner in Daryl Hostrawser, creating a moment of reflection and celebration.
This championship was more than a contest; it was a canvas where stories of dedication, skill, and community were painted, bringing together individuals who share a common bond and passion for agriculture. The plowing fields of Ontario were alive with the spirit of competition, and the echoes of triumph could be heard across the farming landscapes.