Operators test their tractor skills for a good cause

At the pole rotation event, competitors had to turn a rope around a pole while avoiding flipping a set of bricks. (Photo by Suzanne Bowker)

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What started as a conversation with a bunch of farmers working on a tractor, turned into a charity event raising $2,000 for the London Children’s Hospital.

The first annual Tractor Skill-Games were recently held near Culloden. The one-day event was inspired by the tractor skills competitions you see on YouTube and that are popular in Europe.

“They’d seen it on YouTube as they do a lot of them in Holland so they figured that we should do something here in Canada. That’s how the ball started rolling,” said Jony Roos, member of the Tractor Skill-Games organizing committee.

Roos said the committee got to work earlier this year in April. Once the sponsors were on board, the next step was to decide upon the games.

Ten tractor skill games were developed including the ‘seesaw,’where competitors would attempt to balance a tractor on a giant seesaw for three seconds. The goal was to see how many times this could be accomplished.

There was also the nail guidance event, the pole rotation competition and the balloon popping game.

Keep in mind that all of these would be accomplished while driving a tractor, using the vehicle and its implement as a tool! Local tractor dealers supplied the 10 tractors used for the games.

“There was also a lot of business sponsors that made it happen,” Roos said.

Meanwhile, 75 volunteers showed up the day of the event, which in the end drew 600 people.

“The flow of the day was really good and we had a really good turn out for a first time event,” Roos said.

In total, 40 competitors threw their hat in the ring on game day but only one winner prevailed. Edwin Nieuwenhuis won first place at the 2019 Tractor Skill-Games with a total of 344 points.

Henry Van Warby was a close second with 341 points and Adrian Brouwer placed third with 314 points.

“We had 40 competitors and they all liked it,” Roos said. “They’ve already told us they’re all in for next year.”

Plans are currently underway for the 2020 event that will be held once again on Labour Day Weekend. Roos said there might be a location change but the London’s Children Hospital will remain the charity of choice.

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