Crossdoney fair has pulling power

Story by Seamus Enright

Friday, 14th August, 2015 12:04pm

Crossdoney fair has pulling power

Kenneth North, Nigel McDowell, Joey Ebbitt, Clinton Pratt and John Gould at the launch of the Crossdoney Fair & Tractor Pull.

The village of Crossdoney is preparing to hit the diff’ “with a difference” with the launch of their annual Fair and Family Fun Day, set to take place later this month, Sunday, August 16.
Unveiling their latest attraction last week, a stationary tractor pull winch, organisers are hoping the agri-operators from around the region will pull their weight to support local charities and, in the end, crown one tractor as the ‘King of the Pull’.
Along with traditional fair day activities such as tug-o-war, show jumping, dog show, skittles and ducking chair, this agri-orientated event will also feature tractor reversing where the steering has been plumbed backways, as well as a mini-digger skills competition.
Priced at €10 per adult, with entry free for children under-18, all proceeds on the day will be donated in support of the Cavan branch of Cystic Fibrosis and local autism charities.
Commenting on the tractor pull competition, Clinton Pratt, who organised the loading cells, which will register the tonnage weight pulled by each tractor on the day, told The Anglo-Celt: “It’s totally unique. It’s something that hasn’t been done before and we feel it sets this fair out from the crowd. Hopefully it will draw the attention, and if the weather stays good, fingers crossed well get the crowd.”

Slow and steady
Nigel McDowell explains how traditional tractor pulling, also known as power pulling, is a motorsport in which modified tractors generally pull a heavy sled along a track, with the winner being the tractor that pulls the sled the farthest.
“What we’ve done here is we have winch set in reverse. A tractor pulls at its best before the wheels start spinning. Our idea is that we’ll let the pulling tractor out slowly before applying the pressure and grinding it to a slow halt. That’ll allow the judges time to determine what tonnage the competing tractor is pulling,” he said.
Priced at €20 per pull and four classes of entry at three, six, nine and tractors over nine tonne, Mr McDowell says it gives a chance to farmer who owns smaller tractor to compete against his neighbour in a similar category. “Once the pull is recorded, the score will go up on a board for everyone to see.”

Already there has been plenty of friendly banter in the locality, with Mr McDowell jesting: “myself and a local contractor Jim Sheridan are already at loggerheads. I’ve a old 1977 tractor and he has a new New Holland so on the day we’ll see just whose tractor pulls hardest.”
The trick, fellow event organiser John Gould tells The Celt, is to pull “slow and steady” instead of pulling hard pull fast.
Already there has been interest shown by tractor owners from across Cavan and as far afield as neighbouring counties Monaghan, Leitrim, Longford and Meath.
Having raised over €52,000 when the local community organised a non-stop vintage tractor journey across Ireland some years back, Mr Gould is hoping for similar success in raising much-needed funds for worthy charities operating in the locality.

Text competition
One way of raising money is an innovative text competition, launched by organisers, asking the public to register in kilograms what weight they think one of a Fendt 939, Massey Ferguson 7618, Jcb Fastrac 3220, New Holland t7040, Valtra T234, John Deere 6170 R, Claas Arion 640 or a Same Silver 130 can pull. By texting the word TRACTOR, plus their choice and weight, the entrant who guess the correct weight and has their name drawn could scoop the top prize of €100.
“It’s a big day for the village. Hopefully, so long as the weather stays clear, we’ll get the crowds and we’ll be able to build on the good work we’ve been able to achieve before,” Mr Gould says.

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