At the 9th ploughing contest of the Republic of Croatia, last year's winners, Mr. Marijo Spudić from Karlovac County and Mr. Tomislav Kuharić from Krapina-Zagorje County, affirmed their status as the best Croatian ploughmen

Objavljeno: 19.09.2011, autor sunset

Under the auspices of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, Karlovac County and the City of Karlovac, the 9th ploughing contest of the Republic of Croatia was held on Saturday, 3 September 2011 in Karlovac, on the plots of the Šumbar farm, PPK karlovačka mesna industrija d.d., also the main sponsor of the event. The organizer of the event was the Croatian Association for the Organization of Ploughing Contests (HUONO) with a great deal of co-organizing assistance from the Ploughmen Association of Karlovac County (UO „KaŽu“) and the Croatian Agricultural Chamber (CAC). Numerous visitors, competitors and other participants in the event were welcomed by Mr. Zvonimir Crnković, President of the PPK karlovačka mesna industrija d.d. managing board, Mr. Ivan Katalinić, Ph.D., Director of the Croatian Agricultural Chamber and the president of the Croatian Association for the Organization of Ploughing Contests, Mr. Damir Jelić, the major of the City of Karlovac, Mr. Ivan Vučić, Karlovac County prefect, and Mr. Tugomir Majdak, Vice-President of the World Ploughing Organization, who officially opened this year's event on behalf of the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development.

The contest was held in line with strict rules of the World Ploughing Organization (WPO) in two categories, conventional ploughing category and reversible ploughing category. 34 competitors from 16 Counties and the City of Zagreb participated in the contest: Karlovac County, Krapina-Zagorje County, Bjelovar-Bilogora County, Osijek-Baranja County, Brod-Posavina County, Virovitica-Podravina County, Koprivnica-Križevci County, Sisak-Moslavina County, Požega-Slavonia County, the City of Zagreb, Vukovar-Srijem County, Zadar County, Međimurje County, Zagreb County, Varaždin County, Split-Dalmatia County and Lika-Senj County (counties are listed by their team ranking). The 34 ploughmen won their right to participate in the state contest in Karlovac among the total of 230 ploughmen in eliminating contest held throughout Croatian counties in the period between 14 April (Varaždin County) and 26 August (Bjelovar-Bilogora County).

In the conventional ploughing category, Mr. Radivoj Rekić from Virovitica-Podravina County and Mr. Željko Krapec from Bjelovar-Bilogora County were ranked after the winner, Mr. Marijo Spudić. In the reversible ploughing category, the winner Mr. Tomislav Kuharić was followed by Mr. Zoran Piskač from Bjelovar-Bilogora County and Ivan Spudić from Karlovac County. Under the watchful eye of an 18-member team of judges, with depth measurements, Plot Stewards, and supervision from experienced Head Stewards, Mr. Ivica Prpić (world contests steward), Mr. Siniša Hrgović (Croatian ploughmen coach) and Mr. Tugomir Majdak (WPO Vice-President and a member of the WPO Head Stewards team), and in line with the overall points won, the ploughmen have achieved the results shown in Table 1 and Table 2, while Table 3 shows the overall ranking of county teams. Ploughing knows no age limits - the youngest competitor was 17 years old and is a student of the Secondary Agricultural School (Srednja gospodarska škola) in Križevci, while the oldest competitor was 74. The two competitors won special prizes for their courage to show that both youth and experience have their advantages.

Winners announcement and prize award was held in the City of Karlovac, at Dani piva (Beer Days), where the Biograd na Moru Tourist Board catered guests offering Croatian specialties such as anchovies, fritters, angel wings, dry figs, almonds and herb brandy. Klapa singers "Romansa" performed on the main stage. "Vrana" company treated the listeners and fans of the ploughmen to vegetables grown in greenhouses near Biograd na Moru.

Significant progress has been noticed in this year's quality of ploughing. Raising the quality of ploughing is very important, as the Republic of Croatia is host to the 59th World Ploughing Contest to be held on 14 and 15 September 2012. According to current announcements, Biograd na Moru will host as many as 33 participating countries from around the world.

Ploughing contests represent not only a "sports spirit" agricultural event, but also a rural and economic event. In addition to exhibitors at the machinery fair and the agricultural products fair, and a few exhibiting sponsors, numerous visitors of this year's event were given the opportunity to get to know the counties the competitors come from, as Counties presented themselves in the exhibition area. Two Dalmatian counties stand out in their gastronomic offer: Split-Dalmatia County, which will host the 10th Croatian ploughing contest end of August next year, and Zadar County together with the town of Biograd na Moru, where the world's best ploughmen will plough the plots of Vrana d.d. The winners from Karlovac, Tomislav Kuharić i Marijo Spudić, will try to make the best of the sports advantage of the home field next year.

Training and ploughing contest in Karlovac was overseen by Mr. William Hood, President of the WPO. Slovenian ploughmen, father and son Filak, ploughed out of competition in the contest, training for the state ploughing championship in Slovenia. Father Anton has been participating in ploughing contests since the '70-ies and has transferred his love for ploughing to his twenty-two-year-old son Jura, an engineering student. Anton has been Slovenian champion several times and has been a member of the Slovenian national team in world ploughing contests nine times. His best result was the 6th place in the world. His experience, skill and confident hand were visible in Karlovac, in extremely dry soil conditions. Very rarely is dust raised after the plough, as ploughing is done in optimum soil humidity. In this extremely dry year, contest conditions were very difficult, and the win was taken by those most skilled. In addition to ploughmen from the neighbouring Slovenia, members of the Austrian national ploughing team arrived to Karlovac, together with Hermann Altmann, world ploughing champion in the conventional ploughing category in 1976 and 1983.

In addition to numerous guests from the Republic of Croatia, many foreign guests visited Karlovac: Mr. Rado Stojanović, representative of the Slovenian Association of Technological Culture, Mr. Dragan Ćirović, representative of ploughmen of Serbia, fourteen members of "Brazda" Ploughmen Association from Subotica in Vojvodina, lead by Mr. Kiš Miroslav, as well as representatives of Kosovo, the youngest WPO member, State Secretary Mr. Kaplan Hallimi and Kosovo representative in the WPO Governing Board, Mr. Bekim Hoxha.

The entire event had a number of "invisible hard-working ants", and on behalf of the organizer, we would like to thank the students and teachers of the Science School from Karlovac, the headmaster and students of the "Blaž Lorković" Student House in Duga Resa, PPK karlovačka mesna industrija d.d., the main sponsor, "Izvor" Cultural artistic society from Generalski Stol, main media sponsors: Radio Mrežnica and AgroGlas, as well as all sponsors and exhibitors, County ploughmen associations, Counties, Cities, Croatian Agricultural Chamber employees, PO of Karlovac County, team of judges, IT data processing from the Croatian Agricultural Chamber and all those not mentioned here who contributed to the organization of this contest and made sure that each competitor returned home determined to try his luck in the next year's contest as well.

For the Croatian Association for the Organization of Ploughing Contests (HUONO), Tatjana Međimurec, MSc. in Agronomy


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