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Virtual ploughing match raises over £5K for charity

The UK’s first virtual ploughing match, machinery show and steam rally, VPlough, has raised in excess of £5,000 for Air Ambulance charities.

The Best Classic Tractor went to AC Fawcett with his 1974 Ford 5000, supporting The Great North Air Ambulance.

The UK’s first virtual ploughing match, machinery show and steam rally, VPlough, has raised in excess of £5,000 for Air Ambulance charities.

With Covid-19 putting a strain on companies in the events industry – which often raise a great deal of money for local and national charities – organisers explained that VPlough was designed to fill part of that void.

“Without this vital source of funding from the events industry and fundraising efforts, including our much-loved annual Farmers Ball, which raises money for our local air ambulance, Kent Surrey and Sussex Air Ambulance Trust, all 23 Air Ambulance Charities have seen their income plummet over the past months.”

Held in autumn this year, the event saw virtual classes being held in a myriad of categories.

Competitors uploaded their photos and videos to the website – with entries closing at midnight on 31st October 2020 – and donated their class entry fee to their chosen Air Ambulance charity. Many of the class winners also donated back their prize winnings to help boost the funds raised.

Without the geographical ties of a physical event, VPlough saw entrants from all over the UK, with one entrant joining from Canada.

The event was judged virtually by a team of experienced and knowledgeable judges and awards were given for best in class.

Organisers said: “While the event could not replace a real ploughing match, we hope it was a fun event to participate in, as well as raising money for our much-valued air ambulance services!

“We would like to thank NFU Mutual and Goodyear Tires Europe for their incredible support as event sponsors and all the companies who provided individual sponsorship. Without them we simply could not have run the event.”

Nicola Rawnsley, winner of the Horse Plough Class, commented after the event: “Thank you so much; after a tough year, winning this has actually made my day – I am so pleased, today has been a very good day!”

Operations and marketing director for Air Ambulances UK, Nikki Wright added: “Congratulations on pulling off such a fantastic event during these trying times. Many thanks for all the fundraising efforts for the UK’s air ambulance charities, we’ve really enjoyed seeing your activities on social media, the coverage was excellent!”

A special prize was awarded for ‘The Best Photograph at VPlough ’20’ for John Fletcher and Kevin Morris – for receiving the most comments, likes, social media shares and laughs!

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