MINTARO, Thursday, August 27.
[From our own Correspondent.]
Judges— Messrs. W. Bowman, Martindale; J. James, Mintaro; and Isaac Edwards, Watervale.
The weather, which during the past three weeks has been exceedingly stormy in this locality. unfortunately reached its climax on the day fixed for the Northern Agricultural Society’s ploughing match. The dawn was ushered in with indications of a storm, which soon came down with all its fury. The cattle would scarcely face the tempest, for
‘The wind blew as ‘twad hae blown its last,
The rattling showers rose o’ the blast.’
The creeks were higher than at any previous time during the winter, and it was nearly impossible to cross them so as to get from the township to the site of the match. But nothing daunted by the pelting of the pitiless showers, competitors, spectators, and members of the Society might be seen wending their way to the scene of operations, and in spite of unfavourable circumstances the match did take place.
Subjoined is a list of the successful competitors for the prizes offered:—
First prize, a set of iron horse harrows, awarded to Mr. Cooper, whose ploughing was characterized by the Judges as capital work.
Second prize, £4, Mr. Henry Cummins.
‘Ploughing very good, but a little too high in the crown.’
Third prize, £3, Mr. Isaac Duance. ‘Very good ploughing, but ploughed with a colonial implement.’
Fourth prize, £2, Mr. Daniel Corry. ‘Very good, but flanked.’
Boys’ Class.
First prize, £3, Michael Kelly. ‘Very excellent; in fact the second best ploughing on the ground.’
Second prize, £1 10s., Simon Roberts. ‘Very good, but room for improvement.’
For the best team of horses, £1 1s., Patent Copper Company.
For the best team of bullocks, £1 1s., Mr. Henry Cummins.
For the best colonial-made plough, £1 10s., Mr. Lines, of Watervale.
For the best set of harrows, £1 1s., Mr. Lines, of Watervale.
For the best imported plough, £1 1s., Mr. Cooper.
For the best plough on the ground, £2 2s., Mr. Cooper.
[Our correspondent has omitted to send the list of other entries.]
The ground had, by the action of the rain, been rendered very unsuitable for showing ploughing to the best advantage, and considerable difficulty was experienced by the competitors in burying the grass.
which followed the match was held at Host Smith’s, Mintaro Hotel, and reflected great credit on his catering abilities. About 60 persons were present, and the chair was occupied by Mr. Arthur King, Hon. Sec. of the Society. Mr. Brewer officiated as Vice-Chairman, and the three Judges were among the guests. The usual loyal toasts having been duly honoured, the ‘Parliament of South Australia’ was given by the Vice-chairman, who highly complimented the district on their choice of representatives. The ‘Health of the Judges’ was proposed by Mr. Thomas Cox, and responded to by Messrs. Bowman and James. The last-named gentleman took occasion to remark that the ploughing, as a whole, was very good, although there had been a misapprehension as to the number of furrows. Mr. Cooper’s work had been neatly done; but he scarcely thought the other competitors had so good a chance, inasmuch as he used a plough which, although a Hornsby, comprised an improvement which the other Hornsbys on the field did not possess or did not use, and by making use of it he was afforded superior facilities for covering the grass. Mr. James also alluded to a small plough which had been worked on the field, and which he designated a garden plough, complimented Mr. Cummins on the straightness of his ridges, and Michael Brady on the excellence of his work, and expressed a hope that useful discussions on practical agricultural topics would before long take the place of the songs and after-dinner speeches which now succeeded ploughing matches. Mr. Cooper, who had before returned thanks for the successful competitors, here stated, in reply to the last speaker’s remarks, that the improvement he had referred to in his (Mr. Cooper’s) plough, namely, a skim-counter, might have been made use of by the other owners of Hornsbys if they had thought proper. Mr. George Faulkner also made a few observations, testifying to the excellence of the implement which Mr. James had denominated a garden plough. ‘Success to the Northern Agricultural Society’ was given by Mr. Bath, and acknowledged by the Vice-chairman; and the toast of ‘The Press’ introduced by Mr. Thomas Gibson, was responded to by Mr. Thomas Smith, who alluded to the anxiety felt by the press to forward the interests of all such Associations, by publishing their proceedings, and thereby giving information to all parts of the colony, so that they might work together as a body for the benefit of all. The Vice-Chairman gave ‘The Health of the Chairman’ (the Secretary of the Northern Agricultural Society), through whose exertions the Society had been saved from passing into a thing that was. Had it not been for him it would have been defunct, but he had gone heart and hand into the work. The Chairman returned thanks, remarking that he had a theory of his own which he intended, if possible, to carry out; but any trouble he had been put to was repaid by the satisfaction of knowing that any effort of his had benefited the Society at large. Numerous other toasts were given and duly honoured, and the evening’s proceedings, which had been interspersed with some excellent comic and other songs, were brought to an agreeable close.