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The sun shone on the Sollas machair yesterday (Sat, May 11) for the 85th-anniversary ploughing competition, with Ruairidh MacDonald, of Glebe, being crowned best overall winner.

The winners on the day were:

Ins and outs - Peter Macaskill, Berneray 
Straightest- John A Macquarrie, Middlequarter
Best start - Ruairidh MacDonald, Glebe
Best finish - Alasdair Macdonald, Grenitote 
Oldest plougher - Domhnall Angie Macaskill, Berneray 
Best looking - Iona MacLeod, Grenitote 
Furthest travelled - John Alec Macdonald, Inverness 
First lady entrant - Iona MacLeod, Grenitote 
Best overall - Ruairidh MacDonald, Glebe
Runner up overall - Ruairidh Macdonald, Hosta 

The event was not just about ploughing; it was a community fun day for all the family, with food, music, face painting, Splaoid aig Deas, a Comann Eachdraidh Uibhist a Tuath exhibition, and plants from Garadh a Bagh a tuath.

The next Taigh Sgire Sholais ploughing competition is pencilled in for 2029.

One of the earliest ploughing competitions in Europe, pre-dating the Sollas event, is believed to be traced back to a 1931 argument in the Republic of Ireland over who was the best ploughman. Two lifelong friends, Denis Allen of Gorey, County Wexford, and JJ Bergin of Athy, County Kildare, decided to settle the matter with a ploughing competition.

Since then, ploughing competitions have become an intrinsic part of rural life in many countries.


Main image - Best overall winner, Ruairidh MacDonald, Glebe

Image credit: Taigh Sgire Sholais