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Barry Timbers: The plowing match champion of champions


The longest-standing Canadian Plow Champion, in the history of the Organization, Barry Timbers, has represented Canada at a World Plowing Championship Contest 11 times. Barry has plowed in the USA, Spain, Ireland (twice) Kenya, Sweden, Czech Republic, France, Germany, and Canada (twice).

Plowing has given Barry, not only, the opportunity, to explore the World but also to make many friends along the way. Barry’s younger brother, Greg, has also competed four times at a World event. In 2010, he accompanied Barry to New Zealand, to provide any support he could, as a coach, runner, or whatever else he could do to help. Together, Barry and Greg followed in their father’s footsteps, who also won the right to represent Canada four times at a World Plowing Championship Contest, from 1953 to 1960.

As in any sport, one must maintain a routine, to keep up to date with the changes in the equipment, soil, rules and regulations, at the world level. In Europe, many countries plow and compete for 10 months of the year, while in Canada, if you are fortunate enough to start practising in April, you may only have four to five months before heading off to a World contest.

Barry’s family was always supportive of the time he chose to step back from events, to maintain his routine, in preparation for a Canadian or World event.

Upon arrival at a World Championship, there was an issue with some equipment. The competitors from Canada had chosen to ship their equipment to the World Contest. That was not in the cards for Barry; it meant he had to use different equipment than he had trained with.

The last elements are the three C’s – climate, change and culture. Time zones, dietary habitats, along with the culture of different countries always takes time to adjust to.

For many years, the Canadian contest moved from Coast to Coast. Barry has hauled his equipment from Ontario to B.C., Alberta, Manitoba, Quebec, New Brunswick, and PEI. Thirteen times Barry qualified for the National contest and eleven times won the right to move on to the World competition.

The motto for the World Ploughing Organization, “Let peace cultivate the land,” is still important today! It began as a post-war movement, in 1953, to continue promoting peace around the World and, 70 years later, is still moving forward.

Today, Barry is very active with the Region of Durham Plowmen’s Association and sits on the board of directors with the Canadian Plowing Organization. He judges at local matches. Barry is always willing to share his experiences with those interested and is known for refurbishing competition plows. He may just happen to have that missing part a younger competitor could use.

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