Living history: the Golden Plough returns to Eugowra in 2019

Eugowra stepped back in time on the long weekend with the return of the Golden Plough competition.

After an 11-year break it was an exciting time for the Western branch of the Australian Draught Horse Stud Book Society, but no-one was more pleased than 91-year-old Wilf Norris OAM who began the unique event in 1976 and has worked tirelessly to ensure that Australian heritage is promoted.

Wilf has handed the reins over to his daughter Julie, her husband Mark and son Bill.

So on the June long weekend the enthusiasts gathered at Eugowra Showground and brought history back to life.

Spectators were treated to free wagon rides, sampled free damper and watched demonstrations of chaff cutting with a horse works and loading the Clyde lorry with a bag kicker.

Finally, there was the challenge to plough the straightest, cleanest furrows in the Eugowra soil.

On Sunday afternoon, it was Cowra's Jason Gavenlock who took the coveted trophy home.

Judges Chris Chapman, Doug Tuckwell and John Marshall have all held the title themselves and said competition between the four ploughmen in the opens was tough.

"It was very, very close, very hard to judge," Mr Chapman said. "These young guys have done exceptional jobs - there were very few points between first and fourth."

Jason's win has been several years in the making: he's been working with the winning team, Australian draught horses Jigsaw and Tom, since they were foals.

He jokes that he "stole" his wife's hobby. Kate (nee Stonestreet) and her family are passionate about the heavy horses and have always kept them.

Training the horses is a chance to step back from the pace of modern life.

"You can switch off to everything else," Jason said.

The spectators knew from the time Jason cast his first furrow that he was onto something. The ploughman himself said he was never going to be sure until all measurements were taken and points added up.

He said the weekend, his first competition, had been a wonderful experience.

"I've had a lot of help from a lot of people this weekend," he said.

"It's changed the way I plough completely."

Novice, ladies and junior titles were also contested. More page 7.