Denis and Valois Seguin will represent the North
VERNER – The International Plowing Match is coming north to Verner this September 17 and two Island plowmen will be upholding the honour of Northern Ontario at this year’s event after qualifying during events held across the province over the past two years.
Little Current’s Denis Seguin and his father Valois Seguin have both accumulated the points necessary to qualify for the competition.
“My father had a dream three years ago for both of us to plow in Verner,” said Mr. Seguin. “I acknowledged his dream by stepping onto an antique tractor and plow to compete at plowing matches over the past two years in different counties in Ontario. Dad had participated 12 years prior to that. As far as I have been able to figure out, we are the only one’s representing Northern Ontario.”
Mr. Seguin explained that the Northern Ontario territory stretches from the Manitoba border to Ottawa east and south all the way to Barrie. “A very big area for us Northern boys,” he laughed, admitting that he is a tad nervous. “Dad is only 80 years young and still gets on that tractor. We qualified in Hastings county last week, where you need 115 points to qualify. Dad got 124 and I got 135.”
Mr. Seguin said that he wasn’t in the competition to snag first, second or third. “Two years ago I was the second youngest in the competition at 57,” he said. “This year I might be the youngest, so if I make it into the top 10 I will be pretty happy. There are guys competing that are a lot older than me and this is all they do through the summer.”
While he can share a tractor with his father at the local events, the IPM requires each of them to have their own tractor and plow. Mr. Seguin will be running a 1948 Farmall M tractor with a 1947 drag plow. Both pieces of equipment are a fair bit older then he is.
The road to the International Plowing Match is not an easy or smooth row to hoe. “You have to accumulate 115 points in a single day—you can’t just collect them day to day.”
Mr. Seguin lined up his vacation days with competitions and set out to achieve his goal.
“The first one was in St. Albert’s, just behind the cheese factory,” he said. “I fell behind by three points. The next one was in Hastings and I really blew them away at that one.”
The plowman has really gotten into the spirit this year, decorating his yard on Hard Bargain Road in Little Current in honour of the event.
“Me and Carol thought it might be good for local people to see and maybe chat about it,” he said, explaining that the IPM is a very community focussed event with a lot of yards in the host community celebrating the event. “I think we may be in the running for the furthest away,” he laughed.
Some 80,000 people pass through the gates at the IPM (including just about every major political leader in the land) and Mr. Seguin notes that one day is simply not enough time to take everything in. “There are antique cars, trucks and tractors, sewing machines and washing machines, you get to really see how they used to do it,” he said.
The IPM runs from September 17 to 21 and takes place in Verner this year, just a few miles to the east of Sudbury. Mr. Seguin’s father lives in Noelville, so he only has a skip and a jump to get there.