And the 2017 Iron Farmer is…

Chris Emery of Wainfleet has taken this year’s Iron Farmer title.

After a tough afternoon of competition Saturday Sept. 23/2017, Chris Emery of Wainfleet earned the title of Wainfleet’s 2017 Iron Farmer.

Third place winner Max Gelka of Port Colborne ropes the runaway steer.

The Iron Farmer competition took place the final day of the annual Wainfleet Fall Fair.

David Wyatt organized the competition which is now in its fourth year.

“It’s really a fun way of showcasing life on a farm,” Wyatt said. “It’s entertaining for the crowd and each year, it’s getting bigger and better.”

“This year we added a few new chores for the competitors, they were finishing a little too quickly in the past competitions,” he said.

The story of the competition starts with piling all the wood, the pile can’t tip over, then the competitor has to saddle a horse, build a fence, then go rope a runaway steer (well, okay, not quite a real runaway steer). From there, they have to fix the gate, hammering in a nail, stack six bales of hay, pick the pumpkins, feed the pigs and bring home the bacon. Each skill tests the physical and mental skills of the competitor.

Chris Emery won the competition in 2014, then lost the next couple of competitions until taking the title back again Saturday with a time of 6:17.

“For me it was just go, go, go,” Emery said. “I work on cars all day, so, I’m used to going at a good pace. However, I wanted to look at the saddle first because I had never put one of those on before.”

Third place competitor Christine Burke lifts the tractor tire.

Second place went to Christine Burke of Dunnville with a time of 8:47. She has been competing for the past three years, she comes to the fair yearly with the horse show.

She noted that she beat her time from last year. “There were less obstacles though,” she said.

The key to her success, “Watching the other competitors first,” she joked with competitor William Miles of Wainfleet.

Competitor William Miles of Wainfleet runs with the bag of feed to feed the pigs.

“The secret was getting the wood stacked fast,” Miles said, something which slowed his time down.

Third place went to Max Gelka of Port Colborne with a time 10:19.

“The tire is kind of heavy,” he said after completing his run. “Especially because it’s hot, if you don’t pace yourself you run out of energy quick.”

First time competitor Laura Journeay of Welland spoke about her experience after deciding to enter at the urging of a good friend.

“I didn’t think it would be that hard but it was,” she said. “The first part was hard, the piling wood, I wasn’t used to doing it the way they wanted, the second half was very tiring too. However, I will definitely try it again next year.”

Her time was 10:50.

The Wainfleet Fall Fair wrapped up Saturday after three days of events.

Competitor Laura Journeay of Welland in the fence building ‘chore’ of the competition.



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