Tractors compete at annual event for Shropshire hospices - in pictures

Rumbling engines and billows of smoke denoted another Ruyton-XI-Towns Tractor Pull, with hundreds of spectators turning out to see engines from across Europe pushed to their limits.

Blue Hazard competing in the tractor pull
Blue Hazard competing in the tractor pull

Tractors from Belgium, Spain, the Netherlands and France competed against Shropshire's finest at the latest tractor pull, which usually raises thousands for the Severn Hospice and Hope House Hospice.

Gary Penton, who has organised the event for years, had his tractor Big Boy's Toy compete in the event.

Throughout Saturday and Sunday dozens of mechanics tried their hands at pulling a huge sled across a field in Ruyton-XI-Towns, competing for points and raising money for cancer.

Tractors from across Europe competed to drag the sled

Mr Penton said: "Tractor pulling years ago started with farmers with horses – which horse could pull the biggest load of trees.

"It developed then, farmers got into tractors, and it's just gone bigger and bigger. More horsepower.

"That tractor of mine, I spent £35,000 on the engine this year. I was hoping it would stay in one piece and it did so I'm a happy man.

Big Boy's Toy, owned by the organiser Gary Penton

"We only got it running Friday morning. We've had a lot of problems with it.

"We raise a lot of money for the charity, last year I think we raised around about £17,000. We don't give it all away, we keep some back for a pot because if it's a rainy day and you have to call it off we have to pay for the marquee.

"This is the eighth year. I'm thinking of throwing the towel in, I've had enough. It's a lot of mither.

The tractors belched black smoke as they strained to pull the sled

"On Wednesday night we had to make a decision whether it was cancelling or going ahead. The weather looked good so we made the decision – go for it.

"The next minute the heavens opened. I thought we'd never be on here today pulling and we came back here Friday morning, it had dried up. It's very weather-controlled."

He also hopes to donate money to prostate cancer charities this year, after a colleague of his survived prostate cancer.

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