Carlow man Séan Tracey is no stranger to the ploughing scene, having started his career at just 13 years of age.

A fourth-generation ploughman, Séan’s family are renowned in ploughing circles, with numerous all-Irelands and world titles.

Three generations will take to the field in Ballinatrane, Co Carlow, this week in a bid to take home some silverware.

Séan will be competing in the U28 conventional ploughing class, his brother Steve will be competing in the U21 conventional ploughing class and his father Eamonn and grandfather Johnny will be competing against each other in the senior conventional ploughing class.

Séan and Eamonn Tracey

"I was 13 years of age when I started ploughing, the same age my grandfather was when he started ploughing. The first tractor I started ploughing with was a Valtra," recalls Séan.

Having won several county matches under-age, Séan started competing in all-Irelands when he was 16 and has four U21 titles under his belt.

"I won a few county matches and the first all-Ireland that I was ever in. I haven’t won an all-Ireland in six years, so I am due one," he laughs.

With the Ploughing in his home county, Séan feels as though the pressure is really on.

"Hopefully this year will be my lucky year, but there will be more pressure on me because everyone expects me to do well.

"The competition is tough against the likes of Frank Cullen from Wexford who won a recent title in Northern Ireland, he is going fairly well. All the lads are really as good as each other, it could be anyone’s game."

Séan Tracey

If Séan places in the top two on Tuesday he will go into the senior conventional class on Wednesday, where he could be ploughing against his father and grandfather.

Eamonn Tracey and John Whelan.

His father Eamonn recently returned from America where he came second in the conventional class at the World Ploughing Championships.

While Eamonn is looking forward to the Ploughing, there is a slight setback, as his tractor is not back from America yet.

"It’s a small disadvantage, but I will be going as strong as I can," said Eamonn.

"I would dearly love to have my own outfit. However, I will have to make do with Séan's outfit.

"We are after doing a bit of work on it to try and bring it similar to my own, so hopefully it will do the business.

If Séan comes up into Wednesday he will have to go look for a tractor.

"That was the deal when I started doing all the work on it to get it ready," Eamonn said.

Looking at the week ahead, Eamonn is happy with the ground.

"I have to say, with no disrespect to any other site, this is one of the best sites we have had for years.

"We are lucky to have such a good site. When you have good land and good competitors, the standard is going to be high."

Good land

Eamonn explains: "Carlow has good land, but the soil is very difficult to plough as its very free soil.

"Not everyone can master it because you haven’t got that land all over the country."

"The soil at the moment could do with more moisture, but for the event in general we want no moisture.

"The stubbles will be grand, maybe a little hard, but it shouldn’t prove difficult."

The National Ploughing Championships 2019 takes place from 17 to 19 September in Ballintrane, Fenagh, Co Carlow.