Walton's Shortreed looks to IPM after Princess win - Aug. 30, 2018
BY DENNY SCOTT
Jaden Shortreed captured the Princess crown and sash at the Huron County Plowing Match last week, edging out seven other competitors for the venerated title.
Shortreed, the daughter of Val and Jim from the Walton area, said she didn’t think she was going to win, but it was a pleasant surprise when she did.
“It felt really amazing,” she said. “This was my second year participating and I’m glad to be a part of the Princess community because it definitely helped.”
Shortreed thinks her speech put her over the top, which focused on why plowing should be an Olympic sport.
Her speech was inspired by her brother and father, who both plow with horses, which demands more physical activity than the traditional one-furrow, three-furrow or reversible plows.
“I thought, if I’m speaking at the Huron County Plowing Match, I should base my speech on something I know and I think that helped,” she said.
She said that she was able to practice her speech and, while having her cue cards made her comfortable, she feels she knew the speech well enough to not need them.
“I was loud and I’ve done public speaking for a long time, so I think that helped,” she said. “In the interview, I think I knew all the answers and I think I sounded pretty good.”
She prepared for the interview questions by reading newspapers and articles that Ruth Townsend, an organizer of the event, provided to the contestants.
“I read, and if I found something I didn’t know, I researched,” she said.
While the Queen of the Furrow is active for a full year before competing at the Ontario Queen of the Furrow Competition at the International Plowing Match (IPM), the newly-formed Princess of the Furrow competition at the IPM doesn’t give its competitors that much time to prepare. Now that Shortreed is Huron’s Princess, she has to immediately start preparing for the IPM in Chatham-Kent next month where she will endeavour to be the second-ever provincial Princess from Huron County. She hopes to follow Lucknow-area Princess Brooklyn Hendriks who claimed the provincial crown in the first-ever competition last year.
“I hope to win the IPM,” Shortreed said. “I hope to follow Brooklyn.”
She said, beyond preparing for the IPM, she’s looking forward to attending as many Huron Plowmen's Association meetings as posible.
The local Princess competition was initially created by the Townsend family with the hopes of being a feeder program for the Queen of the Furrow and, with Shortreed, that intent is being met.
“I hope to run for the Queen competition,” she said. “You can get scholarships for that and winning the Queen contest would be great.”
She said anyone hoping to follow in her footsteps needs to remember two key practices: smile and introduce yourself.
“When you’re at the match, just keep smiling,” she said. “Greet everyone you meet and tell them who you are. Aside from that, it’s just practising a speech, being loud and confident and doing your best to ignore your nerves.”