The 2013 competition was held on Saturday 23 February 2013 at Dunsbury Farm, Brook by kind permission of Mr and Mrs P Seely.
Lead sponsors in 2013: Landscape Therapy; Isle of Wight Council; W Hurst & Sons Ltd; IW AONB; Hants & IW Wildlife Trust
After the original competition site at Bathingbourne was washed out the event returned for an unprecedented third time to Dunsbury Farm, Brook, where Mr and Mrs Patrick Seely hosted the 2013 competition. The site was dry and easy to walk on, a great improvement on some of the wetter fields used in previous years, and of course the famous Dunsbury views across the coast were to hand. So the twenty-four hedgelayers who gathered to test their skills against each other quickly felt at home at Dunsbury.
Before the competition began, judge Richard Grogan explained that this year, a new scoring sheet was to be used with greater emphasis on the quality of the workmanship. This led to some speculation as to whether the new system might cause some changes in the chances of various entrants, but the new scheme was welcomed by the competitors. A few flurries of snow blew across the downland, and the weather was very cold, although dry and sometimes sunny. The hedgelayers were undeterred, and sustained by hot tea and bacon rolls from the tea tent.
With only four team entrants the team class was keenly fought, with the home team from Dunsbury Farm bringing off a spectacular victory, having placed 6th in the last two competitions they had entered. The Dunsbury team had clearly been doing some practice, and it paid off as they lifted the Team trophy for the first time.
The novice class featured three mainland contestants, including defending champion Hans Taylor from Hampshire, who was unexpectedly beaten into fourth place. The new Novice champion was Jim Clinton, who beat Nat Purcell by a single point.
In the Open class, Tom Murphy of Living Landscapes was defending his trophy once more, and all eyes were on Whitwell's Oz Hoskyns, who had come a close second to Tom for two consecutive years, after placing higher than him in 2010. Would 2013 be the year Oz finally lifted the cup? It was not to be, and Tom was champion once more, beating his rival by an unequivocal 11 points. Third was Ric Temple, with competition veterans Dick Pulleine and Alex Holmes placing fourth and fifth respectively.
Click here to see 2013 overall results table (PDF)
Winner of the W Hurst & Sons cup for the best hedge laid with hand tools:
Dunsbury Farm team
The Peter Tunks £20 note trophy
A trophy was presented again on the day by former supreme national champion Peter Tunks, who awarded a £20 note for the straightest stakes and binding. The winner was Tom Murphy.
The judges' special award for the best laid poor stretch of hedge went to Oz Hosyns.