Charity auction in aid of Air Ambulance NI: Watch the moment a 1961 Fendt tractor sells for a whopping £30,000

A 60-year-old Fendt Farmer 1z sold at a charity auction for a whopping £30,000 on Saturday night, with the proceeds going to Air Ambulance NI.

The auction was organised by members of City of Derry Young Farmers’ Club who are celebrating their 60th anniversary this year.

The fundraiser was held in loving memory of Mr David Crockett, a past member and avid supporter of City of Derry YFC, who sadly lost his life last year in a farming accident.

Ahead of the harvest barbecue and charity auction, the club held a 24-hour ‘ploughathon’, with the 60-year-old tractor being set the challenge of ploughing as much as possible within that time frame.

The little Fendt in action during the 24-hour plough. Photo taken by Peter Shaw, supplied by City of Derry YFC.

The ‘Back to the Future’ ploughing event, held outside Eglinton, was a huge success, with a superb show of machinery brought along by local contractors, including Gorthill Farm and Killen Bros.

Indeed, there was a fantastic finale for spectators, as the 1961 Fendt finished the final hour of ploughing accompanied by Gorthill Farm’s Fendt 724 Gen 6, complete with six-furrow plough.

The Fendt Farmer 1z has had just two previous owners from the same family, based outside Ansbach in Germany, with both keepers on the tax book.

All of the original documentation and paperwork has been professionally mounted and framed for the new owner.

Old and new complete the ploughing together. Photo by Peter Shaw, supplied by City of Derry YFC.

Everything is in full working order, from the lights to the window wiper, to the steering wheel mounted horn – it even has the original top link and leather-covered seat cushion!

Thanks to Montgomery Farm Supplies, the vintage Fendt also came fully serviced with all fluids changed.

The little Fendt also took pride of place at the Grassmen stand at the recent Balmoral Show, where it attracted plenty of admirers, before taking centre stage at the weekend’s event.

The steak barbecue and auction took place at Bready Cricket Club, Magheramason, and included a host of items.

Gorthill Farm's Fendt 724 Gen 6 at the ploughing event. Photo by Peter Shaw, kindly supplied by City of Derry YFC.

Due to overwhelming demand, the club had to limit numbers, but live bidding was available through the Marteye app, with auctioneer Richard Beattie overseeing proceedings.

Commenting on the overwhelming success of the fundraiser, City of Derry YFC leader, Ellen McCollum, said it has been a ‘journey they will never forget’.

“We’ve been on an incredible journey since we bought this tractor in Germany,” Ellen explained.

“This started as a way to mark our club’s 60th anniversary and has escalated since.

The Fendt Farmer 1z didn't miss a beat as it ploughed for 24 hours straight. Photo by Peter Shaw, supplied by City of Derry YFC.

“We can’t thank our supporters enough, from everyone who turned up to support our 24-hour ploughathon, to the local businesses who gave items towards our auction.

“We had personal reasons for choosing the air ambulance NI as our charity and we’re very proud to help support this great charity, as you never know who will require its services.

“You don’t have to go far to get good people, but good people will always go far - especially for good causes!”

James Speers attended the event on behalf of Air Ambulance Northern Ireland. He is part of the charity’s agribusiness group and previous president of the Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster.

James said: “It was an amazing night, the atmosphere was really phenomenal.

“In all my years involved in Young Farmers’ Clubs of Ulster, last night (Saturday) was very special, in memory of David Crockett and to raise funds for a charity that I am so passionate about.

“Derry City Young Farmers worked so hard over the past few months and should be very proud of how they bought the tractor and brought it back from Germany, organised the 24-hour ploughing and family day and the barbecue and auction.

“On behalf of Air Ambulance NI, we are very grateful for the support from the club, the prize donors, and buyers and all who have contributed.

“Special thanks are also due to Richard Beattie and Marteye for their support.”

You can still donate to the worthy cause via the club’s Just Giving page -