In a league of her own: Jill Cameron
Tractor Pull has been around North America since the 1920’s.
It’s a competition that sees a tractor hooked to a weighted sled and the tractor that pulls the sled the furthest is the winner. Most of the competitors are men but a woman from Red Deer, Alberta is cutting a new swath.
Jill Cameron is a female operator, so it begs the question why?
“A couple of things,” explains Cameron. “On one side my mom is from Melfort, Saskatchewan. She was a farm girl and has always loved cheering on tractor pulls. Then I started dating a guy who was in tractor pulling giving me the means to get a tractor, get it places and teach me some of the ways of the trade.”
Cameron competes with a rare model that wasn’t made for a long time, a 1959 Case 610B, one she bought off a friend but admits she’d like to see more women behind the wheel.
“It’s an older generation sport so I’ve ran into some other women that have pulled in their day but not any that are young like me pulling so I think that’s odd and too bad,” says Cameron. “I think it’s 50 percent skill, 50 percent tractor so it’s something you can definitely get good at.”
The second year puller also admits to learning her way around the repair shop.
“I’m starting to get things, knowing if a distributor cap is the right one by looks but I’m not tinkering with stuff,” laughs Cameron. “I pumped the beet juice into the tires so if it’s an easy job I can do it.”
The Central Alberta product was a recent competitor at the Calgary Stampede but has focused most of her efforts closer to home pulling in communities such as Leslieville, Leduc, Lacombe, Markerville and Stettler.
By the way if you’re hoping to see her on the tour, outside of her long blonde hair she’ll be easy to spot. She’s equipped her ride with eyelashes over the headlights.