By Phil Lanning
SCOTT MITCHELL admits he spends more time castrating bulls than practising bullseyes.
The darting farmer has an udderly crazy schedule balancing his full-time job in the fields of Christchurch, Dorset and staying in the oche elite.
Former 2015 Lakeside World Champ Mitchell, 51, lines up for his first-ever PDC Worlds at the Ally Pally against Dutch ace Chris Landman on December 16.
But first he needs to sort his cows before bidding for world crowns. He revealed: “I’ve been prioritising the darts for the past few weeks. It’s very hard sometimes to work the farm and darts.
“It’s tough to get yourself up for practice at the end of the day, you can be very tired. So it’s better to try and do some in the morning.
“I get up about 7am, do a few jobs then come back in and have a throw. Then maybe pop back in the evening if I’m feeling it.
“When you’re a farmer you’ve got to do a bit of everything. You have to be a part-time vet, fencing specialist, tractor driver, mechanic and electrician. You have to be able to turn your hand to anything.
“I’ve got pedigree Hereford cow, a total of 45. I’ve now got my own pedigree herd about two years ago.
“Once you rear the calves from September to March, then you have to do the mucking out. Some of it by tractor and some of it by hand.
“The toughest job is castrating. If you have cows with horns, they can hurt one another and gauge each other. So when the calves are born they have small buds and we remove them, then the horns don’t grow.
“You have to get hold of them and castrate them, they can be feisty devils so that can be physically tough.”
Mitchell will face underrated Stoke star Ian White if he can get past Landman. But he’s certainly not scared of locking horns any big stars, even beefcake rival World Champ Gerwyn Price.
He added: “Dealing with a herd of cattle is just like a herd of players in the PDC. And just like cattle, you’ve got one or two who don’t like you!
“When I see a few darts players having a row at tournaments I find it quite funny. I’ve stopped a 500 kilo cow trying to run up a cattle path. You have to face them head on to stop them.
“If the gate is open it’s either you stop it or the animal is out. So you learn to be stop it and not run out of the way.”
When Mitchell won the BDO World Championship seven years ago he famously bought a tractor. But if he hit the jackpot at the Ally Pally and won a half a million, he wouldn’t be allowed any more farm machinery.
He added: “If I won the World Championship and half a million, I wouldn’t get away with buying another tractor. I think my wife Sharon would make me buy something more meaningful for our retirement.
“Maybe I would retire early and pass it onto my son. That would be a nice way to start 2022!
“My son Sam and daughter Katie help me keep my darts going, they are the only way I can keep playing.
“Sharon looks after the place, Sam does the tractor side of things and Katie does the rest.
“I’m very proud to be going to the Ally Pally, another player who has played in both World Championships.
“I said I would give myself two chances to get through Q School and I got my card at my second chance. I also wanted to make Ally Pally and now I’ve done that.”
Images by Taylor Lanning.