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Royal Highland Show: Balthayock breeder Major Walter wins Sir William Young award

CONTRIBUTION: Major Walter has been involved in the Charolais breed for more than half a century.

Perthshire Charolais breeding legend, Major David Walter of Balthayock Farms has been honoured as the recipient of this year’s prestigious Sir William Young Award for his exceptional contribution to cattle breeding.

The award recognises outstanding livestock breeding and commemorates the service to Scottish agriculture by the late Sir William Young.

Major Walter first ventured into the breed in the late 1960s then served on the Charolais council, becoming chairman in 1984 and president 10 years later.

Speaking after the announcement, Major Walter said he was humbled to receive the award.

Charolais breeder Andrew Hornell congratulates Major Walter on his award.

“The Charolais adventure has been a wonderful experience and I have met some fantastic people over the years through the Charolais family. This award really is quite something!”

Royal Highland and Agricultural Society of Scotland chairman, Bill Gray said: “For more than half a century, the name of Major Walter of the Balthayock Herd has been synonymous with pedigree Charolais cattle.

“He has contributed so much to the breed and sector at large over his years of hard work, so it’s only right that he be acknowledged in this way.”

Balthayock livestock have topped the Stirling bull sales again and again, and one of his crowning achievements came in 2018 when he sold nine bulls averaging over £15,000 each.

He has also been a great supporter of agricultural shows, winning many championships throughout the country and showing at the Royal Highland Show since 1972, when he presented the Balthayock Trophy.

To mark his 50th year in the breed in 2019 his stock stormed to first place in the individual interbreed beef title at the Royal Highland Show.

He has been a great supporter of the next farming generation, holding many stock judging events, farm tours and welcoming international delegates from all over the world.

Major Walter continues to champion youth development, and is hosting the National Charolais youth finals this year. He is also donating an embryo egg from one of his top cows as a prize.

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