Perthshire Charolais breeder Major David Walter was already planning a big party this summer but the celebrations started early on Saturday when his two-year-old heifer won the Royal Highland Show’s highest cattle award, the beef interbreed championship.
After breeding Charolais cattle at Balthayock, on the outskirts of Perth, for 50 years and exhibiting at the Royal Highland Show almost every year, it was Major Walter’s best ever result at Ingliston and the entire enthusiastic Balthayock team were thrilled by their success.
It is one of the oldest Charolais herds in the country, with the first animals imported directly from France, and the farm now carries 100 pedigree cows and 150 cross cows.
The closest the herd has come to the honour in the past was in 2015 when the bull, Balthayock Imp, won the reserve interbreed ticket.
“It has been a lovely venture and I have a dedicated team. It was their skill and enthusiasm which won through today,” said Major Walter.
“I had ordered 14 dozen bottles of wine and a few barrels of beer for our anniversary celebration next month, but I may have to double the order now!”
The star of the day was Balthayock Nessie, a daughter of Dingle Hofmeister and Balthayock Jessie, and her success came hot on the heels of her championship glory at Alyth the previous Saturday.
In reserve interbreed place were Devon breeders, Mike and Melanie Alford, with their two-year-old heifer, Foxhillfarm Naomi, by Trueman Jagger out of Foxhhillfarm Isla.
Meanwhile, in one of the most spectacular sights of the show, a beautifully balanced team of Limousins walked away with the interbreed award, led by Redpaths Nobleman, a two-year-old bull from Keith Redpath, Kelso.
Other team members were Bannockburn breeders McBeath and Jessop’s heifer, Springsett Nancy, and two females from the Jenkinson family at Penrith; Whinfellpark Nerissa and Whinfell Jeansjiggle.
The Aberdeen-Angus team was in reserve place and comprised: Donald Rankin’s heifer Kilmaluag Lady Iris, which is based at Methven; D&K Graham from Stirling with Carruthers Elspeth; Galcantray Bet Maid from David Walker, Nairn; and Cumnock-based Alistair Clark and Sons’ bull, Carruthers Grenadier.
The junior beef interbreed award went to Neil and Stuart Barclay, Harestone, Insch, for the rising two-year-old Charolais heifer, Harestone Natalie.
Rothesay breeder Tom McMillan took the reserve rosette.
The Queen’s Cup, which rotates across all the livestock and equine sectors at the show, was won this year by Wynbrook Playfair, a seven-year-old Welsh Section C gelding from Whitchurch, Shropshire.
Produced by Sarah Parker and owned by Nicola Donaldson, the horse has competed at HOYS and Olympia.
Percy Tait from Worcester won the sheep pairs competition with British Rouge shearling rams.
In reserve place were William Ramsay from Castle Douglas and Finlay Robertson from West Calder with Blackfaces.