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Nairn horse breeders' joy as they spot 'our Jock' on Queen's procession

By Donald Wilson

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Beverley and David Walker with Galcantray Jock's (now known as PH Nairn) mother. Picture: Callum Mackay
Beverley and David Walker with Galcantray Jock's (now known as PH Nairn) mother. Picture: Callum Mackay

A Clydesdale horse bred in Nairnshire was spotted on duty behind the Queen’s cortège as it made its way down the Royal Mile in Edinburgh last week.

Delighted breeder Beverley Walker, who, with her husband David, has spent 20 years building up a stud for the endangered species at their 470-acre farm near Cawdor, caught a glimpse of Galcantray Jock as she was watching the cortège slowly pass along the Royal Mile last Tuesday, the last leg of the journey from the Queen’s summer home at Balmoral Castle.

“I was sitting on my own speaking on the phone and got very excited,” she said.

“I caught a glimpse of him and just shouted ‘That’s our Jock coming up the Royal Mile!’.

“It was a lovely moment and we are so proud of him. It’s part of history and we are just so proud and delighted that one of our horses was part of it.”

Beverley (60) and David (61) began breeding Clydesdales after purchasing their first mare in 2003.

“We started it as a hobby because we both love Clydesdales and David always had a dream of driving horses,” Beverley said.

“We now have 40 at Galcantray and we’ll be driving teams of six and eight at the Clydesdale World Show for Clydesdales at the Aberdeen Exhibition Centre in October. We don’t make money from it but realised it was cheaper to breed the horses than to buy them. The important thing is we are helping preserve the species and we are lucky to have the space to do that.”

Beverley said Galcantray Jock’s mother, Galcantray Nicole’s Charm’s, first success on the show circuit was at the local Nairn Show before lifting the championship at Duthie Park in 2011 as a four-year-old and reserve champion at the Royal Show in Stoneleigh.

“He was sired by our stallion Doura Dancer. We knew he wasn’t going to be a stud colt so he was gelded at about a year old (so he couldn’t breed). We thought he would make a nice driver horse but when he was four years old the police expressed an interest in him. They said they would come back in a year and we worked with him together with other horses. The police did come back and they loved him. He has a lovely temperament and is very calm.”

She said Jock was bought by the police last year, one of only four horses chosen in Scotland to join the force.

“He clearly passed muster and we are delighted for him,” Beverley said.

As is tradition with all police horses he was renamed on joining the force.

“Often they choose names from the Hebridean islands. But given Jock’s history they named him PH Nairn and we are delighted.

“But he will always be ‘our Jock’.”

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