The Suffolk Horse, or the Suffolk Punch/Suffolk Sorrel as it is also known, is an English horse breed, primarily used for draught work.
It originates in the Suffolk region of the UK, hence the name, and was first developed in the early 16th century. It was first developed as a farm horse and became increasingly popular in the early 20th century.
The breed was almost wiped from existence, however, due to the emergence of agricultural machinery. The breed is currently listed as “Critical” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust in the UK, with a reported 300 horses remaining. However, the breed was also exported to the US and it is estimated that there are in excess of 1,000 Suffolk horses there.
Historically, the breed were not only used for farm work, but also for pulling artillery during wars and commercial vehicles which were non-motorised. Today, the breed is mainly used for forestry, draught and advertising work.
Interestingly, the Suffolk horse also features on the crest of their nearby football club, Ipswich Town FC.
Named the Suffolk Punch due to the breed’s immense strength and solid appearance, the Suffolk horse is a heavy breed, usually always chestnut in colour.
They can be found in an array of chestnut colours, from red to dark chestnut and even lighter shades. White markings are uncommon on the breed, though do occur, but mainly on the face and lower legs.
Generally, the breed stands between 16.1 and 17.2 hands tall, weighing anything from 900 to 1,000kgs, a true heavy breed. An extremely powerful breed, the Suffolk Punch are well-muscled, with a powerful neck and short, strong legs. The breed also has little to no feathering on the fetlocks.
An early maturing breed, the Suffolk punch are also long-lasting and easy to keep, as they require less feed than other breeds. Hardworking, with good foot conformation, one of the UK’s oldest and rarest breeds, the Suffolk Punch.
Main Picture Credit - woodbridge-horse-show.org.uk