Suffolk Horse

Suffolk horse

Key Characteristics

Suffolk Horses are capable of working for long periods without rest, making them relatively cheap to keep.

History

  • The Suffolk Punch is the oldest breed of heavy horse to exist in its present form.
  • The earliest Stud Book of any heavy horse breed, and all modern Suffolks are descended from just one horse, Crisp's Horse of Ufford, which was foaled in 1768.
  • There were many thousands of Suffolks throughout East Anglia before the First World War as they are immensely strong and an ideal horse for working the land or carting goods.
  • The Suffolk was hard hit by agricultural mechanisation as the flat arable land of East Anglia was well suited to steam engines or early tractors. 
  • The breed declined rapidly, and in 1966 there were only nine Suffolk foals registered.

Appearance

  • The Suffolk is always chestnut in colour (always spelt without the "t" when referring to this breed), although the shade can vary from dark liver to a light mealy colour, occasionally with a white star but no other white markings. 
  • The legs are short, strong, and free from feather.
  • The modern Suffolk is taller than its forbears standing 16-17 hh, whereas Crisp's Horse stood only 15.2 hh.

Uses

Driving

Suffolk are used for draught work and forestry. 

Cross Breeding

Suffolk Horses are used in cross breeding to produce heavy sports horses for hunter and show jumping competitions.

Did you know?

The lack of feathers on the Suffolk Horse's feet makes them the ideal horse in East Anglia where the heavy clay soils can clog up the feet of more feathered breeds. 

The Rare Breeds Survival Trust is the leading national charity working to conserve and protect the United Kingdom's rare native breeds of farm animals from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants and donations from the public to raise the £700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare UK native breeds of farm animals. Visit www.rbst.org.uk to see how you can help.

Breed Societies

Suffolk Horse Society

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