The Suffolk Punch
The Suffolk Punch is native to the region of East Anglia, which was a remote, isolated area of England. The breed was highly popular within the region but never spread to other parts of the British Isles. However, by the late 1930's the breed was starting to increase in other regions but this was hampered by the mechanisation within agriculture. Within the East Anglia region this was exacerbated due to the increase in food production after the second world war, East Anglia offered large level arable farms, so therefore, the onset of mechanised machinery outweighed the use of horse power.
Sadly numbers dwindled drastically and by 1966 only nine Suffolk Punch foals were born resulting in imminent extinction. With the dedication of the Suffolk Punch Society and breeders numbers have increased, but still the Suffolk Punch are listed on the Rare Breeds critical list.
The Suffolk Punch is very defined in its colouring, always Chestnut which can vary from dark liver through to red and bright. Generally the Suffolk Punch will not have white markings however if they do they tend to be small areas on the face and lower legs.
The Suffolk Punch is shorter and more massively built than the Clydesdale or Shire, this gives a better conformation for agricultural work rather than road haulage. The breed has a powerful, arching neck; well-muscled, sloping shoulders; a short, wide back; and a muscular, broad croup. The Suffolk Punch legs are short and strong, with broad joints; and well-formed hooves with little or no feathering on the fetlocks. The Suffolk Punch is said to have energetic movement, especially when trotting.
From working heavily within agriculture now the Suffolk Punch is starting to be used as a ridden horse therefore to help increase their numbers.