Suffolk Punch: The Suffolk is the oldest of Great
Britain’s heavy breeds, and can be traced back to the stallion #404 born in 1768. This prepotent stallion was owned by Thomas Crisp and was used in the Woodbridge, Saxmundham and Framlingham areas. The horse was never named, and was simply known as
"Crisp's horse". The Suffolk Horse Society, formed in Britain in 1877 to promote the Suffolk breed, published its first stud book in 1880.
The breed is nicknamed the "Suffolk Punch" because of its short legged, barrel body type. The Suffolk farmer used his horses to till and harvest his own lands, so seldom did he have horses to sell. This not only kept the breed relatively unknown but also pure, remaining unchanged and true to his original purpose, which was to work the heavy clay soil of East Anglia.
The average height is 16 to 16.3 hands tall, but stallions may be 17 hands or taller and individuals can weigh up to a ton. The Suffolk is a unique breed in that their only color is chestnut, ranging in shade from light golden to the dark liver, with bright chestnut being the most common. White markings occur, but in general are not as prominent as in other breeds, most of them being confined to a star or snip and white ankles or fetlocks. No other color is admissible to registry in the Stud Book. The Suffolk is a horse of great endurance and easy temperament.
Although the breed's status is listed as critical by the UK Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, there has been a resurgence in interest, and population numbers are increasing.
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