Suffolk Punch Horses
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About Suffolk Punch HorsesAbout Suffolk Punch Horses



Suffolk Punch horses have a long and well-established historyrnas a draught animal of English origin. Arthur Young, one of the earliest writersrnon British livestock, and who himself came from Suffolk, was the first to refer,rnin 1771, to the area's 'noble breed of hoofs', as a distinct breed. He noted thatrneven in his childhood (he was born in 1741) the Suffolk was referred to as "ThernOld Breed." It is almost certainly the oldest existing pure breed of draught horsernto have originated in England.

rnrnWilliam Youatt in 1837, and David Low in 1845, both equally renownedrnas recorders of early livestock in Britain, also wrote enthusiastically of the Suffolk,rnnoting its distinctive 'stout or punchy form', with large head and deep neck, andrnparticularly its steadiness in draught - 'no horses exerted themselves better atrna dead pull'. The Shiels painting of a Suffolk Punch shown here was commissionedrnby David Low in the 1830s, to illustrate his work.

rnrnBut the two features which at first glance most distinguishedrnthe Suffolk Punch from other British draught horses were its color - generally describedrnas chesnut (although it could vary from dun to sorrel), and the lack of the feathering which is so characteristic of the Clydesdale and Shire, on its heels. Robert Wallace,rnwriting in 1888, thought the Suffolk's body looked 'much too heavy' for its 'cleanrnand fine' legs.

rnrn(One interesting historical fact relating to the Suffolk Punchrnconcerns how its color is spelled. Correctly, and traditionally, it is spelled chesnut - with no t after the s - as this is how the word was always written prior torn1820 and therefore how it appears in original descriptions.)

rnrnToday the Suffolk Punch survives in only small numbers in variousrncountries throughout the world. The Rare Breeds Survival Trust lists the breed as critical in Britain.

rnrnContent and Photo Source: New Zealand Rare Breedsrn(www.rarebreeds.co.nz )

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Canadian Livestock Records Corporation - http://www.clrc.ca


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