The Suffolk Punch is one of Britain's oldest and most distinguished draft horse breeds. Historical records reveal that the Suffolk has been bred in the county of that name in eastern England since at least 1506. Like its other British draft horse cousins, it is descended from the "Great Horse" of the Middle Ages. All modern Suffolks, however, can be traced through the male line to a stallion foaled in 1760. The Suffolk, interestingly, is always chestnut in color with white markings. Another point of interest is the fact that it is the only native British draft breed without feather on the legs. While not a very tall draft horse, the Suffolk has great power and extremely flashy action.
The head of the Suffolk Punch is refined, with a broad forehead and widely-placed, expressive eyes. The neck is thick at the base and narrows considerably at the throat. This breed has a substantial chest and shoulder. The body is short and has well-sprung ribs yet a smooth appearance. The legs are clean. The feet have virtually no feather. The Suffolk Punch is noted for its brilliant trotting action. It stands on an average of 16 hands and weighs well over a ton, some times reaching 2400 pounds. It is always chestnut, although the shades may range from nearly brown to quite light. It possesses an excellent temperament.
The Suffolk is descended from the Great Horse of the Middle Ages. It was, and still is, bred in the English county of Suffolk which lies in eastern England.
William Camden's Britannia, published in 1586, asserts that the Suffolk Punch originated in 1506. The breed is called "Punch" due to its compact and powerful appearance.
1. Flanders Horse 2. Norfolk Trotter 3. Cob 4. Thoroughbred
For more information:
American Suffolk Horse Association
Listed as "Critical" by The American Livestock Breeds Conservancy (2004)
Aug 28, 2010