The Suffolk Punch is among the noblest of our British breeds of horse and yet it has come perilously close to extinction. Characterised as containing all the physical attributes essential to a good working horse – Style, Symmetry and Strength – its good nature and placid temperament allowed one observer, writing in the 1860s, to record a scene then common in our country lanes of ‘a great Suffolk cart-horse as big as an elephant, conducted by a tiny thing of a boy who can scarcely reach the horse’s nose to take told of the rein’.
That such a magnificent beast can disappear entirely from our world is unthinkable and this book provides a historical overview along with a current status of the Suffolk Punch.
The Suffolk Punch Trust was set up in 2002 to take the Colony Stud at HM Hollesley Prison into private charitable ownership. It is the country’s oldest existing stud and the stamp of horse there is of very high quality. The Trust’s primary aims are to expand the Suffolk Punch breed, make the horses more accessible to the general public, to continue the therapeutic, rehabilitation and training programmes for prison inmates, and to undertake conservation and heritage education.
It is almost a hundred years since the last comprehensive history of the Suffolk Punch was written. The principal aim of this book is to provide an up to date illustrated stuffy of these handsome animals and to bring to the attention of the wider public and appreciation of the breed, its historic important as a working horse, and the current work being done to ensure its survival.