The Suffolk Horse, also historically known as the Suffolk Punch or Suffolk Sorrel, is an English breed of draught horse. The breed takes the first part of its name from the county of Suffolk in East Anglia, and the name "Punch" from its solid appearance and strength. It is a heavy draught horse which is always chestnut in colour, traditionally spelled "chesnut" by the breed registries. Suffolk Punches are known as good doers, and tend to have energetic gaits. The breed was developed in the early 16th century, and remains similar in phenotype to its founding stock. The Suffolk Punch was developed for farm work, and gained popularity during the early 20th century. However, as agriculture became increasingly mechanised, the breed fell out of favour, particularly from the middle part of the century, and almost disappeared completely. Although the breed's status is listed as critical by the UK Rare Breeds Survival Trust and the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy, a resurgence in interest has occurred, and population numbers are increasing. The breed pulled artillery and non-motorised commercial vans and buses, as well as being used for farm work. It was also exported to other countries to upgrade local equine stock. Today, they are used for draught work, forestry and advertising.
Also known as
This breed is also called Suffolk, Suffolk Horse, Suffolk Punch as well as Suffolk Sorrel.
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