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A Suffolk Punch makes history as the first to be placed in a show jumping competition

PUBLISHED: 19:10 04 May 2017

Trinity Arabella at the Woodbridge show on May 1, ridden by Ms Debbie Cox.

Trinity Arabella at the Woodbridge show on May 1, ridden by Ms Debbie Cox.

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A Suffolk Punch is believed to made history as the first ever of its breed to be placed in show jumping and dressage classes at the Woodbrige Horse Show.

Trinity Arabella at the Woodbridge show on May 1, ridden by Ms Debbie Cox.Trinity Arabella at the Woodbridge show on May 1, ridden by Ms Debbie Cox.

Trinity Arabella, a seven year old pure bred Suffolk Punch mare came third in the 2ft 3inch Unaffiliated Jumping class during the Woodbridge Horse Show on May 1.

Trained and ridden by Ms Debbie Cox and Ms Harriet Aitchison the mare also placed seventh in the Prelim 13 unaffiliated dressage classes and third in the Ridden Suffolk.

Proud owner, Caroline Aitchison, said: “It is an amazing achievement and I am delighted. Trinity Arabella had only competed in jumping once before and, against lighter horses, she was amazing.

“She is not your average Suffolk Punch, she is full of character and took it all in her stride that day. When she cleared the course, there was a huge round of applause from the spectators.

Trinity Arabella at the Woodbridge show on May 1, ridden by Ms Debbie Cox.Trinity Arabella at the Woodbridge show on May 1, ridden by Ms Debbie Cox.

“I hope this will make people realise that the breed it not just a heavy horse, but an all rounder as well. Next for us is to see her compete in cross country, that is the ultimate goal.”

Bred by Mr Mark Donsworth, Vice Chairman of the Suffolk Horse Society, Trinity Arabella’s previous achievements include sixth at Newton Hall (indoor eventing) and second at British Dressage Suffolk Quadrille Team.

This versatile and docile breed which is an icon to Suffolk and most known as a farming animal rather than show jumping is sadly now on the verge of extinction.

Mark Donsworth, Vice-Chairman of the Suffolk Horse Society, said: “Trinity Arabella is set to become the poster-mare for The Suffolk Horse Society as we continue to strive to find alternative uses for heavy horses.

“Having been confined to showing in-hand for many years, it is fantastic to see an example of the breed show such skill and tenacity in other disciplines.

“In recent years Heavy Horse Ridden classes have grown in popularity with some exceptional examples at shows throughout the country.

“We are looking forward to seeing Trinity Arabella compete at Horse of the Year Show.

“We hope to continue to promote the Suffolk Punch as an option for competition horses and intend to breed more horses for alternative uses.

“She has also shown her prowess on the hunting field and has proven that these animals have much more to them than meets the eye.”

As the oldest breed of heavy horse in Great Britain, the Suffolk Punch dates back to the sixteenth century.

All animals alive today can trace their male lines back to just one stallion, Crisp’s Horse of Ufford, who was foaled in 1768.

The critical situation of the Suffolk’s survival is recognised by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, who have placed the Suffolk Punch on their Critical Watch List.

A woman in her 30s was rushed to hospital after two men dressed in black hoodies threw a mystery liquid into her face during a “random” attack.

The family of Corrie McKeague will today be out on the streets of Bury St Edmunds talking to members of the public to mark the year anniversary of his disappearance.

A teenager who had to be freed from the wreckage of a car by firefighters following a crash in Essex today is fighting for his life in hospital.

As the deadline for Stars of Suffolk nominations approaches, organiser Mick Parker is looking ahead to the “emotional and wonderful” annual ceremony that brings together the county’s unsung heroes for one night of celebration.

An 18-year-old woman who went missing from her home in Essex has been found safe.

The BurySOUND music competition is looking for up and coming bands to sign up for next year’s event - as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Last week I wrote about samphire on Suffolk’s only island, Havergate. It got me thinking about the abundance of free foods that can be foraged, particularly at this time of year, writes Sheena Grant.

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