Suffolk: Drive to improve Suffolk Punch appeal

Breeders of Suffolk’s native horse, the Suffolk Punch, are hoping to interest a new generation of people in the breed by introducing more horse and carriage events at shows.

The horse remains an endangered breed with only around 500 animals registered with the Suffolk Horse Society.

Past president of the society, Nigel Oakley, said: “The Suffolk Horse was bred specifically to pull the plough over heavy East Anglian soils and many of the public demonstrations we have traditionally done involve ploughing matches.

“But this is of less interest to younger people, so more recently we have featured carriage demonstrations where horses pull a wagon around an obstacle course. It’s fast and more exciting.”

Mr Oakley was speaking ahead of the society’s main fundraising event, the Suffolk Horse Spectacular and Country Fair, at the headquarters of the Animal Health Trust in Kentford near Newmarket on Sunday. Visit for information.