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Primary school pupils adopt Suffolk Punch horse

PUBLISHED: 08:00 19 September 2018

Children at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Children at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Archant

It’s not a decision you make on the hoof - but these children seem pretty pleased with their school’s choice to adopt a magificent Suffolk Punch horse.

Children at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Emerald the filly will be a part of Birchwood Primary School after the school council agreed that it should lend its support to the endangered breed and become corporate members of the Suffolk Horse Society.

The species is native to the Suffolk area and has been bred here for more than 200 years.

Teacher Sarah Wainer said: “We try and support a different charity each term and last term we wanted to support the World Wildlife Foundation, who help endangered species.

“But someone reminded us that actually the Suffolk Punch is an endangered species and that the children should be made aware of that.

Children at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“I think it has really connected with them, that actually here in their own county a species could be going extinct.”

It was this that pushed the school council to contact George Paul, who owns and stables the horse breed in his Wherstead farm.

Birchwood Primary already had close ties with Mr Paul and his filly Tilly, a popular horse with the school’s students who have visited her on their annual trips to the Suffolk Trinity show.

Thanks to their close relationship with George, the school was able to adopt Tilly’s daughter Emerald, now an 18-month-old foal.

Children at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Mr Paul said: “I am so delighted that the children at Birchwood Primary School have adopted Emerald and taken her into their hearts.

“They are taking a keen interest in the Suffolk breed and have done their homework well. When they come to see Emerald, I am bombarded with intelligent questions which is lovely.”

Whilst Emerald will spend most of her time in Mr Paul’s stables, Birchwood’s headteacher Steve Cloke still believes she will be an important part of his students’ education.

He said: “We are incredibly proud to have adopted Emerald.

Children at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNChildren at Birchwood Primary School were thrilled when Samford Emerald, their adopted Suffolk Punch came to visit Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“The best way to educate the children about our Suffolk heritage is to get them to fall in love with the breed - that part was easy.

“Now, the children are working on educating the wider community about the importance of this breed and what we can do to help.”

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