First-time Suffolk Punch mum gives birth
A Suffolk Punch mare has given birth to her first foal, the sixth of the endangered native breed to be born this year.
Horkesley Park Peggy gave birth on April 1 to a filly, Laburnum Amy, at Laburnum Farm in Bromewswell.
The birth was also a first for Peggy and Amy’s owner Danielle Lawrence who was more used to rearing light horses.
It was through her work with another well-known Suffolk Punch family, The Flemings, that Miss Lawrence got to know the breed and fell in love with them.
“I went to help them out,” said Miss Lawrence.
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“I already loved the breed but had never been involved with them.”
From there Miss Lawrence was offered Peggy to look after with the view to breed her in the future. It wasn’t without its difficulties.
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“She eventually took last year,” said Miss Lawrence.
“I was excited and even more so that the foal was a filly.”
Fortunately, the pregnancy was without problems and Amy arrived safely and is now making good progress.
“Amy has been out in the field every day now for a few days,” said Miss Lawrence.
Miss Lawrence had been hopeful that she would be able to show off her new arrival at a show this year.
Unfortunately, nearly all the opportunities to show off Amy, including the Suffolk Show, have now been cancelled by the coronavirus.
“We are still hoping to get to the foal show in September,” said Miss Lawrence.
Every Suffolk Punch foal birth is considered important to the survival of the breed .
Suffolk Punch numbers have declined since the First World War as the need of heavy horses lessened following mechanisation.
Last year there were 34 Suffolk punch foals born across the world and hopes are high that a similar amount of foals will be born this year.
So far six foals have been born worldwide with Big Stig, from Rede Hall Farm, near Bury St Edmunds, the first arrival of the year.
For Miss Lawrence it’s the behaviour of the breed that makes it such an attractive horse to look after and breed.
“They are fascinating and gorgeous,” said Miss Lawrence.
“My Suffolk is like a big bear. “She is soft as anything and I have the kids out in the field with her.
“A gentle giant.”