Meet Prince Philip - the Suffolk Punch foal

A Suffolk Punch foal has been born at The Suffolk Punch Trust and it's to be named Prince Philip Pi

Suffolk Punch foal Prince Philip and his mother - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

A newly-born Suffolk Punch foal has been named after the late Duke of Edinburgh, Prince Philip. 

Samford Prince Philip is the latest addition to the Samford Stud of Suffolk Punch. 

The colt foal was born on Saturday, April 17 at 9pm at the Suffolk Punch Trust, in Hollesley.

His birth was just six hours after the funeral of his royal namesake. 

A Suffolk Punch foal has been born at The Suffolk Punch Trust and it's to be named Prince Philip Pi

Prince Philip was born just hours after the funeral of the Queen's consort - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"It seemed appropriate that we should honour him in this way," said the foal's owner, George Paul. 

"We didn't know when he was going to be born but, when I discovered that he had been born just six hours after the funeral, at that point I had the idea of calling him Prince Philip."

Mr Paul asked the palace office if giving the horse the name of the late Duke of Edinburgh would be okay and they said it would be. 

Most Read

The foal and his mother will return home to Mr Paul's farm soon having stayed at the Suffolk Punch Trust, because of the facilities they can offer for expectant mares. 

Prince Philip is the fourth foal for his mother Samford Tourmaline (aka Tilly) while his father is Stockton Boxer, one of the stallions at the Suffolk Punch Trust's stud. 

Mr Paul is the latest member of his family to run the stud, which was started by his grandfather in 1936. 

He has been breeding Suffolks himself since 1967 and believes that, on average, he has bred one new foal each year since then. 

Every new Suffolk Punch foal birth is vital, as the breed remains one of the country's rarest horses. 

Tracey Pettitt with Tilly and foal Prince Philip. A Suffolk Punch foal has been born at The Suffolk

Tracey Pettitt from the Suffolk Punch Trust with Tilly and foal Prince Philip - Credit: CHARLOTTE BOND

"I think it is important if one can to keep these rare breeds going," said Mr Paul. 

"Once they are lost, they are lost forever.

"There was a moment when tractors took over the land that these lovely horses were sent to slaughter.

"It's not that Suffolks have no uses now, they do, but they are different. 

"People ride them and drive them in light carts." 

Earlier this year, the Rare Breeds Survival Trust issued its latest watchlist outlining UK species which are under threat of extinction. 

The Suffolk Punch remains critically endangered, with fewer than 500 horses left in the UK. 

Breeding Suffolk Punch horses remains key to their long-term survival. 

So far this year there have been 14 new Suffolk Punch foals - five fillies and nine colts. 

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter