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Meet Harry - the Suffolk Punch foal named after newly married Prince

PUBLISHED: 17:37 21 May 2018 | UPDATED: 00:06 22 May 2018

Steve Swan with Easton Farm Park's newest arrival, the Suffolk Punch foal, and mum Lily                    Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Steve Swan with Easton Farm Park's newest arrival, the Suffolk Punch foal, and mum Lily Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Easton Farm Park is celebrating the arrival of a new Suffolk Punch foal - which has now been officially named Harry after the newlywed Prince.

Steve Swan with Easton Farm Park's newest arrival      Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSteve Swan with Easton Farm Park's newest arrival Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Punch mare Lily gave birth at 12.10am on Friday, just a day before the royal wedding.

The new arrival weighed in at around 14 stone.

The birth of a Suffolk Punch is especially important because the iconic breed is endangered, with warnings it could become extinct in under 10 years.

Before the birth, the proud mum was watched closely by livestock managers Steve and Yvonne Swan for 72 hours.

They got very little sleep and took it in turns to monitor her at night, to ensure someone was with her at all times.

The foal arrived well after his due date. Manager Jordan Bailey said: “The due date was April 30, so he was two-and-a-half weeks late and we were on tenterhooks.

Steve Swan with Easton Farm Park's newest arrival     Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSteve Swan with Easton Farm Park's newest arrival Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“Suffolks are quite known for going over 11 months – I don’t think we have ever had an early Suffolk Punch foal.”

Mr Bailey said that the new foal has now officially been named Harry. He added: “I think it was always likely to be Harry or Meghan after this weekend.”

This was Lily’s second foal. There are four mares at the farm park, so the new foal brings the number of Suffolk Punches at Easton up to five. The foal’s birth comes just weeks after a warning that the critically-endangered breed could become extinct by 2027. This means it is more at risk than the Giant Panda.

Easton Farm Park's newest arrival's could have a royal name     Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNEaston Farm Park's newest arrival's could have a royal name Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

With only 80 viable breeding females left in the UK, the Rare Breed Survival Trust (RBST) has placed the Suffolk horse as number three on its list of farm breeds most likely to die out.

Desperate measures are being taken to preserve its future, including collecting genetic samples from stallions worldwide.

Mr Bailey said: “We have a foal born at Easton every single year. It’s extremely important that we keep Suffolk Punches and show them here, and we can educate people about them. We don’t want to lose this iconic breed.

Easton Farm Park's new arrival getting used to his surroundings       Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNEaston Farm Park's new arrival getting used to his surroundings Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

“They are such gentle giants, and have such lovely natures. They are gracious creatures.”

He added that visitors could be inspired to help the breed by taking actions such as sponsoring horses or joining the Suffolk Horse Society.

Visitors to the park can see the new foal during opening hours, from 10.30am to 5.30pm daily.

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