In the 1600s, after swamps in southeastern England were drained, residents needed a horse to work the land, which they found was ideal for growing crops. They wanted a strong breed and an easy keeper with a kind, calm temperament. No is quite sure which breeds of horses were used when breeding, though some believe that the Belgian draft and the Norfolk Cob, Roadster, or Trotter could have been used.
|Suffolk Punches always come in chestnut, as pictured above.|
In 1768, a stallion the would have a big impact on the breed was born. He was a small chestnut that was never named, and was owned by a man named Thomas Crisp. All Suffolks can be traced back to Crisp's horses and share his chestnut coloring.
The Suffolk Punch was a very popular breed at one time, but after World War II, when machines replaced horses, the number of Suffolk Punches took a steep drop. Before long, the breed had become near extinction. When people realized just how threatened the breed was, they began to take action and started breeding more Suffolks. Even today, however, the number is still low.
Breed Description and Uses
Suffolk Punches stand an average of 16.1 to 17.1 hands high, and are stocky with a huge girth, short legs, and low-set shoulders, attributes that contribute to their ability to haul heavy loads. All Suffolk Punches are chestnut, though differnet shades can be found, ranging from a light chestnut to a dark chestnut.
Since they mature early, they can begin working by three years of age. Most often, they are used for pulling wagons at museums of by people who own small farms.