Suffolk Punch horse born at Woodbridge Farm

4:11 pm 12 April 2022

The Suffolk Punch Trust near Woodbridge celebrates after welcoming the arrival of its first foal this year.

The newborn, called Illustrious, was born last Monday to mare Dorothy at the Trust’s stud farm in Hollesley.

Illustrious, who got his name from the chairman of the trust, is fit and healthy and made his first outing to the stable on Monday.

The Suffolk Punch Trust is working to preserve the critically endangered breed, which has become a Suffolk County icon.

Dorothy gave birth to her first foal at the Suffolk Punch Trust near Woodbridge
– Credit: Tracey Pettitt

Suffolk Punches remain one of Britain’s most endangered native horse species, according to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust’s watchlist.

Speaking about the trust’s new arrival, visitor center manager Sonja Moon said: “It’s fantastic for us because they are critically endangered species.

“Every foal counts and this is our first foal of the season which is always very exciting.

“The first day members of the public got to see it was yesterday when it came out.

“They all loved her. We get a lot of emails asking when the foals are coming and a lot of people are adopting the horses and Dorothy is one of the favorites here, and people are very excited.”

Ms Moon is expecting a busy season this year as two more trust mares are expecting foals, with the center also looking after visiting animals.

She added: “We still have two of our own mares who are pregnant so we will have those foaling in the next few months but we also have a lot of mares visiting here who have come here to be foaled so it will be very busy here once they’ve all given birth.”

The trust also recently purchased new equipment worth £20,000 which will hopefully help secure the future of the endangered Suffolk Punch.

Specialist equipment will be used to help secure the future of Suffolk Punch

Specialist equipment will be used to help secure the future of Suffolk Punch
– Credit: Charlotte Bond

New scientific equipment will help veterinarians examine semen quality and store it properly to ensure it can play a role in the breeding program

Other specialized equipment can be ridden by horses to aid in sample collection.

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