Suffolk Punch - The "Chesnut"- colored Giant


The Suffolk Punch is one of the four recognized draft horse breeds in the UK and counts to the rare breeds nowadays. The breed dates back into the 16th century and origins in Suffolk, England where it was intended for farm use.

Suffolk Punch head

Punch means sturdy, strong appearance. Fur color is always chestnut with sometimes white markings on face and lower legs, which are allowed. It is generally a willing, hard working, easy to handle heavy horse with energetic gaits and a strong, arching neck; very muscular, sloping shoulders; a short, wide back; and a muscular, broad croup. The legs are short and strong, with broad joints; sound, well-formed hooves; and little or no feathering on the fetlocks. The movement is energetic, especially at the trot. The breed tends to mature early, be long-lived, and is economical to keep needing less feed than other horses of similar type and size.


Photo: Martin Pettitt

In the early 20th century hoof size that was always thought to be too small in relation to the body, was being improved through selection and breeding aimed to a larger, but strong hoof.


Suffolk Punch

In the past this horse was mainly used for draft work in agriculture, and was also often used to pull heavy artillery during wars. They were also used to pull commercial vehicles and vans and today they are used in forestry for commercial logging operations, for other draft work, show ploughing and pulling competitions and in advertising. Crossbreeding with them produces modern sport horses that perform well in today’s demanding show jumping and dressage sport and as hunter horses.


Photo: Amanda Slater

There is a very interesting man, Lee, the Horselogger,who is travelling with his Suffolk Punch horses and a Pyrenee dog in a “Gypsy”- wagon through the USA. His website is worth to check out, there are a lot of stories and pictures gathered together.


More Heavy Horse Breeds







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