Suffolk Horse Society
The range of memberships is growing all the time and I wanted to tell you about one which is very close to my heart: The Suffolk Horse Society.
Suffolk Horse Ancestry
The Suffolk horse is, according to the Suffolk Horse Society, the oldest breed of heavy horse in Britain to exist in its current state.
Amazingly, the Suffolk horse dates at least into the sixteenth century – but the horses alive today can trace their male lines back to a horse called Crisp’s Horse of Uffort – foaled in 1768!
The Suffolk Horse Society was founded just over 100 years later in 1877. Today, these wonderful horses are registered as Critically Endangered by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust. They are more endangered than the Giant Panda because under 500 pure bred Suffolk horses are now registered in the UK.
The Suffolk Horse Society raises funds to pay for breeding grants, showing grants – and for research into breeding techniques to stop the breed from dying out altogether.
The Suffolk Horse was bred to work in East Anglia and today the horse is used for agriculture, ploughing and hauling timber. The Suffolk is also shown-in-hand and they are driven in parades and promotions and competitions. They are being ridden in gymkhanas and agility as well!
Give someone a member to the Suffolk Horse Society and you can help keep this breed going! Memberships (and I quote)
• Pays Breeding Grants to Mare & Stallion Owners.
• Pays Travel Grants to owners to help promote the horse, enabling more people to see these wonderful animals.
• Organises Training days for Members and new owners to help pass on the skills required to manage and work these horses.
• Maintains a bank of frozen semen for future use by breeders worldwide.
• Funds veterinary and scientific work to assist in the breeding of Suffolk Horses.
You can also help by spreading the word.
You can join as a Friend or a Member. You'll receive a welcome pack on first signing-up and twice a year receive The Suffolk Horse Magazine which has colour photographs, event reports, articles and information about futureevents. At the end of the season, you can join other supporters at the Annual Awards Dinner. Members have voting rights at the Annual General Meeting and can take advantage of special visits that are arranged from time to time! You can also receive the Society badge, and Suffolk horse owners may be eligible for grants.
There are different types of memberships - and they've just introduced a Junior Membership (3 to 12 years old) and a Teen Membership (13 to 17 years old), perfect for young people who love horses!
There were 34 foals in 2019!!! (Please don't ask me to do the maths properly; I am trying to work out how much of a percentage increase that is over 500 and failing miserably.)
The Suffolk Horse Society have been part of an innovative new project and that's led to the first ever birth of a healthy filly foal from a sexed semen. Given that there are now less than 72 female Suffolk Punches of breeding age left in the UK every female born is vital to the survival of the wonderful Suffolk Horse.