How the Suffolk Horse Society is Protecting and Endangered Breed

Holbeache Suffolk horses

Last Updated on January 15, 2023

Hard as it may be to believe, a breed of Suffolk Horses are in fact more endangered than the Giant Panda. With fewer than 80 breeding mares and 23 Licenced Stallions in existence, the Suffolk Punch is at risk of becoming extinct. 

What is a Suffolk Punch Horse? 

The Suffolk Punch horse breed is the rarest and oldest surviving breed of heavy horse. With roots stretching back as far as 1768, the breed was traditionally used for agricultural work like ploughing and timber hauling. Whilst the breed is still more than up to these challenges in the 21st century, it has become more versatile in recent years. No stranger to dressage and gymkhana, the breed is often driven in parades and promotional events.

Currently there are fewer than 500 live Suffolks in the UK, but only 25-35 new foals are being registered each year in the stud book. Such low numbers have ultimately led to the Suffolk Horse becoming a Priority on the Rare Breeds Survival trust list. This status will remain until new foals are bred to ensure the long-term survival of the breed.  

Such concerning statistics are something that the Suffolk Horse Society is working hard to address. 

Suffolk Horse Spectacular -Marks Hall September 2018

What is the Suffolk Horse Society?

Established in 1877, the Suffolk Horse Society (SHS) has maintained the stud book and breed standard for Suffolk horse owners and breeders for almost 150 years. A highly active organisation, the SHS hosts a number of events, training days, and is the only charity that supports all UK Suffolk Horse Owners.  

How Can I Support the Suffolk Horse Society?

In addition to volunteering and spreading the news of the work that the SHS does, the SHS also offers membership subscriptions that provide discounted entry to events and affiliated attractions. To find out more about the SHS, simply head to With your help and support, it’s possible that we can ensure that this magnificent horse is here for future generations to enjoy.