The Suffolk Horse Society, founded in 1877, is the breed society for the Suffolk Horse, popularly known as the Suffolk Punch.
The Suffolk Punch is one of the four UK breeds of heavy horse (cart horse or draft horse) Suffolk, Percheron, Shire and Clydesdale. These horses were the most important and most flexible powerhouse for agriculture and transport. A whole way of life grew up around them with its own traditions, superstitions and above all, secrets.
The Suffolk Horse Society
- is a registered charity and registered company
- is the breed society for the Suffolk heavy horse and defines the breed standard
- maintains the pedigrees of the UK population (and also of the nucleus populations in Australia and New Zealand)
- publishes the stud book annually, registers animals into the stud book either by birth, by inspection or by a grading up scheme
- inspects and licenses stallions
- provides grants and premiums as a breeding incentive and all Suffolk horse owning Society members, from anywhere in the UK, are eligible to apply for those grants
- issues and registers prefixes/affixes for use by breeders
- promotes ownership of Suffolks by encouraging attendance at shows through offering turnout grants and awards and trophies
- appoints judges who have passed through its probationer scheme to the Suffolk horse judging panel
- provides practical training, open to all, in heavy horse skills
- is a passport issuing organisation recognised by DEFRA
The Suffolk Horse Society is a registered charity and is managed by a body of Trustees, known as the Council, elected from amongst the members at the Annual General Meeting.
The Suffolk Horse Society maintains and operates the Suffolk Stud-book in accordance not only with its own rules but also in accordance with European Commission Decision 96/78/EC laying down criteria for entry and registration of equidae in stud-books for breeding purposes.
EU and UK legislation requires every equine to have a passport, even if it never leaves the field.
Grants and premiums are payable only to fully paid-up members of the Suffolk Horse Society, are payable only in respect of UK registered Suffolk Horses and at the discretion of the Council of the Suffolk Horse Society.
The Suffolk Horse Society has benefitted from a national initiative by the Heritage Lottery Fund called “All Our Stories” to promote interest by a wide range of people in their local heritage. The scheme was launched earlier this year in support of BBC Two’s programme The Great British Story so that community groups can explore and celebrate their local heritage.