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Brighter news for the Suffolk Punch breed as filly foal nicknamed ‘Sunny’ is born

PUBLISHED: 11:50 22 June 2018 | UPDATED: 11:52 22 June 2018

Suffolk Punch filly foal, Kelsale June, with Jackey Phillips   Photo by: Foyers.Photography (www.foyers.photography)

Suffolk Punch filly foal, Kelsale June, with Jackey Phillips Photo by: Foyers.Photography (www.foyers.photography)

© Robert Foyers - All Rights Reserved

This new arrival has given another boost to the critically endangered Suffolk Punch.

Suffolk Punch filly foal, Kelsale June    Picture: Bob Foyers, Foyers PhotographySuffolk Punch filly foal, Kelsale June Picture: Bob Foyers, Foyers Photography

Just three months ago it was warned there could be less than 10 years to save the iconic breed, with only 80 viable breeding females left in the UK.

But Jackey and Trevor Phillips, of Saxmundham, are thrilled to announce the safe arrival of a Suffolk Punch filly foal.

There was heartache last year when the first foal to be bred by Jackey and Trevor under their Kelsale prefix died at just three weeks old.

Kelsale May had a heart problem which worsened as she grew, so this year they were anxious for a better outcome for the couple’s other Suffolk Punch mare Zeta.

This was Colony Zeta’s first foal, but she is said to have taken to motherhood perfectly.

Jackey said: “The birth itself was in the early hours of May 21, which also happens to be Trevor’s birthday.

“The lovely little filly has been named Kelsale June – after Trevor’s mother, not the month – and she was up and suckling very quickly, and has been growing fast ever since.

“She is a very forward little lady, friendly and confident, and nicknamed Sunny because she’s such a ray of sunshine!”

Her sire is the magnificent Shotleyfield Dazzling Duke who has been a dominant force in the stallion showing classes of late.

Trevor and Jackey have decided to keep June and hopefully breed from her in future – their hope is that their little herd of three mares can play some role in helping the Suffolk Horse stabilise in numbers.

The rare Suffolk Horse is registered as critical with the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, at number three on their danger list for 2018.

Since the advent of the tractor their primary role has been all but wiped out, with only a few dedicated supporters of the breed keeping the old traditions alive.

Recently, however, the Suffolk Punch has been finding a whole new group of admirers with the increase of ridden heavy horse showing classes.

The couple’s other mare Withersfield Daisy, who so sadly lost her foal last year is fit and well and currently at stud, and they are hopeful that she can get in foal for 2019 and have a bit more luck next time.

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