Owner Jackey Phillips with foal Kelsale May and mare Withersfield Daisy.
A couple from Kelsale have welcomed their first Suffolk Punch foal with the hope they can help the breed's declining numbers.
Husband and wife Jackey and Trevor Phillips’ five-year-old Suffolk Punch mare, Withersfield Daisy, gave birth during the early hours of the morning on May 30.
The little filly, named Kelsale May, has given new hope for the breed, which is still classed as critically endangered.
Jackey, 50, who owns and runs Jackey L Jewellers in Saxmundham, said: “Daisy was our first Suffolk [Punch] and we had her since she was a foal, so it is lovely to see her have her own foal.”
Despite the smooth pregnancy, Jackey was concerned about how Daisy would react to the foal after a previous traumatic experience.
Foal Kelsale May with mum, five-year-old mare Withersfield Daisy
“I was a bit worried as Daisy was badly kicked by another horse when she was two-years-old and she often has proximity issues with other horses who get too close.
“I was concerned that she wouldn’t take to the foal and how she would react - but fortunately she has been an absolutely brilliant mum and the foal is healthy, friendly and very curious!”
After working with the breed previously, Jackey explains how her love for Suffolk horses started: “They are the nicest, most gentle and loving horses - once you have one, or work with one, you are hooked.
“It is lovely to be in a position where we can do something to keep the breed going. We plan on keeping Kelsale May as a brood mare to hopefully continue helping the breed.”
The sire of Kelsale May, 12-year-old stallion Besthorpe Achilles, is owned by the Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley near Woodbridge.
Emma Grace, Stud Groom at the Suffolk Punch Trust, said: “When we got the call we were all over the moon. It is fantastic news for the breed, and the filly can go into our breeding programme. Our stallion, Besthorpe Achilles, is one our best behaved horses, he has a lovely temperament which definitely transfers into his foals.”
The couple also have another Suffolk Punch mare, Colony Zeta, and an Irish Draft riding horse, Mr Darcy.
Jackey hopes that Colony Zeta will have a foal next year.
According to numbers from the Suffolk Horse Society, 22 foals have been born in 2017 so far, with around 350 Punches left in the UK.
Article Source: East Anglia Daily Times
Images courtesy East Anglia Daily Times/Bob Foyers Photography
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