Beautiful Casper is the fifth Suffolk Punch to join this Norfolk attraction
PUBLISHED: 09:57 18 April 2019 | UPDATED: 10:19 18 April 2019
He is one of the rarest pure breed of working horse in the United Kingdom, and he's found a new home in Norfolk.
Gressenhall Farm and Workhouse, north of Dereham, has bought Casper the Suffolk Punch for its stable, bringing the total number of the breed at the farm up to five.
Richard Dalton, farm manager, said he was delighted with the new addition.
Mr Dalton said: “We are fortunate to have a team of horses for visitors to see.
“I am hopeful for the future of the Suffolk horse and feel confident that both for now and in years to come, people will still be able to admire these magnificent horses working the land at Gressenhall.”
The number of Suffolk Punches, officially called Suffolk Horses, has declined dramatically from the heyday of the working horse and last year only 25 foals were registered with the Suffolk Horse Society.
The breed is on the Rare Breeds Survival Trust 'at risk' watch list, although there are a dedicated group of breeders nationwide working hard to preserve this important piece of heritage.
Three-year-old Casper was born and raised at Hollesley Bay on the Suffolk coast at the Colony stud. He was purchased for the farm through the financial support of the Friends of Gressenhall.
Casper joins Trojan, Bowler, Reggie and Jim who were all born between 2000 and 2006 and now well into their teenage years. By bringing this youthful blood onto the farm, Casper will ensure that the tradition of having working rare breed Suffolk horses at Gressenhall continues for many more years.
Visitors to the farm over Easter will be able to see Casper, and over the next year he will start being trained and eventually will be able to work alongside the other four horses, working the land using traditional farming methods and taking visitors on cart rides around the workhouse site.
Visitors to Gressenhall over Easter can enjoy family activities including 'Wild Play Days' running throughout the holidays, which include pond dipping hunting for mini-beasts, a nature trail and farm trail.
Visitors with a special interest in Suffolk Horses can get hands on and learn more about them by joining Richard Dalton on a 'Ploughing Experience Day' for £150.