Iconic Suffolk Punch foal born - and you can name her

A Suffolk Punch filly foal was born at Dickleburgh on June 15

A Suffolk Punch filly foal was born at Dickleburgh on June 15 - Credit: Otter Trust

A new-born critically endangered Suffolk Punch foal will be on display at a free festival next month.

The newest of the iconic regional horse breed was born by artificial insemination on June 15 at Dickleburgh, South Norfolk, the Otter Trust announced. 

It will be in attendance at the Wild Waveney Festival which takes place at the Earsham Wetland Centre, on Old Harleston Road, on July 30.

The foal is currently unnamed and members of the public can choose its name, with current suggestions including Joy, Jubilee, June, Faith and Charity.

Trustee Ben Potterton said: "The birth of this filly foal is splendid news and we would like to thank our volunteers, staff, support organisations, veterinarians and farrier who help us maintain our herd of pedigree Suffolk Horses.

"The Otter Trust have a long history of supporting UK native livestock breeds and, through our Earsham Wetland Centre and Dickleburgh Moor Nature Reserve, we can support the regional breeds of East Anglia, including the Suffolk Horse, Red Poll Cattle, Norfolk Horn Sheep, Norfolk Black Turkey, Norfolk Grey Chicken, Norwich Cropper Pigeon, Ixworth Chicken and Silver Appleyard Duck.

"Using new technology we believe that the future of the Suffolk Horse can be secured.

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"Genetically selecting the best possible stallions and using artificial insemination and sexed semen, we are able to produce much needed filly foals, that we go on to become the breeding mares of the future.’

"Our Suffolk Punch Horses are an integral part of our heritage and instrumental in the management of water meadows along the Waveney Valley.

"These gentle giants distribute wildflower seed, create opening within the grassland and eat a wider range of plant species, including tree seedings and courser grasses.

"Visitors to the Wild Waveney Festival will be able to meet the horses and hear about the Otter Trusts conservation work along the river valley."

The foal was produce by artificial insemination of sexed semen, with the aim of creating genetically viable filly foals, and is one of the potential ways the breed can be saved from extinction.

The mare, Nedging Crystal, is owned by the Otter Trust and grazed at Dickleburgh Moor Nature Reserve and Earsham Wetland Centre, while the stallion - Gateridge Kelso - is from Closes Hall Farm in Bolton by Bowland, Lancashire and was selected as the best genetic match.