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Support Suffolk Punch centre plea is issued

12:09 29 April 2014

Alex Bailey, assistant head groom, with two of the Suffolk Punches at the Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.

Alex Bailey, assistant head groom, with two of the Suffolk Punches at the Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.

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Organisers of an attraction supporting one of the rarest animals, the iconic Suffolk Punch horse, are urging the public to get behind its work to ensure the breed survives.

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A Suffolk Punch being led out for exercise at the Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.A Suffolk Punch being led out for exercise at the Suffolk Punch Trust, Hollesley.

The Suffolk Punch Trust Visitor Centre and Stud Farm has reopened for the new season and is aiming to carry on the trend which has seen visitor numbers increase year-on-year over the past five years.

The trust exists to support the historic Hollesley Bay Colony Stud and continue its 250 successful years of breeding the critically-endangered heavy horse – and currently has 17 Suffolk Punches, including a champion stallion and brood mares.

Trust general manager Sue van der Meulen said to continue its growth it needs further investment of skills and funding.

She said: “In order to run the Stud Farm and continue our excellent breeding programme, we rely heavily on our skilled staff and volunteers as well as on income from visitors, friends and other voluntary donations.

“The reality is, however, that recent large increases in the basic costs of keeping the horses and running the farm are not covered by revenue from visitors, stud fees and farm sales.

“We need money, of course, but equally we need people with skills to help with fundraising and administration, with looking after the animals and with maintenance of the site.”

In addition to the horses, the trust also supports other Suffolk breeds such as the Large Black pig, Ixworth poultry, Suffolk sheep and Red Poll cattle.

For more information on how to help the trust, people should contact Sue van der Meulen, or chairman Philip Ryder-Davies, at The Suffolk Punch Trust, Woodbridge Walk, Hollesley, IP12 3JR; 01394 411327 or email info@suffolkpunchtrust.org

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