Saxon’s back to his Somerleyton roots
Welcome home Saxon! It's been a long time since we last saw you.
Saxon the Suffolk punch has returned home to his birth place on the Somerleyton Estate between Lowestoft and Great Yarmouth, after a 15-year absence.
Last seen at the estate as a two-year-old, Saxon is now at home at the estate's Fritton stables and will be reunited with his mother in the spring.
His return follows a bit of detective work by the RSPCA and a lift from the Redwings Horse Sanctuary, which has its headquarters at Hapton, near Norwich.
Saxon was recently signed over to the RSPCA after a struggling stud farm admitted they could no longer cope with the demands of keeping him – and his well-being was suffering as a result.
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Saxon's blood records were traced back to Somerleyton and the RSPCA contacted the estate to see if it could add another Suffolk Punch to its Fritton stables, which are open to the public.
The RSPCA then contacted Redwings to reunite Saxon with the estate as the charity regularly deals with the transit of large horses.
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Redwings staff made a 12-hour round trip to bring him back to where he grew up.
Julie Harding, Redwings welfare officer, who was joined on the journey by vet Roxane Kirton, said: 'We have vast experience in moving large equines over long distances.
'Thanks to our supporters, we have the capacity to provide dedicated transport when required and are prepared for any eventuality.
'Being such a large horse, we always take one of our vets along in case of any potential problems.
'These problems are very rare, however, and despite being a long journey, Saxon took it all in his stride.'
Somerleyton Estate manager Edward Knowles said that the estate had failed in efforts to acquire Saxon two years ago – and he was delighted to finally welcome him back.
Mr Knowles said: 'He's a big lad –magnificent. Horses have fantastic memories and, once he was off the Redwings' transport, he appeared relaxed and familiar with his new surroundings.
'Saxon will remain at our Fritton stables while he settles in.
'He will then be reunited with his mother at Somerleyton in the spring.'
The Suffolk punch is East Anglia's only indigenous breed of heavy horse and the breed dates back to at least 1768.
The number of Suffolk punch foals born in 2011 was 20pc lower than 2010 with 40 being born compared to 50 the year before.
As reported in yesterday's EDP Redwings is opening a sanctuary in Aylsham.