As rare as pandas

These are my new favourite animals! One ton of Suffolk Punch horse, a breed with a smaller number of individuals in the United Kingdom* than there are Giant Pandas in the world and on the critically endangered list. The beauty in the foreground is called Star and his chestnut friend is William. ( I didn’t ask the young man’s name.) They are part of a group of 15 kept as working horses on a farm in Essex-at Nayland-and who were being exhibited in Cambridge on Saturday.

The breed has a very long and interesting history and I would weep to see it become extinct. I completely understand the need for modern agriculture to be efficient, but I can’t help wondering with the price of fuel doing what it is doing that more people might return to using horses for power again in the future. If they do, these magnificent creatures should be right at the top of the list.

*There are Suffolk Punches in the USA, but the bloodline is not pure-so said the farmer who owns these.

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