Suffolk punch foal 'vital' to breed's survival
The birth of a rare Suffolk punch foal is "vital to the long term survival" of the breed, a horse society said.
The Suffolk Punch Trust said it was "thrilled" to welcome filly Colony Fern into the world at its stud in Suffolk.
The Suffolk Horse Society said to have female born was "wonderful" and "even more beneficial" to the breed.
"We will have more breeding females that will help strengthen the population going forward," said Cara Lubbock, executive secretary of the society, which is the umbrella organisation for breeders, including the Suffolk Punch Trust.
The society said 22 foals had been born so far this year across the UK, 12 colts and 10 fillies.
It said it would need at least double that for the breed's survival status to no longer be "critical".
Suffolk punch horses were an essential part of agriculture for hundreds of years.
Tracey Pettitt, stud manager at Suffolk Punch Trust at Hollesley near Woodbridge, said a key to the breed's survival was promoting its "versatility", including using the horses for forestry work and riding them.