WISBECH: Young James wins top honours for handling Suffolk Punch

THOUSANDS turned out to see over 50 Suffolk Punches last Sunday and saw 14 year-old James Crockford , 14, of Wisbech take first prize in the Young Handler s competition. The annual Suffolk Spectacular was organised by the Suffolk Horse Society. Presiden

THOUSANDS turned out to see over 50 Suffolk Punches last Sunday and saw 14 year-old James Crockford , 14, of Wisbech take first prize in the Young Handler's competition.

The annual Suffolk Spectacular was organised by the Suffolk Horse Society. President of the Society, Martin Goymour, said "The Suffolk Punch is the oldest breed of heavy horse in the British Isles and the Spectacular is the opportunity for owners, grooms and supporters to get together to show off their horses at the largest gathering of these marvellous animals".

"The fact that so many have come despite the storms shows that the people of East Anglia are proud of their heritage and want to support and save the breed."

Euston Park, near Bury St Edmunds provided a beautiful setting for the day. The crowd saw these proud horses ploughing, pulling drays in full harness and taking part in the 'balance the beam' competition. There were also competitions encouraging young people to learn the skills needed to continue the work of the Society in the future including young handler, young braider and new judges.

James was showing his Aunt's mare, Fenland Gem, in the ring and had to demonstrate that he could make her stand still, and control her both walking and trotting.

Martin Goymour was full of praise for James. "In order for the Suffolk Punch to survive we have to make sure we transfer our knowledge to young people. Not only is James a very good handler, he presents both the horse and himself well and is very enthusiastic."

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This will be good news for the second time this year for James's aunt, Norma Bradley - some months ago Fenland Gem delivered a filly foal, Fenland Pearl....on Norma's birthday!

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