Today’s best-known breeds of draft horses are said to date back to the great war horses of Medieval times. But while these great titans clashed in mortal combat, the quiet farmers of eastern England went about developing their own breed of heavy horse, the Suffolk Punch. This one breed is today the least known to Americans, and yet perhaps has more qualities appealing to the American breeder and draft horse employer than any of the better-known breeds of draft horses.
The homeland of the Suffolk horses is Norfolk and Suffolk counties.
It is bordered on the north, east and south by the North Sea and on the west by the Fens. Isolated from their neighbors, the farmers of Suffolk independently developed breeds of livestock to fit their special way of life. To plow the heavy clay soil they needed an agricultural horse with power, but also stamina, health, longevity, and docility. So these fine husbandmen produced the Suffolk horse and bred him for the attributes that fulfilled their needs.
The Suffolk farmer used his horses to till and harvest his own land, so seldom did he have horses to sell. This not only kept the Suffolk relatively unknown but also pure, remaining unchanged and true to his original purpose: to be a strong and faithful worker for his master. Of all the draft breeds, the Suffolk is one of the oldest in existence with records dating back to 1880. Crisp’s Horse of Ufford, the foundation stallion of the breed was foaled in 1768.
This information is from the American Suffolk Horse Association website.