Very Special Hurst Residents
If you have walked down the footpath on the way to Lavells Lake recently, you may have seen a group of very special horses. Hurst resident Danny Wall is grazing his beautiful draft horses there and both breeds are considered traditional native ‘core’ breeds of horses, and they are a treat to see.
The 2 chesnuts are Suffolk Punch horses which can be traced back to 1768 and are on the critically endangered list. There are less than 500 pure bred Suffolks registered in the UK. More endangered than the Great Panda. Her Majesty The Queen keeps Suffolks.
Suffolks were traditionally employed in agricultural work, ploughing, haymaking, and timber hauling especially in conservation areas.
Danny’s black Shire horses, a breed of draught horse, also at risk according to the Rare Breeds Survival Trust, are one of the tallest breeds in the world. Used over time for towing barges, farm work, cart horses and in Dannys horses’ case, brewer’s drays for the delivery of beer. They have distinctive feathered feet, but it is the size of Danny’s horses which is so impressive. One stands at 19 hands 2- a huge horse. Definitely do not get your feet under theirs- their feet are 8 inches across.
Danny’s horses move around different areas of grazing in Hurst, and seeing them is really special. But please do not feed them anything as Danny takes very good care over their diet, and giving them random tit bits is not good for them!