Talk:Suffolk Punch

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November 8, 2008 Good article nominee Listed
January 14, 2009 Peer review Reviewed
January 31, 2009 Featured article candidate Promoted
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they seldom had any to sell...[edit]

I'm not sure about that; my great uncle was a well known breeder between around 1920 and the commercial end around 1940ish? and somewhere we still have all the breed society yearbooks from this period. I'll look into this. Tom 21:35, 28 October 2007 (UTC)

Upgrade on article[edit]

Article "feels" a bit too short and of too few sources to go GA yet, particularly compared to our other examples. I'd look to ways to expand it a little bit. The breed registries may be of use. Montanabw(talk) 00:50, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Allright, I'll take a look at some more online sources (including the breed registries) tomorrow and see if I can find some new information to add. I've tapped out all of my book sources and those from my local library, so if you have anything more in your (much more extensive) personal library of horse books, feel free to add. Honestly, a lot of what I'm finding is just repeats of this information...there doesn't seem to be a lot out there on this breed. But, as I said, I will look tomorrow and see if I can't find a gem someplace. Dana boomer (talk) 01:20, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I found and added some more info (as well as correcting an oops I had made, saying the wrong breed registry shut down for 15 years!). Do you still think it's too short? I'm starting to run out of tidbits to add into the article... It's really not that much shorter than the Haflinger (horse) article... Dana boomer (talk) 18:36, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
I'll look it over. Maybe Richard has some UK tidbits to add also. I don't think I have much on this breed other than my general encyclopedia of the horse books, myself, most of my material is on light breeds. Montanabw(talk) 22:41, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
These may be sources that only repeat what you have, but check out and Both have sections with some details that may be useful.
I also did a search in Flickr for more images, finding those that are cc-licensed and can be uploaded into wikimedia commons, That search is at this link. I'll try to upload a few of the ones that appear to be specifically of Suffolk Punches -- there are actually several great photos there! Montanabw(talk) 23:14, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
One more thought: As I did a little bit of wordsmithing, i thought, "how did they first get to America, seeing as how there are so many of them here?" If you can find anything on that, it would be a good addition to the article. I also wonder if the government of the UK still allows any to be exported or if they are somehow protected. Hope the new photos worked, feel free to trot over to commons and swap them for others if you like. Montanabw(talk) 00:18, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Things are looking good, and I love the new photos. Very nice work, especially the lead one. I'll do some more work on the article, probably tomorrow afternoon/evening, and try to get some more information on the transfer from Britain to the US in. Thanks for the websites with the new information, I'll look at those first. Dana boomer (talk) 02:32, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

British English?[edit]

Is this article a case for translation? It's about a breed with very strong ties to England, and to my (British) eye it looks very odd to have an article about a native British horse written with "draft", "easy keeper" etc. No ax(e) to grind – generally I'd be perfectly happy to stick with whichever version is established – and I'd expect an article on, say, Quarter Horse to be in American. See WP:ENGVAR for WP guidance. I'd be happy to do the hono(u)rs if others agree. Richard New Forest (talk) 22:11, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

That's Dana's call as far as I am concerned. No biggie to me either way. You do have a point. By the way, do you have any material you can add? Montanabw(talk) 22:31, 10 October 2008 (UTC)
It's fine with me if you want to change it. No-one else really seemed to care about this article when I was re-writing it, so I wrote it in the English which is the most comfortable to me, which happens to be American English. To be honest, I'm Americanized enough that I could't see what spellings should be British if you had a gun to my head, so if you want to change it to British spelling go ahead, but be warned that, although I won't change it back, I won't be of any help getting it that way! You probably are right, though, that a breed that is as British as this one should probably be in the British spelling. Dana boomer (talk) 02:30, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
OK, will do – I'll check a couple of books too and see if I can find anything which (that...) ought to go in. Richard New Forest (talk) 18:53, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, yeah, definitely British English I'd say. It's a pain for us Yank editors, but it really is best. (I have to do it all the time with bishops... I'm almost to the point I type "favour" instead of "favor" now...) Ealdgyth - Talk 01:18, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Adding images[edit]

Found a Flickr tool that allowed me to upload a bunch of stuff from Flickr to Commons. You may see some things you want to use that are better than the image that's there so far. See for the latest. (Still adding as I write this). Montanabw(talk) 23:37, 10 October 2008 (UTC)

Use in drays etc[edit]

Thought people might like to see the quote from the ref I have (Hall & Clutton-Brock, p 233):

The Suffolk was also firmly associated with large arable farms on relatively light land, and with being kept in horse yards rather than stables.

In the boom years for heavy horses, before 1914, about a third of all the Suffolks registered were exported, and like the other heavy horses, a great many were sold for town use. Suffolks tended to be used as "vanners", harnessed singly or in pairs for haulage of light goods. The Shire was more favoured as a dray horse and this is why the brewery turn-outs today are almost exclusively Shires.

Incidentally, nowadays they can run pretty big – the first horses I ever had a go driving were a pair of Suffolk geldings, one of which is 18 hh. Wouldn't have described them as having an "energetic" gait, though they did cover the ground. That particular pair have apparently been used for an omnibus which weighs 3.5 t all up, so when we drove them in a wagonette with 8 passengers they didn't appear to notice the weight at all. It was a bit of a pub crawl, actually, but to avoid drinking and driving we got my then 12-year-old daughter to drive home... Richard New Forest (talk) 22:02, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

LOL! A pub crawl with horses! You therefore will appreciate this:Designated driver
But seriously, if you can see a way to work a little of that in, particularly the bit on exports, I like the info. So they were developed to plow light soil fast, not heavy clay soils?? Oh, and maybe explain the difference between a vanner and a dray... that is something I don't know a lot about, anyway. And as for speed, not sure what the USA "models" are like, but certainly the US sources describe them as smaller and energetic, sort of like bulky chestnut Percherons or something. Could this be because even more recent sources are still quoting Marguerite Henry, who wrote about them in the 1970s, or because we are putting a different breeding focus on them here? And is this an issue for the article itself, I wonder? (Full disclosure, I have never actually seen one of these, just the usual Belgians, Shires and Clydesdales, etc.) Montanabw(talk) 22:48, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

GA pre-review[edit]

OK, most of my initial concerns have been addressed. So what else do we need before going to the GA gauntlet? My thoughts:

  • Fix Richard's ref to Hall so it's consistent with the other refs.
  • Review lead to be sure everything there is referenced elsewhere in the article, etc.
  • Wee bit of expansion on when Suffolks came to USA and when USA Suffolk society formed, seeing as how we mention when it temporarily went defunct
  • If the UK Suffolk breed registry is the oldest English breed society, (thus impliedly predating the Jockey Club??) when did it form? (Not clear from text, which mentions Britannica and individual horses only) Richard, can you help us with that one??
  • Why was the bit on "heavy clay soils" tossed, given that it was referenced? (Richard, was Dana's source wrong on this? Certainly possible, but...)

I may think of more later. That's all for now. Montanabw(talk) 22:40, 11 October 2008 (UTC)

I have some tidbits in one of my books on historic and endangered livestock breeds, that I'll try to add in tomorrow. My eyes are shot from a day of wikignome work on bishops. Ealdgyth - Talk 22:46, 11 October 2008 (UTC)
Oh, and technically, the British Jockey Club isn't a breed registry. Weatherford's owns the General Stud Book, (dating to 1790s) and I think the JC is around then, but I'm not sure that strictly speaking, either of those entities is a "breed registry"... Ealdgyth - Talk 01:08, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Allright, I think I've done everything Montana mentioned. The new ref is fixed, and the lead should be good. I've done some expansion on breed registries and distribution dates in the history section, see if this works for you. If my source was wrong on the heavy clay soils part then I have no problem with this info being tossed...thank you for the correction, Richard. I still need to work my way through the two websites that you linked to above, Montana, and I probably won't get to that until tomorrow evening. Thank you all for all of your help, and if anyone has more sources/information for this article, please feel free to toss it in. Dana boomer (talk) 01:15, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Suggestions from Ealdgyth[edit]

  • Suggest sourcing the colors allowed to the Society itself. (I've back up the spelling with a book cite)
  • Dohner has a section that says "In days past, breeders tested the heart and strength of the Suffolk by hitching the horse to a tree trunk or another nearly immovable object. The good horse wanted to work and gave the pull its all. The winner of the contest was determined by the number of times the horse or horses made a hard fought attempt, sometimes getting down on their knees." (Dohner, p. 350)
  • Dohner suggests the height ranges as mares 16.1 or 16.2, stalions up to a whole hand taller. (p. 350)
  • Dohner suggests that at one point, the feet were considered too small and so the shows started offering classes and prizes for the "best feet" (p. 350)
  • I threw in the date of first imports to Canada, might look up if they have their own Stud Book and registry?
  • Dohner says that in the 1970s and early 1980s some outcrossing in the American registry took place to Belgians, but only the fillies of the crosses were allowed to be registered. (p. 351-352)
  • Dohner also says that as of its writing the British Society did not accept North American bloodlines. (p. 352) Also that it's the rarest horse breed in England at that time. (p. 352).

I think I'm done at this point. Ealdgyth - Talk 19:21, 12 October 2008 (UTC)


Putting this here in case it wants to be integrated into the body...

The Suffolk Punch bears a strong resemblance to the old Jutland horse, and may owe that to the Viking horses brought over in the early Middle Ages, when parts of England were settled by Danish settlers, whose horses may have contributed to the native horses. Other influences may have been Dutch and Flemish horses brought over by contractors working on dykes and land reclamation in the 16th and 17th centuries in Broadland district.<ref name=HistoricBreeds>Dohner ''Encyclopedia of Historic and Endangered Livestock and Poultry Breeds'' p. 349-352</ref>

Some more from this work will be worked in. Ealdgyth - Talk 18:55, 12 October 2008 (UTC)

Push to FA?[edit]

Per a comment from Ealdgyth on my talk page, I think it would be awesome if we could start a push to get this article to FA. I'm starting this section for people to list anything that they think needs to be worked on or added before we nominate the article. Thoughts? Dana boomer (talk) 18:45, 6 January 2009 (UTC)

EquiWorld ref is the only one I can see being an issue at FAC. Because of my work with the project, etc I'd be recusing from evaluating sources, so someone else would be doing my job. I'd guess this one would bring up queries, so best to try and replace it. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:28, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Explain why Equiworld is a poor source. The Hendricks book might be a hardcopy book, but it often sucks! LOL! Equiworld at least comes out of the UK. Bad source, correct info versus "good" source that is badly-written and often of dubious accuracy? LOL Montanabw(talk) 02:07, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Another concern will be overlinking. Farm, artillery, van, onmibus, feed, hooves, power, stamina, longevity, health, forestry, advertising - some of these probably don't need to be linked. Ealdgyth - Talk 20:30, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Hooves and "feed" to Equine Nutrition should stay.
Photos look good to me, but might ask User:Awadewit as a double check. Peer Review probably wouldn't be a bad idea, as well as dropping a note on the Agriculture WikiProject, the one for Suffolk, and on Richard New Forest's page. And can we get the ugly "Stds" out of the horse breed infobox? Maybe change to "Breed Standards" or something? Ealdgyth - Talk 20:34, 6 January 2009 (UTC)
Std's changed to Breed Standards. This had to be changed on the template itself, but IMO it was a change that needed to be made... Removed several links; please check to see if you think it's enough. I'll put the article up for PR tonight, and then finish up with replacing the refs and dropping notes for the various users/projects tomorrow. Dana boomer (talk) 03:57, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I've initiated the PR, and dropped notes on Awadewit's page, Richard New Forest's page, the Ag WP's talk page and the talk page for Suffolk. I've also removed all of the Equiworld refs and either recited the info to other sources or removed the info. Anything else? Dana boomer (talk) 18:01, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
Looks good to me. Now for fifty million people to find new things we can discuss about them... (laughs). A good copyedit is probably what is needed, as well as more eyes on it to see things we missed. And let me praise you for changing the breed infobox, that 'stds' had bugged me for a while... Ealdgyth - Talk 18:07, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I've added a little bit I thought was missing and tweaked the images. Steven Walling (talk) 21:14, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
I looked over your tweaks and additions and everything looks great. Thanks for the help! Dana boomer (talk) 22:07, 7 January 2009 (UTC)
My only concern is the change in the list of color variants. I suggest finding what the registry itself says and citing to the "official" rules on this. Montanabw(talk) 02:07, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
I've checked both registries (UK and US). Neither has a list. The UK registry has a list of studs with various chestnut colors listed, but no official list. Dana boomer (talk) 02:23, 8 January 2009 (UTC)
Hm. guess we are stuck with the other sources then. Wonder why the two different versions -- do the various listings agree with Hendricks more or with Equiworld? Montanabw(talk) 05:17, 9 January 2009 (UTC)

(outdent)OK, so:

  • The Equiworld version was "seven distinct variations: dark approaching brown-black, liver colour or mahogany chesnut, dull dark chesnut, light mealy chesnut, red, golden, lemon, and bright chesnut." (which is actually eight, now that I count it)
  • The Hendricks version is "seven distinct variations: dull-dark, dark, light, yellow, golden, bright and red."
  • The Society (UK) lists stallions in: dark, dark liver, dull dark, light mealy, red, bright, and just plain "chesnut"; see here for details.
  • The Association (US) just says "many shades ranging from light to red to dark."; see here.

So that's what you get to choose from. Let me know what you think we should include. Dana boomer (talk) 02:28, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

My thinking is first to use the "google rule" of which version is most common. However, if that doesn't help (and here it doesn't seem to), Then I'd use the USA association description, as it is the broadest and has the additional cachet of being a more "official" one. And find lots of excuses to link to chestnut (coat). Looking at the UK ads, they don't even seem to agree with one another, do they? (That one "dark" horse is soooo a light with flaxen it almost looked like a fat Haflinger! LOL!). We could add something to the effect that breeders distinguish between shades with various terminology, using some of the example, and find reasons to link to sooty (gene) and other genetics articles that discuss coat color variations. See that horse coat colors nave template at the bottom of all the color articles. I think we have ALL the color articles on it. My two bits. Montanabw(talk) 23:50, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
Allright, I played around with the section, take a look and see what you think. Feel free to add in some other wikilinks and genetics info with whatever sources you have - I know that you and CC spend quite a bit of time discussing it :) And yes, I agree with you that the UK society is not very consistent with their coloring - there are a lot of "red" and "bright" horses on that list and their colorings are all over the board. Dana boomer (talk) 17:30, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I'm pretty happy. But I'm tossing "mealy" because that is also used to describe pangare, so there is room for confusion. Don't think from the photos that the SF has pangare. I'l ask CC to take a peek too. Montanabw(talk) 21:59, 11 January 2009 (UTC)
I've tossed the light mealy/pangare piece altogether, because I feel that it just adds confusion. Non-horse people at FA are going to be like "huh? so what's pangare? explain it in the article" which would just lead to more confusion and tangential aspects. Tossing the term altogether avoids this, I think, and we have enough other examples of breed-specific color terminology in the article that it shouldn't matter. Dana boomer (talk) 16:47, 12 January 2009 (UTC)
Works for me. I'm happy. I thought about tossing it myself, but hesitated. Montanabw(talk) 20:12, 12 January 2009 (UTC)

Image review[edit]

Dana boomer asked me to review the images in this article before its FA nomination.

Otherwise, all of the Flickr licenses check out. Awadewit (talk) 01:44, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Fixed. Thank you very much! Dana boomer (talk) 02:13, 10 January 2009 (UTC)
You're very welcome! Awadewit (talk) 02:28, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

UK English[edit]

I've done a sweep to make sure all is in UK English (as requested by Montana). The quotes remain in US English. While I'm of the opinion their spellings should be changed as well for the sake of consistency (spelling doesn't change the sense of the quote), MOS prefers original spellings to be kept. These quotes seem to be from US sources. Gwinva (talk) 23:19, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

Awww, darn :) I'd just gone searching through MOS to find the answer to your question, and here you beat me to it! FYI for anyone else who's interested, the info can be found at Wikipedia:MOSQUOTE#Consistency_within_articles. Thank you for checking through the article, though! Dana boomer (talk) 23:28, 10 January 2009 (UTC)

"Oldest" claim[edit]

Hi Dana, Tagged as "dubious" the claim that the Suffolk Punch has the oldest breed registry-- in UK I'll buy and maybe if one single organization I'll buy, but the Andalusian has pedigree data tracing to the 13th century or so. I liked the "16th century" phrasing better. If that is an accurate date, I'll grant older than the TB stud book, but not the whole planet (grin). I can be convinced otherwise, however... Montanabw(talk) 21:48, 16 January 2009 (UTC)

Yeah, I don't know what the real story is. First, Ryder-Davies has been wrong on a couple of other things, so I'm not sure how much to trust him since he's the only one I can find that claims this. Second, I think the catch might be in the wording. Either "written" or "unbroken" (or the fact that he may only mean in England) can trip other registries up - Arabian pedigrees, if I understand it right, were mostly oral, and there are other registries that have gaps in them. That's my thinking. I've removed it for now, we can put it back in if someone finds a backup source for it. As for the 16th century wording, it was pointed out in the Peer Review that we said they were created in the 16th century in two different spots, which is repetitive for a lead that short, so I'm not going to put it back exactly the same way I had it. Dana boomer (talk) 22:40, 16 January 2009 (UTC)


Is there anything else that I'm completely missing that needs to be done before this article goes to FA? Please feel free to smack me upside the head if you think I'm moving too fast... Dana boomer (talk) 23:57, 17 January 2009 (UTC)

Might ask User talk:Malleus Fatuorum to look at the prose real quick. Prose will eat you alive at FA. (grins). Otherwise, I'll check it in the morning again for sources and you're probably good to go. (I just took some sinus pills, so you don't want me checking sources right now.. way too spacey). Ealdgyth - Talk 00:02, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Just dropped a note for Malleus, and now I'm going to go amuse myself elsewhere for a while. I'll look forward to your final source check in the morning. Dana boomer (talk) 00:14, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
So exhausted by all the HIW stuff that I'm not going to be much help here. Even the work on Paso Fino stuff is suffering. Apologies in advance, though I am willing to watch for anything that needs additional defense beyond Dana. Stick to your guns, don't feel you have to make every change someone suggests, consider them each on their merits. (grin). Montanabw(talk) 02:51, 18 January 2009 (UTC)
Sources look good. Like how you got the Henry quote through OSU. (grins). Just a prose check or three. Only thing you might want to check is your linking, make sure you're not doing too much of it. Ealdgyth - Talk 14:49, 18 January 2009 (UTC)

I think this is a lovely little article, well worth a shot at FAC. I've had a bit of a hack at some of the prose, but hopefully I've been sympathetic to what was being intended. One thing I think needs just a little bit of explanation is "Although it is commonly (and mistakenly) thought that this was the first horse of the breed, at this date all other male lines of the breed had died out and a genetic bottleneck had occurred." That the bottleneck had occurred seems important, so I shouldn't have to chase the link to find out what one is. Other than that, looks good to go. Good luck! --Malleus Fatuorum 00:31, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

On reflection, maybe the bottleneck is kind of obvious, make of my comment what you will. :-) --Malleus Fatuorum 00:37, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Thank you very much, Malleus! You have indeed improved the prose, which will be very helpful in our FAC run. I'll probably drop the article in tomorrow morning, unless anyone objects before then. As for the bottleneck comment, I'll keep it in mind, and see what happens at FAC. Thanks especially for catching all of the Brit/American English differences - those are one of my weak points and I would never have seen them :) Dana boomer (talk) 01:20, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
Quick question, Dana. Isn't there some wikirule about no footnotes in the lead? You do have a couple. They are appropriate sources, but just wondering about that footnote in the lead rule. I made a few minor copyedits, the biggest of which was to rearrange the postwar history paragraph a bit and a lesser change to move one sentence from one paragraph to another. I hope this article does well! Good luck! Montanabw(talk) 07:54, 19 January 2009 (UTC)
controversial information in the lead can be footnoted, or anything likely to be challenged.Ealdgyth - Talk 13:55, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

Just as an update, I've run into some personal things in RL and probably won't be nominating this article for a few days. Just wanted to let everyone know - I'll be on WP on and off, but please feel free to send me an e-mail if anything urgent comes up. Dana boomer (talk) 00:09, 21 January 2009 (UTC)

And actually, things just cleared up, so I'm back to almost full capacity, and nominating the article immediately. Let's cross our fingers... :) Dana boomer (talk) 20:34, 21 January 2009 (UTC)
Well, grats on it. Honestly, I took one look at the article and thought “Wow, this is short for FA” then remembered it’s about a single breed of horse…Duh!--Frank Fontaine (talk) 00:10, 4 March 2010 (UTC)


Just thought I'd mention that the horse on the crest of Ipswich Town F.C. is a Suffolk Punch. Might be something to work in, a source should be easy enough to find and is prob in that article already. - JVG (talk) 18:55, 4 March 2010 (UTC)


Temporarily questioning the following new addition: "A detailed genetic study shows that the Suffolk Punch is closely genetically grouped not only with the Fell and Dales British ponies, but also with the European Haflinger.[1]"

Why does this matter? Just curious. Were there other breeds close? Given we have an FA that appeared on the main page, trying to sort out its significance. Montanabw(talk) 18:24, 24 April 2012 (UTC)

Fix needed[edit]

Can someone who has the book check the facts:

Although it is commonly (and mistakenly) thought that this was the first horse of the breed, by the 1760s, all other male lines of the breed had died out, resulting in a genetic bottleneck. Another bottleneck occurred in the late 18th century.[13]

The point here is that 1760 equates with the second half (late) 18th century. Does the writer here mean "late 19th century" 1.e. the late 1800s? Or are the two sentences referring to the same date, and the second editor hasn't picked up on that fact?

Amandajm (talk) 06:12, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Hmm, good question. The source for that is a book from my local library, and I will try to pick it up tomorrow and double check to make sure this is worded correctly. Just as a note though, it is possible that there were two genetic bottlenecks in the last half of the century, one in the 1760s and one in, say, the late 1790s, which would make it over 30 years apart. However, this is just speculation, as it has been a few years since I read the source material, and so, as I said, I will re-acquire the source to check. Dana boomer (talk) 12:41, 8 September 2013 (UTC)
The book is currently checked out from the library, so I can't check at this time. I'll keep an eye on its status and reply here as soon as I have anything to report. Dana boomer (talk) 17:52, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

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  1. ^ Cothran, E.G.; Luis, C., Genetic distance as a tool in the conservation of rare horse breeds (PDF), The European Association for Animal Production No. 116, pp. 59, 62, 64, ISSN 0071-2477, retrieved 2012-04-23  Unknown parameter |d.o.i.= ignored (help); Unknown parameter |ldate= ignored (help)