Home / Blog / Rare Suffolk Punch Filly Born at the Food Museum

Rare Suffolk Punch Filly Born at the Food Museum

The Food Museum, Stowmarket is very excited to announce the birth of a rare Suffolk Punch filly, 100 years after the last Suffolk horse was born on our farming estate.

The female foal was born to our Suffolk horse mare Faith at the museum on Saturday 8 June and has been named ‘Abbots Juno’ by staff and volunteers. The name honours both the last horse ‘Combs Vesta 4th’ born at the museum 100 years ago (Juno is the sister of the goddess Vesta in Roman mythology) and that this year is the 80th anniversary of D-Day, with Juno being one of the Allies’ five beaches.

Suffolk horses are classified as “critically endangered” by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust and are more endangered than the Giant Panda, making the birth of a foal a real cause for celebration. She is one of only 12 fillies born so far this year, particularly good news as a filly has the potential to produce more of the breed in the future. We feel incredibly lucky to have such a rare breed animal at the museum and to play a part in the continuing survival of the Suffolk Punch.

Suffolk Punch horses were bred on the 84-acre Abbot’s Hall estate where the Food Museum is based from 1909 to 1924 by Captain H.D. Longe. Juno is the first Suffolk horse to be born on the site since 1924, making this a significant and exciting moment in the museum’s history. Our current Suffolk horses Zippo and Faith came to the site in 2019 and 2022 respectively.

After searching our archives, we were amazed to discover that the last foal, Combs Vesta 4th, was born on the Abbot’s Hall estate in April 1924, making it almost exactly 100 years between Vesta and our foal Juno. We’re excited to welcome a new Suffolk horse to the estate and to continue Captain Longe’s legacy of supporting this rare breed. The Suffolk horse is hugely significant in the history of food and plays an important part in telling the story of food production. Before numbers declined in the 1940s due to the mechanisation of farming, Suffolk Punch horses were used to provide the power for working the land particularly in East Anglia, thanks to their size and strength.

Visitors can see Juno and Faith at the Food Museum from Tuesday 18 June at the earliest as mother and foal bond, with a ‘Meet the Horse’ session at 11am and animal feeding demonstrations for the rest of our animals at 3pm daily. Find out more about admission here.


Ploughing with Suffolk Horses, Vesta (the last horse born on site) and Firefly on the Abbot’s Hall Estate, Stowmarket during the Second World War



Horseman, Fred Wilding with Suffolk Horses, Vesta, Firefly and Countess during the harvest of 1939 on the Abbot’s Hall Estate, Stowmarket

Share this article