The owner of a Suffolk mare who “flew” round her first course of showjumps hopes to raise awareness of the breed’s versatility.
Jessica Miller from Cornwall had been competing in showing classes at the Gwennap riding club annual show on Sunday (4 August) with 17.2hh mare Katy when her 13-year-old daughter, April, asked to take the mare into the 70cm showjumping class.
“It was a very spontaneous decision,” Jessica told H&H.
“Katy has done some little jumps at home made from tyres, but she’s never seen a coloured pole and she absolutely flew round. They came fifth – I was over the moon.”
Jessica, who also owns a 14-month Suffolk colt Wyatt, said she became interested in the breed after volunteering at the Shire Horse Trust in Cornwall last year where she helped train young horses.
“There was a Suffolk stallion at the farm called Geronimo and I fell in love,” said Jessica.
“I saw an advert for Wyatt as a six-month foal and his mother was related to Geronimo so I made the trip to Wales buy him. After that I kept thinking imagine if I could find a mare for sale and eventually set up a breeding programme.”
In April Jessica saw a for sale advert online for Katy and took her home the day after viewing her in Devon.
“When I saw her in the stable she had so much presence – she was huge. I was so excited,” said Jessica.
“Once Wyatt is mature I would like to breed him with Katy. I also have my eye on buying some more Suffolks in the future.”
Article continued below…
‘We made our way to the dressage arena and everyone was staring’
The Suffolk horse is rarer than the giant panda with the number of breeding mares left in the UK estimated
Take advantage of our sale on Horse & Hound magazine subscriptions today
Jessica said she would like to set up a riding centre in the future with Suffolks.
“I previously ran a small riding school and I’d like to set up again and include carriage rides. With Suffolks being a rare breed I believe it will be something people would really like to come and do,” she said.
“It’s great seeing Suffolks out competing and doing things like dressage and jumping. It adds versatility to the breed – if they’re promoted doing other activities then hopefully it will encourage more people to own them.”
For all the latest news analysis, competition reports, interviews, features and much more, don’t miss Horse & Hound magazine, on sale every Thursday.