Huxley with his dam, Eugenie. Photos: Chatsworth

Chatsworth in Derbyshire has welcomed a new arrival.

The Suffolk Punch foal, named Huxley, was born in April. He and his dam Eugenie have moved from the stud farm to take up residence in the estate’s farmyard.

“The team are thrilled to welcome back Eugenie and Huxley,” said farmyard team member Rachel Kearsey. “Eugenie was pleased to return — whinnying with excitement when the trailer brought her back into the yard.”

The pair are already proving popular with both staff and visitors, particularly now that Huxley has settled in.

“He was very shy to begin with, but his cheeky personality is now showing through,” added Rachel.

Eugenie and Huxley spend their day in the bottom yard at the farmyard entrance, with their evenings spent out in the farmyard paddocks.

Conservation efforts

The Suffolk Punch is considered to be a critically endangered breed by the Rare Breeds Survival Trust (RBST). There are fewer than 500 purebred Suffolk Punches left in the UK and Eugenie is one of only 72 females, making them more endangered than the Giant Panda.

Efforts have been made to try to bolster the breed’s numbers through artificial insemination and ground-breaking research into sexed-semen.

Chatsworth Farmyard is home to a number of rare breeds of both horses and livestock, including Shire horses, Eriskay ponies, Albion cattle, Gloucestershire Old Spot pigs and Bagot goats.

The yard received Rare Breeds Survival Trust accreditation earlier this year in recognition of its conservation work.

This makes Chatsworth part of the 25-strong network of RBST-accredited farm parks which take part in conservation programmes, manage breeding groups and support education on the importance of rare breeds.

Chatsworth Farmyard and Adventure Playground is open daily. For advance tickets and opening times click here.

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