A Suffolk Punch foal has been named after the late Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh, after being born on the same day as  the Royal Funeral.

The colt was born at the Suffolk Punch Trust in Hollesley, Suffolk. He was born at 9pm on Saturday 17 April.

Prince Philip is the fourth foal born to dam Samford Tourmaline, also known as ‘Tilly’, and his sire is Stockton Boxer, a stallion who stands at the Suffolk Punch Trust stud.

Their owner, George Paul, has been breeding Suffolk Punches since 1967, though his grandfather started the stud in 1936. He sought permission from the palace office prior to naming the colt ‘Samford Prince Philip’.

“It seemed appropriate that we should honour the Duke of Edinburgh in this way,” George told the East Anglian Daily Times. “We didn’t know when he was going to be born but, when I discovered that he had been born just six hours after the funeral, at that point I had the idea of calling him Prince Philip.”

Tilly was kept at the Suffolk Punch Trust as they have the facilities for handling pregnancy and births, but the pair will be moved to Paul’s farm in the future.

Tracey Pettitt, stud manager at the Suffolk-based stud, recounted the birth as “straightforward”.

“He’s quite a chunky lad already,” she said.

Samford Prince Philip is one of 34 Suffolk Punch foals to be born this year.

The Suffolk Punch is currently on the Rare Breed Survival Trust’s Equine Watchlist, alongside the Clydesdale, Hackey, Dales pony and Eriskey pony. There are fewer than 500 purebred Suffolk Punches in the UK, with only 72 females.

Conservation efforts are being made to increase these numbers, including artificial insemination, and the use of sexed-semen to increase the chances of a filly foal.

Main image credit: Charlotte Bond. Video courtesy of the East Anglian Times

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