Animal event with lots of Punch

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COMPETITORS travelled from far and wide to take part in the heavy horse endurance event held at Euston Hall on Sunday, which also doubled as an opportunity to check the animals were in good health.

Before setting off on the 12-mile course, which the winner completed in 2hrs 46 minutes, the Suffolk Punches were placed on heart monitors by vets who also took blood samples.

Nigel Oakley, who has some 16 Suffolk Punches at Rede Hall Farm, said Sunday’s endurance event showed the animals were only needing to work at 50 per cent of their capability.

Entrants came from as far as Northamptonshire for the day, which is aimed to be mainly for the benefit of the animals, their owners and vets. Ten people with vehicles took part.

Recently animals owned by Mr Oakley were ridden by him through London for a TV documentary, featuring televison presenter Griff Rhys Jones.

Rede Hall Farm hosts a heavy horse and country day on Sunday, August 21, 10am to 5pm, raising money for Millennium Farm Trust, adults with learning difficulties and Suffolk Horse Society. Admission is £4 adults, £2 children, under 5s free.