Whether the introduction of alien blood is in any way responsible for the appearance of the different shade of chestnut and the white markings that are to be found amongst the Suffolks of the present day, is a question that cannot be settled definitely; but probably it is not so, for, as before observed, the crosses all proved to the highest extent unsatisfactory, and were permitted to die out as far and with as little delay as possible, when their inutility was proved. White markings, though permissible to a certain extent on a Suffolk, are nevertheless very far from being liked, and whilst animals which inherit the misfortune of possessing a bald face or a white stocking are eligible for the stud-book, it is questionable whether the presence of any white beyond a little on the heel, and perhaps a small star on the forehead, would not entirely ruin the prospects of a Suffolk in the show-ring. Of course, no colour of coat other than chestnut is admissible in an animal that is desired to enter for the Suffolk Stud-book Association, it being distinctly laid down that though the shade may vary, there is no place for any horses save chestnuts on the pages of the Society's official volume. The favourite shade of chestnut is the deep bright hue, with mane and tail to match; whereas the mealy, soft, smudgy-coloured animals, while being much disliked, are tolerated. Light manes and tails are also strongly objected to by the majority of breeders, although they need not be regarded as serious faults, much less as disqualifications, and indeed some Suffolk men profess to prefer horses thus marked to the whole-coloured animals. Silvery hairs have distinguished many good strains of Suffolks, it must be remembered, whilst the very dark-hued animals are considered by some breeders to be the best consti-tutioned of any, though on this ground there are differences of ©pinion. The late Mr. Hume Webster, in his pamphlet on the breed, actually went the length of asserting that there were about seven shades of chestnut Suffolks, varying from the mealy to the brown-black, the extreme colours being the least liked, whilst the hue which he refers to as "guinea-gold" he selected as the most popular, not only in this country but amongst American buyers.
In addition to his colour the Suffolk is distinguished from the Clydesdale and the Shire horse by the fact that he is a clean-legged animal, and does not possess the extreme amount of feather that is so much sought after by breeders of these varieties. This circumstance may very possibly be accepted as an additional reason for the slowness which has characterized the headway made by the Suffolk amongst agriculturists, for they are great advocates of hair and bone, and a general belief prevails that if hair is absent on a heavy horse's legs, bone is certain to be deficient likewise. This, however, is not generally accepted by the breeders of Suffolks, who support their contentions by measurements, and assert that their favourite horse - that is, when his height at shoulder and general bulk are taken into consideration - is fully the equal of his heavier rivals as regards the amount of bone he possesses below the knee. As a case in point, Mr. Hume Webster refers to Mr. Alfred J. Smith's champion stallion Wedgwood, who at the time he wrote was five years old, and measured 7 feet 11 inches in girth, and l0 3/4 inches below the knee - a very considerable measurement when it is remembered that there is no hair included in the dimensions given, as there would be in the case of a Clydesdale or a Shire horse. Wedgwood, it may be stated, was foaled in the year 1886, and was the winner of championship both at the show of the Royal Agricultural Society of England, and many Suffolk county shows. The Suffolk, moreover, is credited with a very enviable reputation for being a good horse so far as the soundness of his feet is concerned, and consequently it is claimed for him that he lasts longer upon the stones of a town than any other variety that is put to the same class of work. In fact, so far as the wear and tear of his legs is concerned, the Suffolk affords a practical illustration of the fact that a great deal of hair upon the legs of a horse is no indication of special durability and soundness, for many a Suffolk will continue working at an age at which other heavy horses become worn out. Longevity, indeed, is one of the chief claims which Suffolk breeders insist upon making for their horses, and if half the stories that are told of aged animals retaining all their juvenile vigour for many years after they should in the usual order of things be long past work, be true - and there is no reason for doubting the numerous instances that are forthcoming on the subject - the Suffolk's term of usefulness is certainly a prolonged one.
The extreme docility of the breed is another great point in its favour, as it is something for an owner to feel that he is possessed of a strain of horses that rarely, if ever, develop vice, but on the contrary are usually endowed with the sweetest of tempers and generosity. That the Suffolk is a very willing horse is rendered quite apparent by a visit to any farm upon which he is employed. Unlike many chestnuts, too, the natural gameness of the Punches is not neutralized by hot-headedness or vice of any kind; on the contrary, they are a somewhat phlegmatic-dispositioned variety, though they possess an amount of courage which enables them to face and endure the hardest of work. The Suffolk, moreover, possesses another great recommendation; he is an animal that requires very little breaking, as he takes to work almost as naturally as a duckling faces water. Above all things he is an agricultural horse, but where pace and strength combined are required, as in the case of town work, he is equally at home. Beyond all doubt, he is the most nimble and active of all the so-called heavy varieties; whilst, as has been stated before, the Suffolk, for his size, is a very small feeder, and will flourish and look well upon an amount of food that would be totally insufficient for many other big horses. As an instance of the longevity of the Suffolk horse, it is stated in the Society's Stud-book, that at one of the earliest exhibitions held by the Suffolk Agricultural Society, a brood mare aged thirty-seven years was amongst the competitors, and at that time she was accompanied by a sucking foal. So far back, too, as the year 1813, Arthur Young, in writing of this variety of horse, alluded to the fact that Mr. Wright, of Rockfort Hall, had seventeen of them in his possession, and that during the space of ten years he had not added one to his stud except a stallion. Julian's Boxer travelled as a stallion for twenty-five seasons; the dam of Lofft's Cupbearer, owned by the Rev. 0. Reynolds of Leabach, was one of the sixteen foals which her owner had bred from her clam in sixteen successive years; and the mare from which Rising Star, the first-prize horse at Leeds in 1861, was bred, was twenty-two years old when the colt was foaled. The above are a few instances of the longevity and vitality of the Suffolk horse, and these could be multiplied many times were it necessary to do so; but enough has probably been written to convince the reader, if he were unacquainted with the fact before, that the variety now under consideration is a very remarkably long-lived and fruitful one, in addition to being a very willing worker.