Unique breed of Suffolks Draft Horses munch down in Floyd Virginia

If you enjoy the scenery of a country drive in Floyd County, you’ll sure count it a treat to view the White Oak Grove area of Floyd.

The panoramas are breathtaking during any season of the year, and besides being a loop of the Virginia Mountain Birding and Wildlife Trail, it is also home to Hope and Grace Lynn, two Suffolk draft horses owned by Roger and Cathy Thompson of Red Rooster Farm.

We halted the vehicle and approached Roger as he was allowing the girls to munch down on some grass, and he shared with us a few tidbits while we wondered over the beauty of these very large girls, and stroked them, mane and neck.

“They’re purebred and registered, only a few of their kind in Floyd County,” two of a draft breed which is one of the least numerous in the U.S. Indeed, they were fine specimens, notable even with the American Suffolk Horse Association. I viewed photos of Glenhaven Hope and Grace Lynn Haven from when they were younger on the ASHA website, www.suffolkpunch.com.

Roger told about the uniqueness of the breed, how the Suffolks originated in eastern England, and how useful they were for draft and farm use. He utilizes Hope and Grace Lynn in the same way the old English farmers did, allowing their power to work and to pull, to help tend to his land.  They seem to enjoy their work, and they’re docile and friendly with him.

Their beautiful chestnut color is the single color of the breed, and the thickness and weight of these horses is massive. Roger also pointed out the round and the heftiness of the “behind”, which is a desirable quality of the Suffolk. Despite their heavy build, he told us that they don’t eat so much.

Roger mentioned that horses were brought to the U.S. by JC Penney, which is now a nationwide chain of stores that sells a variety of products (nearest location is at New River Valley Mall, Christiansburg) but was once a farm store. James Cash Penney strongly believed that stores should be run with honesty and a deep respect for the customer, the way many of the businesses in Floyd are founded. He was also born in a farming community, and his first store was called The Golden Rule.

Story by: Dee Wallace

About Luis A Garcia

Graphic & Web Designer – Blue Ridge Mountains. Owner of the FLOYD VIRGINIA publication (Magazine). I work from home designing and sending out greeting cards. I enjoy taking pictures & creating video. I'm a Christian Missionary to Malawi Africa. fmc119!(@)