News and updates

Horse Show Class Descriptions

Val and her boys

Considering that the Spectacular will be the first horse show for some folks, we’d like to get as much information out as possible about the events and classes.  Here are brief descriptions of each class; we hope this helps!  If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact Bonnie McCutcheon at 540-605-6311  or – or send us your questions via the contact page on this site.

Horse Pull Classes:  Class 30 and class 29 are both horse pull classes.  In each class the horse / horses will be hooked to a loaded sled.  After each entry has pulled the same load, additional weight will be added to the sled.  Specifics, rules and regulations relative to the pull will be given at the drivers meeting preceding the event.  Winner is the horse or team pulling the most weight the longest distance.

Halter Classes:

Young Handler #1.  This class is open to children.  It is divided into two divisions.  In each class the handler is being judged, not the horse.  The “a” division must have an adult in the ring with them but the adult may not do the setting up, etc. for them.  The “b” division does not need to have an adult but an adult may go into the ring with them.  Horses will work as directed by the judge.

Classes 2 through 16.  Each horse will be presented in the ring by a handler on the line.  At the discretion of the judge the horses will move in a pattern designated by the judge.  Walk toward, trot away, stop at cone, etc.  This is not a pattern class but the pattern is necessary to judge the movement of the horse.  Each horse will be presented in either a halter or a bridle.  Horses do not have to be braided.  Presentation requires that horse, handler and attire be clean, neat and workman-like.  Fancy is not necessary.

Classes 12, 13 and 14 – Champion Stallions, Mares and Geldings.  The winner and second-place horse in each of the halter classes 2 through 8 will compete in their respective Champion class.  Champion classes have NO ENTRY FEE.

Class 17 – Best Foot.  The hooves of the horse will be judged on the basis of substance to size of the horse, condition, trim and overall appearance.  The hooves may be shod or unshod.  If shod, consideration will be given to the shoeing job done.

Class 18 – Lead Line.  Open to youngsters 12 years of age and younger.  Horse will be led by parent or handler.  Horse will be ridden bareback, English or Western.

Classes 19 and 24 – Ridden Suffolk, Hunter and Ridden Suffolk, Western.  Horses will move both ways of the ring.  Horses will be asked to walk and trot both ways of the ring at the discretion of the judge.  Will be asked to back.

Classes 20 and 23 – Farm Team Class and Single Farm Horse.  Horses will be presented in full harness.  They will be ground driven by the driver and perform as requested by the judge.  They will be judged on responsiveness, suitability and appearance.

Class 21 – Single Horse to Vehicle.  Horses will be presented to either a forecart, cart or a 4 wheeled vehicle.  Will work as directed by the judge both ways of the ring.

Class 23 – Youth Driver.  Driver must be 17 years of age or younger.  All drivers 12 years old or younger MUST have an adult on the vehicle with them.  Drivers over 12 years of age may have an adult with them.  They will be asked to perform both ways of the ring and at the discretion of the judge.

Classes may be combined if deemed necessary.

Got Questions? Here’s who to ask…

Hello Everyone!  We are exactly TWO WEEKS from experiencing this remarkable confluence of supporters, admirers, owners and breeders of Suffolk Punch horses in North America held in Dublin, VA at the North American Suffolk Punch Spectacular!  Lots of folks have submitted their registration forms, but we’ve heard from many people that are still wanting to know what this Horse Show is all about, and need more information so they can make plans to be here…

We’d like to make it very easy to get those last-minute questions answered correctly so everyone interested gets the right information straight from the primary coordinators.  Those two people are:  Jason Rutledge – his email is and his telephone number is 540-798-1828; and Bonnie McCutcheon – her email is and her telephone number is 540-605-6311.

The North American Suffolk Punch Spectacular is not an American Suffolk Horse Association event.  Although the ASHA is a major advertiser and their Annual dinner meeting is being held in conjunction with this event, the Southern Suffolk Punch Gathering Group is the organizer.  If you call the ASHA office, they should direct your questions to the coordinators listed above.

You can also go to the Contact page on this website and send us your questions; we will respond promptly!

Hope to see a lot of new faces (as well as old ones) in a couple of weeks!

Making it easy – Paypal instructions for admission forms etc.

Hey there folks, we’re starting to get registration and entry forms rolling in and it’s looking good!  Just wanted to send out a reminder to those of you planning to come or not yet decided: Just do it, do it now!   We’ve got three weeks to get everyone registered and signed up for dinners, events, stall reservations, hay and bedding orders etc.  This event is going to be SO MUCH fun, you won’t want to miss it!

We’ve had several people ask if they can send their fees via Paypal instead of mailing a check, and the answer is a resounding YES!  You must of course have a Paypal account (free and easy to set up) and the process is simple; as you fill out your forms, total up all fees and instead of including a check, print out the Paypal transaction receipt and put that in the envelope with your forms.   We need that to help us keep track of what’s been paid for.

Our Paypal address is:

Don’t forget to include a printout of your Paypal payment with your forms!  We hope this helps make things easier for everyone, and keep those entries coming!


Sign up, let’s go to the Horse Show!

Hello everyone!  All the required forms you will need for attending the Spectacular – with or without horses – are ready to use and posted as .pdf files on the Forms page on this website.  Just a few things to mention; we need these mailed by 18 September so we can finalize logistics once we know how many people and horses to expect.

Also, children 12 and under will not be charged admission, they come for free.

Lastly, if you experience any difficulties opening these files, have questions, or if you find errors that should be corrected, please send a short email to, we’re happy to help and want this process to work smoothly for everyone.

Thanks, hope to hear from all of you soon!

Show Business!

By guest blogger Leah Haney

Foxie standing square.jpg

I’ve been showing draft horses and ponies in New England for almost 15 years. In the state of Maine we are very blessed with a big system of agricultural fairs.  I believe we have 24 fairs total with just over half of them supporting a draft horse and pony show.  There is plenty of opportunity here to get your horse out and about.

Showing drafts at halter is one of my favorite activities.  I remember sitting on the sidelines as a kid in awe of these big beautiful horses trotting into the ring.  I’ve never lost my appreciation for a well fitted horse!  When my Suffolk filly ‘Cornish King’s Lightning’ (We call her Foxy) turned three this year and we felt she was ready to have some off the farm experiences I immediately lined us up some trips out to show at halter!

Leah and Foxie tailTo be ready for the show ring, I would spend just five minutes before or after each workout asking Foxy to walk and trot on the lead.  This helped me find out her most comfortable speed at the trot ( we don’t spend much time trotting pulling the drag in the pasture or twitching logs ) and once I knew where her comfort zone was, always encouraging her to maintain  that speed, not falling behind or taking off with silly three year old leaps.   It didn’t take my little red filly very long to understand the program.

The other important piece of showing at halter is standing square in front of the judge for the inspection. Anytime my husband and I have Foxy out on the lead we ask her to “stand square” when she stops.  If she whoa’s with one leg in front of the other we always adjust until she’s square.  She’s now beginning to adjust herself automatically every time she stops!

The week before there is a show we clip her her bridle path, whiskers, and hair under Foxie at the trotchin up nice and clean.  The night before the show she gets a good scrub down with shampoo, we rinse her well, and then brush some show sheen into her coat so anything she rolls in overnight won’t stick!  That way she only needs a good brush down in the morning before we leave.

We’ve attended two shows so far this year and I’m so happy to say those little five minute lessons were well worth the time invested.  Foxy has handled the show ring like a veteran horse.  Though we haven’t placed well under the judge, we have received compliments from many of our competitors on her excellent feet, bone, and the copper shine in her coat.  The fact that many of these compliments are coming from people who are mainly in the hitch horse business, makes me even more proud.

I am so excited to see the ring full of nothing but big red horses on the line at the Spectacular in October.  Present your horses to the judge to the best of your ability and to quote Ms. Val Barnica, be “Proud As Punch” of all your hard work!

Just getting started – bear with us please!

Greetings from the Southern Suffolk Punch Gathering Group!  We’re glad you are here to find out more about the big event we’re sponsoring in October 2018 – the first ever Suffolk Punch Horse Show and Demonstration held on the North American continent!

We’re working hard to get this website up and running with all the information you will need to attend, participate, or simply observe from afar online.  Many of the pages here are still under construction, several more may be added as the event expands and takes shape; we ask for your patience in understanding this is a work in progress, and we will flesh it out as soon as possible.

Meanwhile, you can connect to the event on its Facebook page here, lend us a hand if you can using the Volunteers page form, send us questions, comments or suggestions using the contact page form, or contact Jason Rutledge at, Telephone 540-798-1828.