Monday, 25 July 2011

The Suffolk Punch Trust at the Hollesley Bay Colony Stud

 I had an interesting weekend with the Suffolk Punch Trust at the Hollesley Bay Colony Stud where they had their Big Draw event on for three days. There is a lot of information on their website linked above for anyone interested in finding out more about these magnificent but sadly endangered breed.

It was  an early start for me on Friday morning, getting up around 6 o'clock. I had to get the dogs well walked down the beach and settled before having my breakfast and setting off in my pre-packed up van for the 40 minute or so journey through the very pleasant Suffolk countryside to Hollesley. On mornings like that, sunny and bright with almost no traffic to speak of, driving through heathland and forest, even after the 6 years since we moved to Suffolk I still find it hard to believe that we actually live here now.

Passing fields full of retired race horses as well as paddocks containing the mighty Suffolks as I pulled into the car park I was at once pleasantly surprised to view the new exhibition halls and cafe. I had been expecting something a lot more agricultural and rural but, still in it's first year of trading it looks like the trust are making a real go of it.

Several other exhibitors had arrived before me and so I was welcomed by some friends who I meet regularly on the craft fair circuit. We had been planning to set up outside but were given the choice of that or setting up indoors in one of the halls. I opted for the latter as, although I have a fairly good quality gazebo it was a bit of a blustery day and I was worried about my display easels blowing down.

Friday was very quiet actually, not many other traders and not many visitors. I spent most of my time down by the stables and paddocks getting myself some quite decent reference photographs for future paintings. The mare pictured above with her foal was incredibly friendly, kept pushing me over with her head! You have to get up close to appreciate the size of these beautiful animals, stunning. When she stamped her foot you could feel the tremor passing through the ground from several yards away.
I had hoped to get some good shots of the stallions but they wouldn't come over very close to me and my camera equipment is not up to much. But I'm quite pleased with what I came away with. I've put just a few here for now.

 I was beginning to get a bit disappointed with footfall. I don't expect to sell much at these events, just talk to people and do a bit of self promotion which often pays off later on but there was very little interest. Thankfully Saturday was a bit busier and I was pleased to meet up with some more friends who had decided to not do the Friday but just the Saturday and Sunday. Unexpectedly there were 2 other artists also displaying their work, usually I'm the only one so that made a change too.

I also put together a short video of some of the animals..... 
Warning! Contains scenes of a sexual nature!
Well, I did warn you...

I'm back out later in the week to Southwold on Thursday, Friday and Saturday. I always enjoy that craft fair and it's often pretty good for sales too.

Also a chance for more beer direct from the brewery pub....Mmmmmmm! lubberly jubbly.


sue said...

Well at least he didn't roll over and fall asleep afterwards!! lol

Lovely pictures Peter. Just wish there wasn't so much barbed wire fencing. My friend had to have her lovely horse put down when he rolled too close to a fence and got a leg caught in barbed wire - despite the best attention of the vet the resultant infection was too severe. Horrible stuff!

Peter Williams said...

I thought that too Sue. There were a lot of paddocks with just wooden barriers but the ones close to where the public mostly congregated had the barbed wire. (probably to keep Joe public out!)