About the Pony
The Newfoundland Pony is an "all purpose" pony and has many
desirable characteristics - strength, stamina, courage, intelligence, obedience,
willingness, and common sense. Newfoundland Ponies are hard workers and easy
The ancestors of the Newfoundland Pony arrived with the Island’s
early settlers from the British Isles. These ancestors were primarily, Exmoor,
Dartmoor and New Forest ponies and to a lesser extent, Welsh Mountain, Galloway
(extinct), Highland and Connemara ponies. They were hardy creatures, already
well adapted to the harsh climate of the islands of the North Atlantic. Over
subsequent centuries, and with little outside influence, the hardiest of these
early pony immigrants to Newfoundland interbred and eventually evolved into one
common pony type, now recognized as the Newfoundland Pony.
In the past, the Newfoundland Pony was used to plough gardens;
haul fishing nets, kelp and wood; gather hay; and provide their families with
transportation about the Island. These functions were replaced by modern
technology and the pony population plummeted. To protect this special and
historic pony, the Newfoundland Government has recognized it as a Heritage
Animal. The current Newfoundland Pony population totals less than 400 animals.
An ongoing effort on the part of concerned individuals from across Canada has
stabilized the population. However, the Newfoundland Pony continues to be
identified as a critically endangered species by Rare Breeds Canada.
Today, the Newfoundland Pony is used for riding, driving and light
draft work. They make excellent mounts for children and adults, and excel under
saddle and in harness.
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