Trigger’s Move from Fogo Island to Vancouver Island

Cobble Hill is a picturesque village on Vancouver Island surrounded by vineyards and wineries. It’s a long way from the rocky shores of Fogo Island, but it’s where 34-year-old Newfoundland Pony, Barr’d Island Trigger, (Registration #462) has been living for the past 25 years. His owner, Charlotte Manning, bought him from a local farm that displayed heritage breeds for the public, including sheep, cows, donkeys and a Newfoundland Pony. When the farm went under, Charlotte heard about Trigger, and he has been a beloved part of her family ever since.

Trigger was born on Fogo Island in Spring 1986. When he was moved to B.C., it made national media coverage. “They weren’t letting any non-gelded horses off the island and for good reasons given how low the numbers were; same thing with the mares. It was a big deal that he was taken off Fogo Island and moved to B.C.,” Charlotte said.

For the long journey west, when Trigger landed in Ontario, the groom for the legendary Big Ben, Canada’s most famous show jumping horse, met Trigger there and flew with him the rest of the way to B.C. 

“He’s the bravest horse I have ever ridden. I would ride him down the road and he would jump over ditches; he had no hesitation whatsoever,” she said. Trigger won many dressage championships, was a pony club mount and was trail ridden.

These days he’s blind in one eye and his teeth are all gone, so he’s on a steady diet of soft food with water added to his grain. But he’s safe and happy with the Mannings, where he will live out the rest of his years with the best of care.  

“I love the Newfoundland Pony. It’s an extremely hardy, athletic, well rounded breed that is a Canadian gem,” said Charlotte. “There’s not a lot of breeds unique to Canada, but this is one of them and what a beauty it is. There’s so much history behind this Pony and the role it played in Newfoundland and Labrador’s culture and history.”

Christmas Greetings from the Newfoundland Pony Society

We wish you a joyous Christmas season and hope that the New Year brings you health and prosperity. Here are some highlights from the year about our beloved Newfoundland Pony:

New Life!

Jam Jam. owner: Dominique Lavers

2019 was the year of the Newfoundland Pony foal! We know of at least 25 foals born this year, and our volunteer Registrar is working hard to add them to the official Registry. You can see 22 gorgeous foals featured in our calendar fundraiser. We still have a few calendars left for sale in our webstore at Special thanks to Downhome Magazine, Nonia, the Co-op, Newfoundland Weavery, and Spirit of Newfoundland for helping to sell them. We couldn’t do it without you.

How Many Newfoundland Ponies?

We’re often asked how many Newfoundland Ponies there are? We are approaching Registration # 900 in the Registry including those in Newfoundland & Labrador, the rest of Canada and the U.S. This means we have registered 700 ponies since the modern registry with DNA test identification was started in 1999. But over 160 of those are known to be deceased, and the status of a number of others is unknown. We also know of ponies that could be registered but aren’t. We encourage owners to register their ponies so we can keep track of where they are and match their offspring. We also ask that deaths be reported too. Not only does it enable us to track their offspring and add others to the Registry, but it helps protect them when they are moved or sold. On that front, we have good news: we will be continuing our free DNA testing program in 2020 thanks to sales from the calendar and membership fees. Forms are available on our website.

Special Thanks

Margaret Mead said, “Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world.” The NPS is fortunate to have the help of not just a few – but many caring people. Their dedication and hours of service is having a big impact on the future preservation of the province’s only heritage breed. We have some very special people whose ongoing efforts in breeding, providing free stud service, keeping an eye out for ponies in danger and helping in rescues, and promoting the pony. We thank each of you for your work. It is having an impact.

Update on Newfoundland Pony Society Land in Trinity Bay

We recently received a very generous donation from a supporter to kick-start our fundraising for what we want to create as The Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park on 25 acres of land in Trinity Bay near Hopeall on a long-term lease from the Provincial Government. We plan to repair fencing to provide pasture land, upgrade the buildings on site and develop story boards for visitors and tourists on the history and the status of the Newfoundland Pony and the role it played in our history.

Ultimately, we hope this will be an important site where members of the public, school groups and tourists will be able to see and interact with the Newfoundland Ponies and learn of their history. It’s not far from St. John’s and the Argentia ferry terminal, so it will be accessible to tourists and residents alike. If you would like to donate toward the cost of this special project please contact us at:

2 Studs for Hire

Who doesn’t like Smithwicks and Guinness?! This was one of our favorite stories in Downhome Magazine about two Newfoundland Stallions (14 hands high) with a valuable blood line owned by Dave and Joan Moloughney of Westport, Ontario. You can read about these big boys here.

Lastly, if you would like to donate to the Newfoundland Pony Society, we issue tax receipts as registered charity (# 899 123 053 RR0 001). To donate, please visit Canada Helps:

Once again Happy Holidays and all the Best for the New Year!

We hope to see you at a Newfoundland Pony event in 2020.


Jack Harris, President

Meet Guinness and Smithwicks – A couple of Stallions

Guinness and Smithwicks

Guinness and Smithwicks are like any other young brothers. The 9-year-olds spend most of their days playing, running around and chasing each other. The stunning registered Newfoundland Pony stallions live in Westport, Ontario at J&D Farms with proud owners Dave and Joan Moloughney. From time to time, duty calls when a mare is brought to the farm to be bred! Guinness (#772) and Smithwicks (#773) are sought-after studs for breeding, owing to their valuable bloodline in the Newfoundland Pony breed – and their large size. Guinness is 14 hands high and Smithwicks is over 14 hands. Their father is the majestic Captain Sweetapple (#591) and their mother, the beautiful Pallas Athene (#763).

In the Newfoundland Pony world, the brothers are a best kept secret, as their physical characteristics and temperament deliver the best of what this pony is known for. Dave says, “I swear they remember everything. When Joan suffered a stroke a few years ago, they would watch out for her and follow her around. It’s as if they knew something had happened.”

Some people are quick to geld stallions in order to control aggressive behavior. Thankfully Dave and Joan are committed to working with the stallions to ensure their bloodline is passed onto a new generation of Newfoundland Ponies. Dave has been around horses all his life and cautions against isolating these herd animals: “the more you isolate them, the meaner they get.”

He ís a big fan of Newfoundland Ponies and finds the breed sure-footed, east to train and wonderful with children. His grandchildren, aged two to seven, spend time in the ring with Guinness and Smithwicks. The ponies are gentle with them, as if they know somehow that they are children.

The Brockerville’s Ponies of Lawn, Burin Peninsula

There’s a little bit of heaven in the town of Lawn, which is located at the tip of the Burin Peninsula. Max Brockerville has seven ponies there; four of them are Newfoundland Ponies. His love for the breed and his connection to them runs deep; “I live and die for them.” His mare, Max’s May, Registration #460, who is 23 years old, he has had since she was a baby. She recently gave birth to Maggie May. He and his wife Darlane also have Newfoundland Ponies Duff and Pumpkin.

Max remembers when there were 145 Newfoundland Ponies on the Burin Peninsula back in 1985. “When the quads came on the market, the ‘Big Red’ especially, it spelled the end for the Pony. It was devasting,” he said. He does everything he can now to promote and showcase his ponies so the public can see just how trainable they are. He drove 700 posts into the ground himself and put up the wire fencing for the paddock. “It’s important for people to interact with them, for children to ride them. I explain how these ponies hauled wood for us and pulled kelp from the beach for our gardens. Newfoundlanders could not have survived without them. We owe them a great debt,” he added.

Max’s May and her foal, Jessie May.

The Newfoundland Pony is known for its intelligence. “They’re easy to train; the same as a really good dog actually,” said Max. Working with his pony in the woods, he could load her up with wood and send her out to the road. “She knew the route. And my brother was waiting for her; he would unload her and send her right back to me,” he said.

A popular sight in Lawn last summer! Max and Darlane Brockerville moving their ponies to a new grazing site. (May and Maggie and their new foals Queenie and Jessie May)

If you are interested in getting a Newfoundland Pony or learning more about the breed, please contact the Newfoundland Pony Society.

Newfoundland Pony Calendar for 2020

Our 2020 Newfoundland Pony calendar is now available!

The Newfoundland Pony is offering a 14 Month Calendar for 2020 featuring photos of Newfoundland Pony foals born this year. This is a fundraiser to support our free DNA program for suspected or known Newfoundland Ponies, and would make a great Christmas gift!

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Newfoundland Pony Society Extends Free DNA Testing Program

ST. JOHN’S, NL, March 4, 2019–The Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS) is pleased to announce that it is extending its free DNA testing program in 2019 as part of a campaign to ensure that all eligible Newfoundland Ponies are registered in the official Newfoundland Pony Registry.The free testing will be available to the first 50 applications for known or suspected full-breed Newfoundland Ponies to be tested. Applicants must agree to have their pony registered if it is proven to be eligible.

The Society has recently reached #860 in the Pony Registry. “We are very pleased with the recent success in registering ponies, but we know there are many more out there that aren’t registered,” said Jack Harris, President of the Newfoundland Pony Society. “Registration is vital to preservation of the breed and we need the public’s help in identifying ponies and encouraging registration.”

Anyone who owns a Newfoundland Pony (or suspected Newfoundland Pony) is encouraged to apply for a grant. The free DNA testing is paid for in part by the membership fees of the Newfoundland Pony Society,and the NPS wishes to than kits members and their donors for their support.

The DNA testing program is used to identify full-breed Newfoundland Ponies,as it can link the parentage to an existing registered pony. Many ponies have changed owners or have been moved over the years, so the work of identifying them is ongoing. Under the Provincial Heritage Animal Act, the Newfoundland Pony Society has a mandate to preserve, protect and promote the Newfoundland Pony, the province’s only heritage animal, and to maintain a registry of Newfoundland Ponies.Registering the ponies gives them protection as a heritage animal and provides a record of the pony for potential breeding.

Program information and DNA application forms are available on the NPS website at

About the Newfoundland Pony Society

The Newfoundland Pony islisted as Critically Endangeredby Rare Breeds Canada, The Livestock Conservancy, and the Equus Survival Trust.Newfoundland Ponies havebeen a part of family life in communities across Newfoundland and Labrador formany generations. The Newfoundland Pony Society was founded in 1979 andwas incorporated in 1981 as a registered charity (#899 123 053 RRO 001).People may donate at the Newfoundland Pony Societywebsite at or at

Media Contact:
Libby Carew
Newfoundland Pony Society
Tel: 709.725.7627

Newfoundland Pony SocietyTel: 709.725.7627Email:

NPS Announces a New DNA Testing Program

Due to the success of the previous Legacy Grant, The Newfoundland Pony Society has developed a new DNA Testing Program offering free DNA Testing for 50 Newfoundland Ponies (or suspected Newfoundland Ponies). This is a part of our ongoing efforts to register as many register-able Newfoundland Ponies as possible.

The official announcement and the rules / application form can be found in this this PDF.

Should you have difficulty with the above attachment link, the attached document will also be posted on our website.

Jack Harris

Consultation on Draft Registrar’s Manual – Extended

Dear Members and Former Members of NPS,

RE: Consultation on Draft Registrar’s Manual

The Executive Council has received requests for more time to review and comment on the Draft Registrar’s Manual and have decided to extend the period for response and feedback to September 30, 2017.

If you wish to have a copy of the Draft Registrar’s Manual and haven’t received one yet, please email me at

Comment, suggestions and feedback on the Draft Registrar’s Manual should be sent to me or to the Secretary, Alicia Cooper, at

Thank you for your interest and support of the Newfoundland Pony.

Jack Harris