Newfoundland Pony Society Launches Phase Two Fundraising Campaign for Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park at $175,000
Breeding Program Part of Future Plans
Building on last year’s successful fundraising and with significant improvements made to the land near Hopeall, Trinity Bay, the Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS) kicked off Phase II of their fundraising campaign to create a permanent heritage park for the Newfoundland Pony in its home province. The goal is $175,000 over two years.
“We were encouraged by the support we received last year which enabled us to put two ponies on pasture, repair some fencing and upgrade the buildings,” said Libby Carew, NPS Council Member (volunteer) who led the campaign. “Our goal is to restore the habitat for the Newfoundland Pony and create a place for the public to experience them and learn why we need to preserve them,” she added.
Over 700 visitors, including many tourists, visited the Hopeall pasture to meet the summer resident ponies, Singapore and Dream Boy. The Newfoundland Pony, which is an endangered breed, is unique to the province, having evolved over hundreds of years from Mountain and Moorlands ponies that early settlers brought from the UK. They once numbered more than 10,000, but by 1992, there were less than150 breeding-age ponies left in the province. A lack of access to pasture land, mechanization, and shipment of ponies to mainland meat plants devastated the pony in its homeland. There are now more outside of the province than here.
Heritage Park as Tourism Attraction
The Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park is a seasonal attraction, located on 25 acres of crown land on the Trinity South Highway near Hopeall (between New Harbour and Green’s Harbour). The park will provide free grazing land, and a place for the public, school groups and tourists to learn about our Province’s only official heritage animal. Other nearby attractions include the Dildo Brewery and the Wooden Boat Museum, making it an ideal location for tourism activities.
Future Breeding Plans to Boost Numbers
To help boost the number of ponies in the province, NPS is working on developing a small breeding program and finding other ways to encourage and facilitate breeding by pony owners. We’re looking at possibly hosting a stallion in a separate isolated area of the Hopeall land to allow access by owners of mares for breeding purposes. Stallions require extra precautions and care for fencing and keeping them, which is beyond many pony owners’ capability and set-up. Our numbers are up but facilitating and encouraging breeding is key to ensuring a healthyNewfoundland Pony population in the Province.
“Keeping the ponies and people safe was our priority last summer and we plan to build on our success as we develop the Park,” said Jack Harris, President of NPS. “Our vision is for a larger heritage park with a pony herd and a breeding program for pony owners here. We need to improve the facilities, increase fencing to host more ponies, and enhance the visitor experience with more events and a display area to showcase the Newfoundland Pony’s history,” added Harris.
Tragic Loss of Two Ponies
NPS wishes to thank everyone who supported the Newfoundland Pony this year. They are hoping that many more will take up the cause of the Newfoundland Pony so that it will be here for future generations to enjoy. They also wish to acknowledge the tragic loss of two beautiful Newfoundland Ponies this past summer: Little Catalina #945 who died from overfeeding by strangers while on pasture and Dawson’s Bernie Frances #938, a young stallion who was killed on the Tilton Barrens highway.
For more information about the Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park, or to get involved, please contact the NPS at www.newfoundlandpony.com. Donations are tax deductible and can be made via Canada Helps or by cheque. NPS will be hosting fundraising events in 2023 to support the campaign for the park. Please visit our website or follow us on social for updates.
Newfoundland Pony Society