The Newfoundland Pony Society wishes to acknowledge with sadness, the recent passing of Dr. Andrew Ferguson Fraser, late of Carbonear, aged 93. He is a man of great significance to the cause of the Newfoundland Pony.
He came to Newfoundland from Scotland over forty years ago as a veterinarian, attracted by the story of the Newfoundland Pony and bringing his experience with Highland and Exmoor Ponies and knowledge and interest in all Mountain and Moorlands Pony breeds in the UK. His love of animals, particularly horses and ponies inspired him to become a veterinarian; he trained in Glasgow and Guelph, Ontario, and practiced veterinary medicine in Saskatchewan.
In Newfoundland, Dr. Fraser, along with others who were greatly concerned with the rapid depopulation of Newfoundland Ponies, helped form The Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS) in 1981. He was the first President of the Society, which was founded to preserve this pony which had evolved over centuries from working animals – brought over mainly from the UK by the early settlers of Newfoundland.
He traveled the province identifying ponies, helped in establishing breeding programs, and was involved with a number of groups and organizations working to save and promote the Newfoundland Pony.
But perhaps his greatest contribution was the publication of his seminal work, The Newfoundland Pony, in 1992, telling the story of the pony and identifying and describing the Newfoundland Pony as a separate breed of Moorland Pony, recognized later by the Newfoundland Government. The subtitle of his book is “The Lone Member of the Moorland Family of Horses in North America, Now on the Verge of Extinction.”
Andrew Fraser wrote numerous other works, including: The Native Horses of Scotland; Days of the Garron: The Story of the Highland Pony; Horse Twilight, 1990; Founding Horses, 1991; and Newfoundland Pony Tales, 1996.
Dr. Fraser was an Honourary Life Member of The Newfoundland Pony Society.
The Newfoundland Pony Society thanks Dr. Fraser, for his dedication and contribution to the Newfoundland Pony. He will never be forgotten.
“All the outports have been breeding grounds for their own ponies. They provided one protective homeland. The blend of people and stock here gave a high note to an ecological state which was always fragile, yet enduring. The essence of that life can not come back, but the places and ponies can be preserved somewhere in the future scheme of green, restorative and protective plans. In Newfoundland, the native pony must be respectfully preserved where it belongs, where it has a right to be born and raised and have a future.” – Dr. Andrew Fraser
We send our sympathy to his surviving family, friends and loved ones. If you wish to view his obituary or post a message of condolence you may visit Caul’s Funeral Home in St. John’s, NL online at www.cauls.ca .