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.”