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Newfoundland Pony focus of photo archive

The Newfoundland Pony was an important part of life in rural Newfoundland and Labrador for many decades. Sturdy and dependable, the Newfoundland Pony plowed gardens, hauled fishing nets, kelp and wood and provided families with transportation.

The provincial government, in cooperation with the Newfoundland Pony Society and Memorial's Department of History, is compiling a photographic history of the Newfoundland Pony with the intent of publishing a book featuring photos and stories from residents of the province.

“The Newfoundland Pony is one of the most enduring figures of this province,” said Kathy Dunderdale, minister of Natural Resources and minister Responsible for the Forestry and Agrifoods Agency. “This is an important part of our history and it is our responsibility to preserve those parts of the collective memory of the past for the benefit of the future.”

As the functions of the Newfoundland Pony were replaced by modern technology, the pony population plummeted. To protect the historic animal, the Provincial Government declared the Newfoundland Pony a Heritage Animal in 1997.

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 pony continues to be identified as a critically endangered species by Rare Breeds Canada. The photo archive will document the role of the Newfoundland Pony in the history Newfoundland and Labrador. The book will include individual stories focusing on the memories of the role the pony played in rural communities.