January 7, 2009
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 co-operation with the Newfoundland Pony Society and Memorial University of Newfoundland (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 the Honourable 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.
Anyone interested in sharing their stories or photos can contact Dr. Christopher Youé at the Department of History at 709-737-8420 or by e-mail at email@example.com Submissions can also be mailed to the Department of History, Memorial University, St. John's, NL, A1C 5S7.
For more information on the Newfoundland Pony, contact Mac LeMessurier at the Newfoundland Pony Society at 709-722-7028 or Dr. Hugh Whitney, the province’s Chief Veterinary Officer, at 709-729-6879.
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