Newfoundland Ponies are hardy, good-tempered, and sure-footed animals. Colors include bay, black, brown, chestnut, dun, grey, roan, and white (pink skin). They have a heavy coat which sometimes changes color and character seasonally. Height ranges between 11 to 14.2 hands and they work well for riding, driving, and light draft work, and can be ridden by both children and adults.
The Newfoundland’s history is an excellent example of what it takes to make a breed. Like many others, its roots are in several older breeds that came to Canada’s Newfoundland province with colonists in the 17th and 18th centuries. In their new home, the fledgling breed was isolated from its foundation stock. Newfoundlands were strongly influenced by the maritime environment and its use by local farmers and fishermen for plowing, hauling, and transporting goods and people. Mechanization put these ponies out of a job in the 20th century and led them to be dispersed, slaughtered, and ignored. Now, the breeding population is about 200 to 250 and are widely scattered.
DNA studies published in 2011 confirmed the unique genetic makeup of this breed. During this same time, The Livestock Conservancy confirmed the breed’s history and census numbers with the assistance of several dedicated breeders. By moving the Newfoundland breed into the Critical category on the Conservation Priority List, we also shifted its conservation activities from the discovery phase to working to secure the breed.
Did you know:
The Livestock Conservancy is America’s leading organization working to save over 150 heritage breeds from extinction. We rely on the support of our members, grants, and donations from the public to raise the $700,000 a year needed to maintain our conservation work with rare breeds of farm animals. Click here to learn how you can help.