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Breed Facts

Status:
Critical

Use:
Riding, Driving

Adult Weight:
400 - 700 lbs

Temperament:
Docile

Experience Level:
Novice

Notes:
Cold hardy, strong, hardworking, versatile

Newfoundland Pony

Newfoundland PonyNewfoundland Ponies are hardy, good-tempered, and sure-footed animals. Colors may 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 11.0 and 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 breeds, its roots are in several older breeds that came to the Newfoundland province of Canada with colonists in the 17th and 18th centuries. In their new home, the fledgling breed was isolated from its foundation stock and was strongly influenced by the maritime environment and its use by local farmers and fishermen in plowing, hauling, and transporting goods and people. Mechanization put these ponies out of a job in the 20th century, and they were dispersed, slaughtered, and ignored so that now the population of breeding animals is only about 200 to 250 and 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, the Conservancy also shifts its conservation activities from the discovery phase to working to secure the breed.


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