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LETTER: Clarifying some pony misconceptions

It has come to our attention that a Harbour Grace breeder recently wrote a letter to the editor of the Compass leveling accusations about the registry the Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS).

As an equine conservationist of some 20 years and being very familiar with the Newfoundland Pony's current status, I would like to address his complaints on behalf of the international equine conservation group I represent, the Equus Survival Trust.

Though his brush was dramatically broad and a number facts distorted by rumors, some of Mr. Verge's complaints were valid. The issues however, are old, not new.  It's true in past years NPS was not functioning as it should.  

As such NPS spent the last 18 months reviewing it's internal issues and seeking solutions, while fending off the threat of an APA program that was designed to inject non-pure blood into the critically endangered Newfoundland pony and cause it's extinction.  


As one of our 50-plus affiliate organizations, the Equus Survival Trust (EST) followed NPS's progress closely while lending its full support to oppose APA.  NPS did a complete overhaul of its officers, replacing some through due process, and addressing how the positions operated, including a much needed overhaul on registration procedures. 

EST is happy to report that NPS has streamlined all areas of operation and registrations are running smoothly now, and the NPS Registrar is available to aid breeders in researching bloodlines until the studbook is available again.

NPS is currently updating its studbook census information and when it is completed they expect to publish a studbook that will include all ponies in the registry to date. Future plans include a database (hopefully interactive) to enable breeders to make informed decisions about future breedings and research current bloodlines.

The Newfoundland Pony is a unique treasure, the only existing pony breed developed in North America.  It has four centuries of history in its motherland, Newfoundland.  

EST has always found the homeland of an endangered breed understands its needs and treasures it most above all other regions.  

The Newfoundland Pony could not be in better hands than on the island whose history it helped shape it and whose culture and community treasure it most.

— Victoria Tollman is executive director of the Equus Survival Trust.

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