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Newfoundland pony gets a leg up from provincial government

<p>Evangeline, left, a Newfoundland pony filly, and Sparky, a three-quarter Newfoundland pony colt – the eldest by nine days – are best buddies.</p>
The Newfoundland pony population was about 13,000 in the 1960s but is now down below 400. - Contributed

HOPEALL, N.L.

NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR

CANADA

The Newfoundland pony is getting its own heritage park.

A 50-year agricultural lease has been issued to the Newfoundland Pony Society for approximately 10 hectares of Crown land near Hopeall in Trinity Bay.

The Newfoundland Pony Heritage Park will be used for protection, pasture and breeding of the species, according to a release from the Department of Fisheries and Land Resources.

Fisheries and Land Resources Minister Gerry Byrne made the announcement near Hopeall today where he was joined by representatives of the society.

“The Newfoundland pony is part of our shared heritage, and was essential to our ancestors’ very existence as they used this special animal to work the land and sea,” Byrne said.

The Newfoundland pony is unique to Newfoundland and Labrador, a result of interbreeding between pony breeds imported mainly from the British Isles by early settlers.

The Newfoundland pony population has dwindled from 13,000 roughly 50 years ago to below 400 today.

The provincial government introduced the Heritage Animal Act to recognize and protect the Newfoundland pony on Dec. 16, 1996.

The Newfoundland Pony Society is responsible for preserving, protecting and maintaining a registry of Newfoundland ponies.

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