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LETTER: Harbour Grace writer finds problems with pony society

I am writing this letter in regards to the Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS) as a disgruntled member and as a matter of no other recourse.  

Harbour Grace's Harrison Verge proudly displays Admiral Shalloway, a Newfoundland foundation pony.

It has come to the attention of myself and many other pony owners in Newfoundland, that the NPS is no longer functioning appropriately in the capacity to which it was appointed by the Newfoundland Government in 1997.

It has, in fact, become a secret society and a detriment to the survival of the Newfoundland Pony, especially in the province of Newfoundland and Labrador.

The NPS no longer represents the majority of pony owners.

As per the Dec. 16, 2012 annual general meeting, (when the last statistics regarding membership numbers was released) there were only 14 pony owners who were members. There are more pony owners than this living on the Avalon Peninsula alone.

Pony owners are angry and fed up with the dealings of the NPS and many have ceased to be members. They are especially frustrated with the pony registration process. Some have waited up to three years for registrations to be processed and even simple transfers of ownership can take up to three months.

Voting for council members is also impossible as one isn't able to nominate anyone or obtain a seconder as no one knows who the other members are. It also diminishes the voting members ability to choose who to vote for when the nominee list is sent out to the voting members as nothing is known about the nominees.

Breeding Issues

The NPS currently has removed the registry from the internet due to the APA issue, thus crippling the ability of breeders to make responsible breeding choices and to research pedigrees of breeding pairs. Without pony pedigree information and proper Certification, breeding has all but come to a standstill. There is limited access to information regarding ponies if one knows the names of the mares or stallions and contacts the registrar.

Pony owners who have spoken out against the NPS have experienced lengthy delays in pony registrations and some fear speaking up as they are under the impression that the NPS will not register their ponies if they do. There are also members who have been refused membership renewal due to a difference of opinion, or been forced out through exclusion. The Pony owners of Newfoundland, myself included, want to see the registry back in Canada and operated by an independent body separate from the NPS and the government. It is now, as in the past, in the hands of a pony owner/breeder and represents a direct conflict of interest.

I myself, want to make it clear, that I am NOT in favor of the APA.

These are but a few of the issues members and pony owners have been dealing with regarding the NPS. This problem is not going brushed under the rug. Something has to be done as soon as possible.

— Harrison Verge writes from Harbour Grace.


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