Top News

Carolyn Parsons Chaffey adopts Newfoundland Pony with rich history


Bonnie the Newfoundland Pony is spending her days quietly living on a farm just outside of Lewisporte.

Carolyn Parsons Chaffey and her family adopted the pony just after Christmas.

“Bonnie was at a foster home in Grand Falls-Windsor because her owner had some medical issues and couldn’t care for her,” she told The Pilot. “We decided we would get a pony and she was up for adoption and I figured she has been ridden, she was saddle broke and she could pull a wagon or sled. So we adopted her.”

Parsons Chaffey knew Bonnie was a Newfoundland pony, but had no idea just what role she played in preserving the breed.

Bonnie’s registration had been lost. So the Mare Network, which was handling Bonnie’s adoption, pulled hairs from her mane and sent them for DNA analysis.

“We didn’t care if she was pure Newfoundland Pony or not, to us she is a pet,” Parsons Chaffey said.

When the results were in, Bonnie’s DNA didn’t match who was thought to be her parents, so the sample was run through the entire Newfoundland Pony Society database.

Parsons Chaffey was surprised when she received a call from Cindy Mehaney of The Newfoundland Pony Society asking if she had any photos of Bonnie.

Parsons Chaffey sent along the few photos she had and, in turn, received some photos back from Mehaney. They were registration photos of Bonnie when she was about five years-old.

It turned out that 28-year-old Bonnie was actually 100 per cent Newfoundland Pony and was a foundation mare registered under the name Queen Ivimey.

When the society was saving the ponies years ago, it found ponies all over the place and registered them and they were ones that were earmarked to save the breed.

Bonnie (Queen Ivimey) was one of those ponies and has given birth to future generations of the breed.

“There are eight registered foals and there are probably more that aren’t registered,” Parsons Chaffey said.

Newfoundland Ponies live to be very old because they have no genetic disorder specific to the breed. Unless they are injured, they live beyond regular horses’ lifespan — 35-38 years old is not out of the realm. They are also considered a land-race breed because they have adapted to their environment and can live off the land.

“They don’t lose body heat, snow lands on them and doesn’t melt. They are waterproof,” Parsons Chaffey said. “The Ponies are very strong compared to their body weight for what they can pull and what you have to feed them. They don’t eat as much, but can do just as much work and have excellent endurance.”

The ponies developed hooded eyes, furry ears, hard hooves, thick mane and low-slung tails because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have survived the Newfoundland winters.

Even at her age, Bonnie is healthy and capable of having more foals, but Parsons Chaffey has no intention of breeding her.

Just recently, Parsons Chaffey discovered that Bonnie’s original owner was Sheila Ivimey, who Bonnie (Queen Ivimey) was named after According to Parsons Chaffey, Ivimey has the distinction of being the first female licensed harness racer in Atlantic Canada.

“So Bonnie was actually harness trained by a professional and it explained so much when we found that out because when I would walk her, she wanted to go in a circle,” Parsons Chaffey said.

The two have been in contact and have shared older photos of the pony.

Bonnie spends her days with another Newfoundland Pony, Queenie, who Parsons Chaffey is fostering until a permanent home can be found.

Around the same time they adopted Bonnie, Queenie and her two foals were given up for adoption when their owner could no longer care for them.

“Queenie is at least half Newfoundland Pony, but we don’t know all of her history,” she said. “She looks much different than Bonnie, she is still a Newfoundland Pony.”

 

christy.janes@pilotnl.ca

 

 

christy.janes@pilotnl.ca

Carolyn Parsons Chaffey and her family adopted the pony just after Christmas.

“Bonnie was at a foster home in Grand Falls-Windsor because her owner had some medical issues and couldn’t care for her,” she told The Pilot. “We decided we would get a pony and she was up for adoption and I figured she has been ridden, she was saddle broke and she could pull a wagon or sled. So we adopted her.”

Parsons Chaffey knew Bonnie was a Newfoundland pony, but had no idea just what role she played in preserving the breed.

Bonnie’s registration had been lost. So the Mare Network, which was handling Bonnie’s adoption, pulled hairs from her mane and sent them for DNA analysis.

“We didn’t care if she was pure Newfoundland Pony or not, to us she is a pet,” Parsons Chaffey said.

When the results were in, Bonnie’s DNA didn’t match who was thought to be her parents, so the sample was run through the entire Newfoundland Pony Society database.

Parsons Chaffey was surprised when she received a call from Cindy Mehaney of The Newfoundland Pony Society asking if she had any photos of Bonnie.

Parsons Chaffey sent along the few photos she had and, in turn, received some photos back from Mehaney. They were registration photos of Bonnie when she was about five years-old.

It turned out that 28-year-old Bonnie was actually 100 per cent Newfoundland Pony and was a foundation mare registered under the name Queen Ivimey.

When the society was saving the ponies years ago, it found ponies all over the place and registered them and they were ones that were earmarked to save the breed.

Bonnie (Queen Ivimey) was one of those ponies and has given birth to future generations of the breed.

“There are eight registered foals and there are probably more that aren’t registered,” Parsons Chaffey said.

Newfoundland Ponies live to be very old because they have no genetic disorder specific to the breed. Unless they are injured, they live beyond regular horses’ lifespan — 35-38 years old is not out of the realm. They are also considered a land-race breed because they have adapted to their environment and can live off the land.

“They don’t lose body heat, snow lands on them and doesn’t melt. They are waterproof,” Parsons Chaffey said. “The Ponies are very strong compared to their body weight for what they can pull and what you have to feed them. They don’t eat as much, but can do just as much work and have excellent endurance.”

The ponies developed hooded eyes, furry ears, hard hooves, thick mane and low-slung tails because if they didn’t, they wouldn’t have survived the Newfoundland winters.

Even at her age, Bonnie is healthy and capable of having more foals, but Parsons Chaffey has no intention of breeding her.

Just recently, Parsons Chaffey discovered that Bonnie’s original owner was Sheila Ivimey, who Bonnie (Queen Ivimey) was named after According to Parsons Chaffey, Ivimey has the distinction of being the first female licensed harness racer in Atlantic Canada.

“So Bonnie was actually harness trained by a professional and it explained so much when we found that out because when I would walk her, she wanted to go in a circle,” Parsons Chaffey said.

The two have been in contact and have shared older photos of the pony.

Bonnie spends her days with another Newfoundland Pony, Queenie, who Parsons Chaffey is fostering until a permanent home can be found.

Around the same time they adopted Bonnie, Queenie and her two foals were given up for adoption when their owner could no longer care for them.

“Queenie is at least half Newfoundland Pony, but we don’t know all of her history,” she said. “She looks much different than Bonnie, she is still a Newfoundland Pony.”

 

christy.janes@pilotnl.ca

 

 

christy.janes@pilotnl.ca

Recent Stories