It can take a lifetime to find your way home. This is the incredible story of a resilient Newfoundland pony, whose official registered name is Baytona #221, but is lovingly called "Mudder" by the Stein family in Ottawa, who adopted her.
Records from the registry of Newfoundland Ponies indicate that Mudder, in her 30s, is the oldest known living Newfoundland pony. Much of her history is a mystery, so the Newfoundland Pony Society (NPS) is interested in hearing from people who may know more about her. At some point we know that she was shipped out of Newfoundland to Quebec.
Fast forward to the fall of 2017, when a young woman in Augusta, ON was looking to buy a pony for her brother and visited a few farms in Quebec. At one of them, where children's riding lessons are offered, she spotted an old, underweight pony who was in a stall up to her knees in mud. She couldn't leave her there, so she bought her for $500, and removed her from the farm. Incredibly, Mudder was still taking children on her back for rides.
The woman boarded the pony at her stable and tried to get her to gain weight. Upon realizing that Mudder needed more care than she could provide, she reached out to horse and pony sanctuaries across Ontario and the U.S. Emily Chetkowski of Villi Poni Farm in New Hampshire responded to the call. While she was too far away to take the pony, she contacted Korrine Affleck, a councillor-at-large with the NPS who has a stable outside Ottawa.
Korrine drove three hours to meet Mudder and upon seeing her, pulled a hair sample for DNA testing. A council member from NPS paid for the DNA test, and two weeks later the results confirmed that not only is she a Newfoundland pony, but that she is Baytona #221 in the pony registry. According to records, Mudder is the oldest Newfoundland pony known to be alive.
After uncovering this remarkable news about Mudder, it was imperative for Korrine and the Newfoundland pony community to find the best home for her so she could live her remaining years with the care and love she deserves. Barb Stein of Ottawa heard about Mudder, and a few days later this beautiful elderly mare was moved to Barb’s stable. Mudder has since become fast friends with Lucky Irish, Barb’s other Newfoundland pony.
According to Korrine, Mudder’s rescue shows why it’s important to have a strong network of people working together to save one pony at a time. "I'm proud to be part of the Newfoundland pony community. Everyone worked together to help this pony - from the young lady from Augusta, ON who travelled to Quebec to get her, to the Stein family for giving her a forever home. And the NPS council coordinated the effort and solved the mystery of just who this pony was. Incredible teamwork,” says Korrine. - By Libby Carew
We have no idea where Mudder has been or when she was shipped off the island. If you recognize her and can shed some light on the journey she has been on, please contact the Newfoundland Pony Society: firstname.lastname@example.org.