Pony up at Civic Center

  • A new photography exhibit by Rich Damboise opens May 13 at the Jaffrey Civic Center. The exhibit celebrates the rescued Newfoundland ponies at Villi Pony Farm in Jaffrey. Photo by Rich Damboise

Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Thursday, April 27, 2017 11:41AM

When photographer Rich Damboise visited the Villi Pony Farm about two years ago, he had no idea he was about to embark on a journey.

“These animals are so different than anything I’ve ever experienced,” said Damboise. “The farm is incredible and the people that run it, George (Aho) and Emily (Chetkowski) are unbelievable. The work they put in to save these ponies ...”

The Goffstown native volunteered to do a photo shoot with the ponies at Villi’s old New Ipswich location. After one session, he was hooked.

“I’m addicted to these things,” he said. “When you’re with them, the energy seems so positive. It sounds corny, but it’s a real cool experience just to hang out with them.”

Damboise visited several more times and followed them to their new spot in Jaffrey, bigger and better for the rescued horses, he said.

Villi Pony Farm is home to 10 of the 37 breeding Newfoundland ponies in North America, a once-thriving population of thousands that has dwindled to endangerment.

Now, those ponies will be celebrated in a new exhibit of Damboise’s photography at the Jaffrey Civic Center. The exhibit opens on May 13, the JCC’s Founder’s Day, with a reception from noon to 2 p.m. Newfoundland ponies will be in attendance on the front lawn, greeting visitors.

All are welcome.