This is the busiest week of the year for our small island town. Pony Penning Is upon us…..What is Pony Penning you may be wondering?!?!
This week, the last of July, finds my little town in the midst of something BIG……It’s called Pony Penning. Visitors from near and far descend upon us to experience the Pony Swim, held the last Wednesday of July. All in hopes of being able to buy one of the many foals to be auctioned off on Thursday. The auction is a yearly fund raiser for our Fire Department, who actually tend to the herd. Here’s the link about the PONY SWIM
Chincoteague was made famous by the book Misty of Chincoteague, written by Marguerite Henry. As a little girl who loved horses, it was my favorite book. Of course I dreamed of visiting this little island and seeing the famous wild ponies of Assateague, but it wasn’t to be. Life went on, I grew up, but the little girl in me never lost her love for the ponies!!!
MISTY PHOTO SOURCE: Wesley Dennis
Today is the beach walk, and in my view, the best part of the week…..the salt water Cowboys gather the northern herd and walk them down the beach at sunrise…it is definelty a sight to behold.
And then, the day everyone has been waiting for…the swim. This year the ponies swim the channel at slack tide between 9-11 a.m. Thousands will be on hand to witness the 91st annual pony swim! The’little girl’ in me finally got to live her dream, not only seeing the Pony Swim by boat, but I’ve come to call this wonderful place home…( I’ve been Blessed to see 2 swims…now I ‘hide’ during the business of the week! 😄)
After the swim, the ponies are rested and then paraded through the streets of Chincoteague to the carnival grounds.
Thursday morning the auction starts at 8 a.m…..I went to one and it was enough for me…..I’m not in the market to buy a pony, and sitting there, watching and listening to the foals cry for their mamas, and the mamas ‘yelling’ for their babies, once was enough for me…..though the looks on the kids faces who bought ponies was and is priceless…….
This link will take you to the history of our CHINCOTEAGUE PONIES if your interested.
If you have the time..watch this video..Ethan did an incredible job capturing the essence of Pony Penning 2013.