“On the shores of Chincoteague the people pressed forward, their faces strained to stiffness, as they watched Assateague Beach. ‘Here they come!’ The cry broke out from every throat.” –Marguerite Henry, Misty of Chincoteague
For over eighty years now, people from all over have flocked to Chincoteague Island for the Pony Swim and Pony Penning Day, an annual tradition that was made popular in Marguerite Henry’s book Misty of Chincoteague. Now in its 89th year, you have the opportunity to attend Pony Penning Day for yourself:
On July 26-27, 2014, the Pony Round-Up will commence, where Saltwater Cowboys will herd around 150 wild ponies into corrals along Assateague Island.
On July 28, the Cowboys will walk the ponies from the northern corral to the beachfront to the southern corral, beginning at 6 a.m. for those who wish to watch.
July 30, 2014 is the Pony Swim, where the Saltwater Cowboys move the herd from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. (If you’re interested in owning a pony of your own, the first foal to swim to shore will be named King or Queen Neptune and will be given away at a raffle later in the day.)
And finally, on July 31, 2014, the Pony Auction will take place, benefitting the islands as a fundraiser and also as a source of size control for the pony herd.
Pony Penning Day is a source of excitement for all who attend, whether you’re there to bid on a pony or simply watch these beautiful animals swim the Assateague Channel.
Need lodging suggestions? Try out these fantastic Inn Virginia members—1848 Island Manor House B&B, Channel Bass Inn, and Miss Molly’s Inn. (Trivia: Marguerite Henry actually stayed at Miss Molly’s in while she was writing Misty of Chincoteague.)