Posts Tagged ‘ponies’

The 89th Annual Pony Swim, Chincoteague Island

Monday, July 21st, 2014

“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

ponyswim

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.)

Photo by Bonnie Gruenberg

Photo by Bonnie Gruenberg

Chincoteague Island Events, July 2011

Friday, July 8th, 2011

Parades, ponies, and carnivals. Sounds like a child’s dream, right? Well, actually, these three things are included in an event happening towards the end of this month on Chincoteague Island, the setting for Marquerite Henry’s famous novel Misty of Chincoteague. If you haven’t guessed by now, this event is Pony Penning Day, where the wild ponies of Assateague Island are rounded up by the Saltwater Cowboys and brought over to Chincoteague. This tradition most likely began in the 1700s, but it was not recorded until 1835. Since then, it has evolved into a fully-fledged tourist attraction, including various other events that accompany the swimming, penning, and selling of the wild ponies.

© 2011 Chincoteague.com

What sparked an international interest in Pony Penning Day was the aforementioned book, Misty of Chincoteague. It is the story of a wild pony named Phantom, her foal Misty, and the loving family that buys Misty. You should definitely read it during your Pony Penning Vacation! And while you’re reading it, you should definitely be staying at one of the fabulous Bed and Breakfasts in the area. For the full experience, check out Miss Molly’s Inn, the wonderful B&B at which Marguerite Henry stayed as she penned her novel. Do you see the pun I made there? “Penned”??? “Pony PENNING Day”??? Yeah, okay, it’s not the wittiest of puns, but it’s still sort of clever!

© 2011 Miss Molly’s Inn

There are also a number of other inns in the area that are also wonderful choices, so you have your pick of fantastic establishments!

By Tara Stoll