Apparently, quite a few G&G readers have a soft spot for Misty of Chincoteague. Last year, our report on the 90th annual Chincoteague, Virginia, pony roundup and swim, which inspired the beloved children’s classic, seemed to resonate with readers. So we went back for an update.
Over the weekend, volunteer firefighters from Chincoteague Island rounded up the wild horses that roam Assateague Island. Roughly 150 ponies will swim across the Assateague Channel at slack tide on Wednesday morning (between 10 and 11 a.m.) to Chincoteague for an auction on Thursday, July 28. Approximately 60 foals will be auctioned in an effort to maintain the herd’s size.
The most anticipated foal this year, says firefighter Denise Bowden, is one little colt that resembles an ice cream sundae. “He’s brown on the bottom and white on top,” Bowden says. “He’s got such unique half-and-half markings that people are buzzing over him.”
Proceeds from the auction help the fire company with its vehicle and facility costs, as well as supporting veterinary bills for the animals. “Last year was a record year,” Bowden says of the 2015 sale of 61 ponies for nearly $170,000. The high bid for one pony was $25,000. “I always say that if we make just ten dollars, that’s ten dollars that we didn’t have. Outside of saving lives and property, these ponies are our number one priority.”