Thousands Turn Out for 90th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Thousands Turn Out for 90th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim

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WBOC Chopper 16 aerial video still of the 90th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim. WBOC Chopper 16 aerial video still of the 90th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim.

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va.- Tens of thousands of visitors turned out to watch dozens of ponies make their 90th swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Wednesday morning. 

The so-called Saltwater Cowboys rounded up approximately 150 ponies living on Assateague for the swim, which got under way at around 8 a.m. 

The first foal ashore was crowned "King Neptune," and will be given away at a raffle on the carnival grounds.

The other foals will be auctioned off at 8 a.m. Thursday to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which takes care of those ponies. Organizers say the auction helps to cut down on the size of the herd and raises money for veterinary services for the ponies throughout the year. 

Auction winners receive a certificate saying they have purchased an official Chincoteague pony.

Ponies that go unsold and those that are donated back to the fire department will roam free for another year on the national wildlife refuge on Assateague.

The spectacle was celebrated by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague."

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