Chincoteague Ponies Go Up For Auction - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Chincoteague Ponies Go Up For Auction

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CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND, Va. - Among the thousands of Chincoteague pony fans who flock to the island each year, a few dozen will go home with a pony bought at auction.  For some, it is a lifelong dream come true.

"I'm overwhelmed.  I'm so excited," said Teresa Hemphill of Tennessee.  "I've been wanting a baby like this all my life since I was a little girl and I had followed him since the day he was born."

Hemphill said she watched the colt's progress online and saw that other bidders were growing increasingly interested as well.  Hemphill came prepared which meant being willing to pay more than $10,000 for her prized pony.

Others like Leslie Joliet of Greenbackville, Virginia wanted to purchase one of the designated "buyback" ponies which will be released back into the wild.

"First of all I don't have a place to keep a pony," said Joliet.  "And I like the fact that she gets to go back and live on the island."

Money generated from the sale of the buyback ponies will be donated to the Special Olympics but the vast majority of the auction's proceeds help support the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.  This year's auction raised $151,575.  In 2015, according to Chincoteague.com the auction raised $169,576.

The adult ponies will swim back to Assateague Island on Friday where they will live for another year.

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