94th Chincoteague Pony Swim Set for Wednesday Morning - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

94th Chincoteague Pony Swim Set for Wednesday Morning

Updated:
(Photo: WBOC) (Photo: WBOC)

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va.- It is a Delmarva tradition that attracts visitors from all over the globe. Tens of thousands of people are on hand for today's 94th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

With an expected start time of sometime between 9 a.m. and 9:45 a.m., the famed Saltwater Cowboys will herd an army of approximately 110 wild adult ponies across the Assateague Channel from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. The route is just south of Memorial Park, where spectators can see the ponies swim.

The annual event, held by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which manages the herd, always takes place at "slack tide," which is a period of about 30 minutes between tides, when there is no current. This is the easiest time for the ponies to make the swim across the channel.

Following the swim, the ponies will rest for 45 minutes. Then the Saltwater Cowboys will "parade" the ponies down Main Street, to the carnival grounds where the foals will be auctioned off Thursday morning.

Some of the proceeds from the fire company's fundraiser will benefit a regional charity and help provide veterinary services for ponies throughout the year.

Each year the fire company designates a select few ponies as "buy backs." A buy back pony is a foal that is designated by the fire company to return to Assateague Island to live out its life there. The buy back pony will be auctioned with the rest of the foals. The winner of a buy back pony will get to name the pony before it is returned to Assateague. Buy back ponies replenish the herd on Assateague.

On Friday, the adult ponies will make the return swim to Assateague Island where they will live in the wild for another year.

Click here for more details about Wednesday's event. For more information about the Chincoteague ponies, including their history and origins of the modern day pony swim, click here.

And be sure to visit the WBOC News app or the WBOC Facebook page for live coverage of the 94th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim on Wednesday morning, July 24, brought to you by our friends at Safford of Salisbury.

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