The Chincoteague Pony an Assateague wild pony now represents the State of Virginia

Cheryl E Preston
Chincoteague ponies are Virginia's new state poniesPhoto byNational Scinecce foundation screenshot

Virginia has some fascinating new mascots of sorts

Chincoteague is a town on the island that bears the same name, located in Virginia’s Eastern Shore region and a gateway to Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, on Assateague Island, where wild Chincoteague ponies roam. The origin is not certain as the native population of North American horses died off during the ice ages of the Pleistocene era. There are several theories, however of how these horses arrived on the islands.

One possibility is that English settlers brought the horses from the mainland to avoid tax liabilities. A popular folktale suggests the horses are descended from the survivors of a shipwrecked Spanish galleon, and managed to make it to shore where they’ve proliferated ever since. This breed is showcased at the Chincoteague Pony Centre and now is the official State Pony of Virginia. On Monday, March 27, Governor Glen Younkin signed hundreds of bills into law and one was bill SB1478 which was passed by a unanimous vote of 99-0.

Owned and managed by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company since 1925, Chincoteague ponies, also known as Assateague wild ponies, have become well-known for the annual pony swim. The event is held on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July.
The pony swim is popularPhoto byNational science video screenshot

The pony swim is very popular

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company purchases a grazing permit every year from the National Fish & Wildlife Service which allows them to "maintain a herd of approximately 150 adult ponies on Assateague Island". The Fire Department holds a pony auction on the last Thursday in July each year to control the size of the herd.

Tens of thousands of spectators show up annually to watch the Saltwater Cowboys swim the pony herd from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. The new state ponies are separated by a fence at the Virginia-Maryland State Line and the herd in Maryland is managed by the National Park Service.

Comments / 1

Published by

I write, about breaking news, and current events. I wrote a newspaper column from 1997 to 2007 and have written for various online platforms since 2012 including Yahoo Contributor Network, Hubpages, and Vocal Media.

Roanoke, VA

More from Cheryl E Preston

Comments / 0