Chincoteague Island Pony Swim 2014

Chincoteague Island Pony Swim 2014

Chincoteague Island Pony Swim 2014


Did you ever read Misty of Chincoteague when you were a kid? It was written by Marguerite Henry.

Misty of Chincoteague, Pony Swim


I did, and recently did a reread with my kid, we loved the book and enjoyed the old movie so much we decided to Google the event  and take a look at Pony Penning Days. It you missed the movie, it was filmed in 1961 starring David Ladd and Arthur O’Connor , here is a clip.  Definitely a good family pony movie.

If you don’t know that story here is a description from my favorite book seller Amazonmisty of chincoteague, pony swim, chincoteague pony swim



Great read for sure, but did you know that the Pony Penning still going on today? In fact it is coming up on July 30, 2014

This year will mark the 89th year of the Chincoteague’s annual Pony Swim on Wednesday July 30, 2014, Thousands of fans and spectators from around the world will assemble on Chincoteague Island to watch this yearly tradition.

The Pony Round Up: July 25 & 27, 2014

“Saltwater Cowboys” as they are fondly called will ride horse back and begin rounding up approximately 150 ponies  The ponies that are herded and rounded up can be viewed by the public which is located on Assateague.  If you want to see them you need to be at Assategue Beach by 6 am

The Pony Swim: July 30, 2014

The Saltwater cowboys will swim the ponies on Wednesday from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. The swim will take place during “slack tide”, a period of about 30 minutes between tides, when there is no current. The time of slack tide varies each year. There is no charge to see the ponies swim. The best way to see the ponies swim is on a charter boat, but spots on these boats are in high demand, you will need to reserve a spot on the charter boats months in advance.

The first foal to come ashore is named King or Queen Neptune and will be raffled away at a drawing at the carnival grounds later in the day. You must be present to win and have a worthy stock trailer to transport your prize.

So why do they do this auction each year, year after year? Well the auctions serves 2 purposes, first the auction provides herd management, so the herd does not get too big. The second serves as a fundraiser for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. Some of the earnings provide veterinary care for the ponies throughout the year. All winners receive certification saying they have purchases a Chincoteague Pony from the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

The Ponies Swim Back to Assateague August 1, 2014

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


Isn’t it fascinating that a childhood book could instill such curiosity that this event now finds itself on my bucket list.

What about you, what stories from childhood or as an adult have lead to your bucket list, we would love to hear.

Thanks again for riding along today, until next time Happy Trails


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  1. Annie James

    Well darlin’ we are just gonna have to make a trip to see these beautiful little ponies, start saving your pennies would ya. To answer the question what book has inspired me to my bucket list would have to be “A River Runs Through It” for obvious reasons…happy trails girl

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Yea Annie, I know why you like A River Runs Through It… 🙂
      I will start saving and thanks for commenting

  2. Rachel

    Interesting – would definitely love it see the swim one day!! I love the movie…..

  3. Hmmm . . . what do you mean by “provides herd management”? Does this mean some of the ponies drown – or do you just mean they reduce the size of the herd by one through the raffle?

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      OH no! Herd management is good, it means some ponies are raffles or sold, therefore decreasing the demands on the island where they live. Ponies and horses are great swimmers and usually once they get over the fear of water, you can’t get them out. Thanks Lisa for asking, I might need to rewrite that a bit 🙂

  4. It is the very first time I have heard about this book, actually I am very far from your “western world” so I like your posts, because they unfold something totally new!

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thank you Clara for the nice comment. I am so pleased that you enjoyed the post!!

  5. I have never read that book, however, would be interesting to read it to my son 🙂

    • Lisa J. Hoover

      Thanks Remy, I bet your son would like the story. It is about a little boy and girl, and of course a pony named Misty, a very sweet story. The movie is a gem too. I have a copy of the book if you would like it. Would love to pass it on. Happy Trails!

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