Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Chincoteague Pony Penning '08

I'm finally getting around to posting pictures. Pony Penning week here on the beautiful island of Chincoteague, Virginia, ended last week. I am here to bring you a few pictures and tell you what a wonderful experience it was to be a part of it. They estimated crowds of up to 40,000 - 50,000 but I think because of the gas prices being so high, it was way under that. Never the less, we had an excellent turnout.

I woke up at 6:30 and turned on WESR to find out when the ponies had left Assateague. Assateague is where they live and graze, but the last Wednesday in July of every single year, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department don their hoses for horses and herd them off the island and into the channel to swim over to Memorial Park here on Chincoteague.

I had originally thought I would ride to Memorial Park but after my daughter and I rode down Beebe, we discovered too many people and headed back out to Main Street. We found a nice grassy area on the water (good for dipping toes because it was so hot!) and waited for the ponies to come through.

Here is where we waited:

That's my daughter trying to look like she was having a good time, lol. I think we stood there for about a half hour in the sweltering heat. I was smart. See that water back there? I walked around and gathered shells. Neat ass shells, too. One was a bunch of clam shells that was embedded onto an oyster shell. I asked my son how this happened and he said when the mama clam had babies, they grabbed onto something and that's what they all grabbed onto. It's really neat knowing all of these shells sitting on top of the long oyster shell were sisters and brothers.

Anyway, on with the story...the ponies finally arrived and this picture here is them heading toward us...

And here they are!

It was so much fun. My daughter and I rode behind the pony parade until we couldn't go any further (mobs of people and hard to maneuver our bikes going at such a slow speed), so we went on home. Later that afternoon, I went and grabbed my son from his dad's and we took off to see the ponies who the "saltwater cowboys" had corralled into the carnival grounds. Here's a few pics from that...

They auctioned off the ponies two days later. I know there were a lot of happy people who became new owners of the original Chincoteague Ponies! Stay tuned for a story about the Ultimate Challenge that my son and I endured - a ten mile bike ride to Assateague and back. Fun and pictures, too!

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  1. They do that every year? Then the ponies must all be just babies.

    We are having some problems out here with people who shouldn't have horses but do. They are expensive to properly maintain and what with the increases in the cost of everything, some are not able to care for them. And there is no market now for horses due to too many of them available and a limitation on converting them to a meat market item.

  2. Wow, Dick, man that's a shame. The ponies over here...the ones they don't auction, they send back to Assateague to breed. Those new babies will be swam (lol, or swum?) over here next year. It's a really neat phenomenon and I'm so happy I got to be right in the middle of it!


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