Marguerite Henry

chincoteague.com

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - An Eastern Shore tradition celebrated by Marguerite Henry's book "Misty of Chincoteague" is marking its 90th year.

The highlight of the week is this morning's annual swim of the tough little ponies from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. A group of volunteers called the "Saltwater Cowboys" rounds up the ponies and leads them through the passage at slack tide.

An auction of a portion of the herd benefits the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.

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In Chincoteague they’re gearing up for the annual pony swim.

Yesterday, the Saltwater Cowboys paraded the northern herd of the ponies down the beach on Assateague Island.

Visitors from across the nation and abroad will be attending the annual pony swim to witness the herd crossing the Assateague Channel tomorrow.

On Thursday, the foals will be sold at auction with the proceeds going to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company which owns and maintains the herd.

The swim was made famous by the 1947 novel Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.

Christopher Evanson / US Coast Guard Gallery

CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) - Chincoteague firefighters known as saltwater cowboys will oversee the annual pony swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague in Virginia on July 30.

The event is preceded by a carnival, which began Friday and continues on several dates in July and early August.

Each year the wild ponies are auctioned to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the Virginia herd. This year's auction is July 31. 

Tens of thousands of spectators showed up this morning as the Saltwater Cowboys herded their ponies across the Assateague Channel for the 87th Annual Chincoteague Pony Swim.

The 10-minute swim across the 200-yeard Assateague channel dates from the early 1920's.

It was made famous by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague".

Tomorrow, the ponies will be auctioned off to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the Virginia herd.