Pony Penning

Tom Hunt

Over 100 ponies took the plunge yesterday and swam from Assateague Island to Chincoteague.

Thousands of visitors watched the Saltwater Cowboys herd the ponies for the 89th annual Pony Penning.

The crossing took place around 11:50 a.m. during slack tide under sunny skies and pleasant temperatures.

Afterward they were paraded through the streets of Chincoteague to the carnival ground where they were  auctioned off this morning.

Last year 55 foals were sold bringing $114-thousand with 11 ponies bought back and returned to Assateague.

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In Chincoteague an iconic Island Movie Theater that premiered the film Misty in 1961 held an open house yesterday after two years of renovations by the Chincoteague Island Arts Organization.

The theater is moving into the 21st century with the ability to show 3D films .along with new seating and a new stage structure.

But it was a bit of nostalgia for a number of locals who appeared in the movie about drawn the children’s book “Misty of Chincoteague” that was filmed on location.

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The ponies made it across the channel yesterday from the Assateague Island to Chincoteague amidst stormy weather.

The thunderstorm came around 11 am drenching thousands of onlookers…that showed up for the 88th annual Pony Swim and parade.

The Saltwater Cowboys herded around 150 ponies making the crossing in around 5 minutes.

Kendy Allen with the Chincoteague Pony Center says , the ponies do not have to swim much and figures the distance they have to cross less than a quarter of a mile andis not that deep.

They’re back.

Tens of thousands of visitors are expected to descend on Chincoteague Island for the 87th annual Pony Penning.

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company sponsors the event which will see the Chincoteague ponies cross the Assateague Channel this Wednesday.

The following day they will be auctioned off to raise money for the firefighters.

Spectators will gather at the Pony Swim Lane and Memorial Park to watch the ponies to make the swim which will take three to five minutes.