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Chincoteague Ponies

Updated on January 30, 2015

The Wild Ponies of Chincoteague and Assateague

This page describes the wild ponies of Chincoteague Island and Assateague Island.

The most well known Chincoteague ponies were Misty and Stormy, made famous by the series of novels from Marguerite Henry.

Chincoteague ponies are the main attraction during the Chincoteague Island Pony Roundup, Swim, Penning and Auction. The event is held annually on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July.

Chincoteague Ponies

Made famous by Marguerite Henry's bestselling book "Misty of Chincoteague", Chincoteague ponies run free on the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge, which is the Virginia side of nearby Assateague Island. They are a beautiful breed, descended, according to local legend, from horses shipwrecked when a Spanish galleon sank just off the coast.

The ponies are the property of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company whose famous "saltwater cowboys" round up the horses annually during the Pony Penning on the last Wednesday and Thursday of July. The ponies swim across a narrow part of the Assateague Channel at slack tide on Wednesday, corraled and auctioned off on Thursday.This "pony swim" is the highlight of the summer season.

Chincoteague Pony History

While it's been well documented that at least 2 Spanish ships wrecked on the coast of Assateague Island, the exact origin of the ponies cannot be known.

Its highly likely that the ponies did originate from the Spanish ships and its well known that the herd has received many supplemental additions down thru the years.

Among the additions to the herd were ponies that were let loose by local citizens for a variety of reasons.

Other animals were released as a measure of diversifying the gene pool. These included ponies and several breeds of horses.

The Feather Fund

The Feather Fund is a non-profit organization whose mission is to continue the work begun by Carollynn Suplee to assist deserving children with the purchase and attendant costs associated with the acquisition of Chincoteague ponies, with the goal of helping each child learn about responsibility, care, love, work ethic, as well as the concept of "giving back to others" through the care and training of his or her animal. Additionally, the fund may provide financial support to related causes as determined by the advisory committee.

For more information or to donate to this organization, visit

Chincoteague Pony Guestbook

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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Chincoteague Ponies On The Assateague Island, by NCPA.

      Our whole family loved it.

    • siobhanryan profile image


      5 years ago


    • profile image


      7 years ago

      i love that you included the FeatherFund in this. it makes me so happy.

    • delia-delia profile image


      7 years ago

      Nice the Chincoteague Ponies...lensrolled to my 'Princess Pony' lens

    • starhorsepax profile image


      8 years ago

      Nice pictures. I wish mine were that good, but when I was there it was predigital camera!

    • HorseLoversMama profile image


      9 years ago

      The pictures and references here made me smile again and again!

      As for my experiences - they started when I was a kid. I even have 8-track home movies of my grandparents visiting Asseteague/Chincoteague.

      I've related a bit about my most recent experiences - now that I have a HORSE LOVER in my household - in my lens Take your Horse Lover on a Trip to Chincoteague

      I plan to write a few more in the future. I will check out your book list. I know my daughter has brought home several from her elementary school library - specifically on Chincoteague Ponies!

    • HorseAndPony LM profile image

      HorseAndPony LM 

      9 years ago

      Great 5* lens. We love the Chincoteague Ponies and hope to visit in the near future. Glad to have you in our Pony Power group.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Check out "Misty" at and let us know what you think of our site.

    • EpicFarms profile image


      9 years ago

      Wonderful lens ~ I have not visited Chincoteague, but I do have Marguerite Henry's books on my shelf :o) 5*


    • profile image


      10 years ago

      hi this lens is great and the horses are beautiful!

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      10 years ago from Southampton, UK

      You have managed to create some lovely lenses about this beautiful part of the world. I have wanted to go there since I saw Misty with my daughter. Nice job, got to give you 5 *****

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Thanks for joining ALL HORSES!

    • kerri-jo profile image


      10 years ago

      I would love to hear more about the "Buy-Back Girls"

      Are there photos of the fillies and this amazing stud they bought to return to the Island?


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