Annual Pony Swim to Chincoteague Island - NBC4 Washington

Annual Pony Swim to Chincoteague Island



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    CHINCOTEAGUE, VA - JULY 25: Wild ponies are herded into the penning area after swimming across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague Island July 25, 2007 in Chincoteague, Virginia. Each year the wild ponies are rounded up to be auctioned off by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    Chincoteague firefighters known as saltwater cowboys are preparing for the annual pony swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague in Virginia.

    Each year the wild ponies are auctioned to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the Virginia herd.  The swim will take place on Wednesday between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., during "slack tide," when the water's current is weakest.

    Ponies that are not sold and those that are donated back to the fire department will roam free for another year on the national wildlife refuge on Assateague.

    The pony swim was made famous by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague." Thousands of tourists are expected to line up to watch the swim Wednesday.

    The fire department urges onlookers to bring water, bug spray and old shoes because there will be lots of mud at the swim site during low tide.

    For more information on the event click here.