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chincoteague pony

There are two theories of how the ponies came to live on Assateague Island. The legend is that a Spanish galleon wrecked off of Assateague Island and the surviving ponies swam to the island. However, the more likely theory is that early 17th century colonists let their animals loose on the island to avoid the tax on fenced livestock. Whichever theory is true, the free-roaming ponies of Assateague have been living there for hundreds of years. The Virginia feral ponies are owned by Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. The government allows the fire department to keep a maximum of 150 adult ponies in the Chincoteague National Wildlife Refuge on Assateague Island. For over 80 years, on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July, Pony Penning is held on Chincoteague. The herds on Assateague are rounded up, and on Wednesday of Pony Penning week the ponies swim from Assateague to Chincoteague. The ponies are held in a pen at the carnival grounds on Chincoteague until they swim back on Friday morning. On Thursday, an auction of most of the foals is held with a few kept as future breeding stock. The proceeds of the auction are used to care for the feral ponies and finance Chincoteague’s fire department. A second roundup is held in the fall for a vet check, an informal sale of the foals born after Pony Penning, and the foals sold in July that were too young to be weaned are picked up by their owners.

The Chincoteague Pony is a hardy breed that originates on the Atlantic island of Assateague. The breed varies greatly in type and there is no true breed standard. Natural selection and the introduction of different breeds, most notably Arabian and Mustang, have led to this lack of a true type. Chincoteagues are known for being easy keepers and often do not require shoes. Most Chincoteagues are between 13 and 14.2 hands, but some have been known to reach 16 hands. Chincoteagues come in most all colors and patterns, with pinto being the most popular and the most prevalent. Chincoteagues have excelled in the show ring in a variety of disciplines.

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  • Misty
    Misty

    Age: 19Y Sex: F

    United States

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Chincoteague Pony".