Extra Hands at Historic Pony Swim from Rhinebeck, New York
If you were a horse lover growing up chances are you read the 1947 children's novel "Misty of Chincoteague" by Marguerite Henry. A great story full of emotion and horses. It is centered around an annual tradition that still takes place on the Pony Islands of Virginia, the Chincoteague Pony Swim.
If you have spent any time near Chincoteague or Assateague Islands in Virginia and Marland, I don't have to explain how amazing this event is to witness. It also serves a purpose to help protect and care for these wild ponies that are believed to be descendants of ponies brought to the islands in the 17th century. Another theory is that they are descended from Spanish horses who swam to shore after a shipwreck in the 16th century.
Vet Helping at Chincoteague Pony Swim 2022 is From Rhinebeck, NY
Rhinebeck Equine shared on its Facebook page over the weekend that one of their Doctors, Br, Cara Rosenbaum was on hand this year at the Chincoteague Pony Swim 2022 to lend a hand. According to the post, Cara helped give new foals their first checkup.
Each foal had a brief physical, blood collected for a Coggins, a microchip placed, and then was identified for the upcoming auction. Each foal has a sticker with a number correlated to its identifier in the full 2022 foal list ... The foals deemed too young to go home this summer were marked in green for “fall pickup” and the foals that will be auctioned now were marked in red. All proceeds from the auction are donated back to the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department to maintain the herd. (via Rhinebeck Equine Facebook 7-24-2022)
According to Wikipedia, pony penning began as early as the 16th or 17th century and the tradition continues today. The modern-day Pony Penning Day was established in 1924. It involves the pony swim, Salt Water Cowboys, a volunteer fireman's carnival, and a foal auction. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company and the National Park Service work together on this event being they both lay claim to the ponies depending on which side of Assateague Island they are in at the time.
Wikipedia also shared that the National Park Service controls the ponies while they are on the Maryland side of Assateague and the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company owns the ponies on the Virginia side of the island. Pony Beach Walk along with other groups are following the event live on their Facebook pages.