Countdown to Chincoteague pony swim: Ups and downs for wild ponies this 12 months


Tens of 1000’s are anticipated to assemble for the 99th annual Chincoteague Pony swim on Wednesday, July 24, when dozens of untamed ponies will make their trek throughout the Assateague Channel. They’ll be auctioned the following day. 


Wild ponies are herded into the Assateague Channel to for his or her annual swim to Chincoteague Island, on July 25, 2012 in Chincoteague, Virginia. Every 12 months the wild ponies are rounded as much as be auctioned off by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. (Getty Images/Mark Wilson)

Births, deaths, rescues and recoveries are a part of life, each human and equine.

Tens of 1000’s are anticipated to assemble for the 99th annual Chincoteague pony swim on Wednesday, July 24, when dozens of untamed ponies will make their trek throughout the Assateague Channel. They’ll be auctioned the following day.

The horses had been made well-known within the 1947 traditional youngsters’s novel “Misty of Chincoteague” by writer Marguerite Henry.

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, in Chincoteague, Virginia, oversees the fundraising public sale and manages the wild pony herd on Assateague Island. The hearth firm stated 2024 has been “a roller-coaster experience.” Assateague Island’s northern two-thirds are in Maryland, and the southern third is in Virginia.

In periodic updates on its Facebook web page, the fireplace firm stated roughly 60 foals have been born this 12 months.

In a Tuesday submit, the fireplace firm stated two foals died inside their first few weeks of life. The division stated domestically, roughly 7% of foals die.

Also, a mare that underwent a tough labor, requiring human assist to ship a stillborn foal, obtained painkillers and antibiotics, worsened, and was euthanized.

There have been some uplifting tales, in accordance with the fireplace firm.

Last week, a foal was found on Assateague Island, and not using a mom close by. The hearth division monitored the state of affairs, and finally a mare named Penny “appeared to have some affection for the foal and upon additional inspection we found that she had actually foaled and that this was probably hers.”

The division was in a position to seize the horse, “and get it in a trailer with Penny reluctantly following behind.” After transporting the ponies to the carnival space, “fortunately we had been in a position to get it to nurse however might be administering colostrum simply in case.”

Some older ponies have been getting medical remedy, in accordance with the fireplace division.

“The 4 Swamp Cancer Ponies have all made a full restoration from the illness itself and at the moment are present process meticulous foot trimming to permit them to be utterly sound for island life,” in accordance with a May 6 submit.

What’s referred to as swamp most cancers is definitely a fungal illness, which regularly causes extreme tissue progress in horses, requiring surgical procedure.

The pony swim is held on the final consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. In 2020 and 2021 the in-person swims had been canceled, and the auctions had been digital.

As of March 2024, the National Park Service stated the horse inhabitants for Assateague Island National Seashore was 73, consisting of 30 stallions and 43 mares.

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