Wondering what is Pony Penning? It is an annual festival held in Chincoteague, Virginia on Wednesday and Thursday of July. The event was conducted by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. The festival contains two popular events such as a Wild Pony Swim on Wednesday and a Pony Auction on Thursday. The purpose of the event is to raise funds for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. The event becomes a famous tradition that draws large crowds. The breed was made famous by the novel Misty of Chincoteague that was written by Marguerite Henry.
Facts about Pony Penning
We have come up with a few surprising facts about Pony Penning that you may not know! Let’s get started!
1. Two Herds of Chincoteague Ponies
The Chincoteague pony also called Assateague horse lives in Assateague Island that is part of two states namely Maryland and Virginia. Each state has its own herds of Chincoteague ponies. The Virginia herd is managed by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company (CVFC) whereas the Maryland herd is owned by the National Park Service.
1. When Did Misty Die?
- A. 1972
- B. 1975
- C. 1976
- D. 1980
2. The Maryland Horse Population Is Controlled by a Contraceptive Vaccine
During the popular Pony Penning day, the Maryland horse population was controlled using a contraceptive vaccine but in Virginia breeds are auctioned off to control the population.
3. The Pony Swim Has Occurred since 1925
The spectacular pony swim happened in 1925, as Henry described in Misty. Ponies take three minutes to swim across the channel from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. The auction of young ponies takes place before they go home.
4. Chincoteague Ponies Weren’t an Official Breed until 1985
The Chincoteague Ponies were not an official breed until 1985. The Chincoteague Pony Association was formed in 1994. The registry is used for the pony penning auction.
5. Marguerite Henry Owned Misty
The mind-blowing fact is Ms. Henry requested Mr. Beebe to sell Misty to her because she wanted her as the inspiration for her novel. In the end, Henry agreed to keep Misty for 10 years. After that, she was returned to the Beebe farm. Misty died in 1972 at the age of 26.
6. Misty Is Not a Wild Pony
Misty was born on July 20, 1946, at Beebe Ranch on Chincoteague Island, Virginia and she was not wild on Assateague Island as mentioned in the book.
7. They Are Called Assateague Ponies
The ponies on Assateague islands are sometimes called Assateague ponies notably, the Maryland herd is known as the “Assateague herd,” since Chincoteague is part of Virginia.
8. No One Knows for Sure Where Ponies Came From
Believe it or not, Nobody knows how the Chincoteague pony arrived on the island over 400 years ago. One theory says that ponies are survivors of a Spanish galleon shipwreck and the second theory says that they were brought by settlers.