Chincoteague Island

The Pony Swim, also referred to as Pony Penning, is an annual event held on Chincoteague Island in Virginia on the last consecutive Wednesday and Thursday in July. The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department conducts the event and it consists of a Wild Pony Swim on Wednesday and a Pony Auction on Thursday. During the Wild Pony Swim, Saltwater Cowboys round up the Chincoteague Ponies from Assateague Island and drive them across the Assateague Channel to Veteran's Memorial Park on Chincoteague Island.

The ponies swim across the channel during slack tide, when the water has minimal tidal movement. Once on Chincoteague Island, the Saltwater Cowboys herd the ponies to pens on the Chincoteague Carnival Grounds where some of the foals are auctioned off on Thursday.

This traditional event in its current form has taken place since 1925 to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department, but its roots date back to the 17th century. The event was popularized by the book Misty of Chincoteague published in 1947 and it now draws up to 50,000 spectators each year.

Click Here to learn more about the events during Pony Penning.

Painting Pony
at The Pony Centre

Sadly we have decided not to attend Pony Penning this year, but we hope you'll still visit our friends at the Chincoteague Pony Centre during Pony Penning week.

Beach Walk

See the ponies make their way from the north corral to the south corral along the beach.

Pony Swim Day

Ponies swim the Assateague Channel at Chincoteague Memorial Park. After a brief rest, ponies are herded to Carnival Grounds.

Auction Day

Auction of Ponies (yearlings or younger) owned by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Co.

Swim Back

Watch as some of the ponies make the return to Assateague Island.

CLICK HERE for a complete schedule of events.