Beach Party

Ponies swim from one island to another in Chincoteague Island, Virginia.

An ocean channel seems like a weird place to find wild horses. But every year for 90 years Chincoteague ponies have made the short swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. It’s all part of Pony Penning, a fund-raiser for the local volunteer fire department.


No one is quite sure why a herd of wild ponies lives on the island, now a wildlife refuge. Some believe that 17th-century settlers turned their horses loose. Today the spring foals are auctioned after they reach Chincoteague; the others swim back to Assateague. That’s one big swim-a-thon!

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