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Encyclopedia > Chincoteague Pony

The Chincoteague pony is a hardy breed between the size of a horse and a pony. It exists on the island of Assateague, hence it is also known (although not as commonly) as the Assateague pony. It may be any color, although pinto is the most common. Chincoteague is a town located in Accomack County, Virginia. ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 nugget For other uses, see Horse (disambiguation). ... A Shetland Pony A pony is a certain kind of small horse. ... Egrets in Assateagues marshes Assateague Island is a barrier island, comprising the southern portion of Marylands Atlantic coast and part of Virginias Eastern Shore. ...

There are two theories of how the ponies got to the island. The first is that Spanish galleon was bringing Spanish ponies (or horses; different people tell it different ways) to work in mines and such. Because of a storm, the ship was thrown off course. The crashing waves broke the ship as it hit a rocky sand bar. Below the deck, the horses fought to get out of stalls. With the help of nature, they did. They swam towards land, which happened to be Assateague Island. A Spanish galleon A galleon was a large, multi-decked sailing ship used primarily by the nations of Europe from the 16th to 18th centuries. ...

The other story is simple: early colonists let their animals loose on the island to avoid livestock and fenxing taxes. Either way, the ponies are there, and people come from across the country to see them.

Chincoteague and Assateague are located off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. People have tried to live there, but in the end moved back to Assateague's sister island, Chincoteague. Assateague is the outer and larger island of the two, and protects Chincoteague from storms from the sea. The ponies are, in turn, very hardy and strong for their size. They range in size from 14 to 15 hands high, though some have been known to be smaller.

The ponies are taken care of by the Chincoteague volunteer fire department, and every July these fire fighters get to play cowboy on Pony Penning Day, when the ponies are rounded up and swim across the channel. They are then paraded down the street to the sight of the auction that will be held the next day. There is lots of fun going on, from horse races to wild horse rides, which are like bucking bronco rides at rodeos. Young ponies are auctioned off to keep down the population, because Chincoteague is small and can't support too many ponies.

You can visit Assateague, and if you're lucky, see the ponies. If you can't visit, or even if you can, you should read Marguerite Henry's book Misty of Chincoteague, a book which made the ponies famous, as well as "Stormy, Misty's Foal", "Sea Star, Orphan of Chincoteague", and "Misty's Twilight". Misty of Chicoteague was a book written by Marguerite Henry in 1947 Marguerite Henry (April 13, 1902-November 26, 1997) was an American writer. ... Misty of Chicoteague was a book written by Marguerite Henry in 1947 Marguerite Henry (April 13, 1902-November 26, 1997) was the an American writer. ...


The Misty books, 4-H breed reports done by friends, and various websites, including an article from National Geographic.

  Results from FactBites:
Chincoteague Pony (1905 words)
This pony penning began in the year 1927 after the town burned down due to not having a Fire Dept. and the pony auction was instituted to help finance one.
Chincoteague Island has the best seafood restaurants and hotels accommodating the heavy crowds looking at the ponies year round, and especially during the last Wednesday and Thursday of July when the famous pony auction takes place.
The Chincoteague Pony is a well-proportioned horse with a strong and muscular compact body.
  More results at FactBites »



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