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Pony Swim at Chincoteague Island
The Chincoteague Pony Swim. This is the 94th annual Pony Swim in Chincoteague, Virginia and is held on the last Wednesday in July, every year. The wild ponies, along with their foals, are rounded up for the swim, which goes from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island. The very young and very old are trailed over to the Fairgrounds, which is where their ultimate destination is. This event is held to auction some of the new foals, which helps control the population of the herd. The proceeds are used to support the ponies veterinary expenses and the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department. I was excited to be there, despite the fact that you must muck through the Tidewaters if you want to be where they land from the swim. Might I add that despite the cleansing properties of a mud bath, this feels nothing like that.
They wait until slack tide to swim the ponies across the islands. It is the lowest the tide will ever be, about 20-30 mins before and after the high/low. The water is the calmest and most still. This will be safest for the small one crossing, The Coast Guard checks the tides and the boats in the area... The red smoke signals the all-clear sign! It's a go! And, even though you can't see it, just imagine that the crowd is cheering them on!
The Saltwater Cowboys are on hand to keep everyone in their respective places. No ponies swimming off in their own direction and keeping the people an arm's length away from the ponies. Lest people forget, they are wild and even though they are normally well behaved, they can have behavior unbecoming.
I don't have enough room to put all the pictures and honestly, it was so humid that I was having a hard time with the pictures, but, I have the memory of watching as both the North and South herd swam the channel, heading right towards me. There is nothing else like this. They are strong swimmers and play in the water all year round. Swimming this length, of course, is another matter.
Look! Look! Here they come!!
First Colt/Filly to hit land. AKA: King/Queen Neptune. The pony is raffled off. The cost? $1.00 gives you a chance to own your own sweet little Chincoteague Pony. There were thousands and thousands sold! Literally. What a great moneymaker! Incidentally, it was a female, so she was Queen Neptune. Honestly, I think she should be Princess.
Everyone is patiently waiting as the ponies make their way onto the beach. They are tired and will rest for about an hour before they are paraded to the Fairgrounds. They go through the entire downtown and the crowds cheer them on! There are picnics on the front lawns as they wait for the pony parade. It is a regular event.
There were actually more people than ponies. This is the first year I can remember it being so crowded. I can remember coming and having only a handful of people at the Pony Swim Lane site. Now, you have to get there at the crack of dark to get a good place to stand.
The crowd is large and enthusiastic! We all love the ponies and most people know the main ponies in the herd. Did you know they all have registered names? They became an official registered breed in 1994. About 60-70 foals are born each spring and are what drives the entire week of Pony Penning, Beach Walk, Pony Swim and finally, ends up at the auction.
There is so much love and pride for their Chincoteague ponies 💖 — in Chincoteague Island, Virginia.
There are so many businesses that close for Pony Week or at the very least for the Swim and Auction. It is like an old home week and the entire town is involved.
And just like that, this post is done. Today is brought to you by #WedenesdayWalk with @Tattoodjay. I can thank him for the walk through the tidewaters. You totally owe me, JJ!. I want to say much appreciation is sent to @tattoodjay for hosting the #WednesdayWalk challenge and even though the day is done, I can guarantee that there is still a little sunshine left in my heart. Don't forget! The pony auction will begin at 8 a.m. on Friday! I believe we will be shopping for a pony for #MarketFriday! Get your Steem ready!
Thank you for visiting my post 💖 Because of you, I come back to post again and again, I am encouraged by you, for the time you take to visit, comment or even upvote. For all of these reasons, I am eternally grateful. Don't ever forget what a wonderful world we live in, people. Let's hold hands around the globe and make this earth really spin. Some days, it is not as easy to see, how wonderful it really is. Kindness counts. Wherever you go, whatever you do.
I always post this poem down at the bottom of my posts. It is one that has become so near and dear to my heart. I only post the most famous part of it, but, wanted to post it in its entirety today.
*they set my aunts house on fire i cried the way women on tv do folding at the middle like a five pound note. i called the boy who use to love me tried to ‘okay’ my voice i said hello he said warsan, what’s wrong, what’s happened?*
*i’ve been praying, and these are what my prayers look like; dear god i come from two countries one is thirsty the other is on fire both need water.*
*later that night i held an atlas in my lap ran my fingers across the whole world and whispered, "where does it hurt?" it answered,*
*"everywhere" "everywhere" "everywhere"*
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