CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — An Eastern Shore tradition celebrated by Marguerite Henry’s book “Misty of Chincoteague” marked its 90th year today.
The annual swim of the tough little ponies from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island took place early Wednesday, after a group of volunteers called the “Saltwater Cowboys” rounded up the ponies and lead them through the passage at slack tide.
An auction of a portion of the herd benefits the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Department.
Pony week on the Virginia barrier island was missing a key player this year, however. The prolific “Surfer Dude” was found dead this spring, leaving dozens of ponies he sired to continue his legacy.
Some islanders called him the Misty of his day. During his 23 years, Surfer Dude often led the swim to Chincoteague.
Here are some photos from this year’s event:
Crowd awaits pony swim in Chincoteague. pic.twitter.com/V7yZIvQONe— Jeff Barker (@sunjeffbarker) July 29, 2015
After a 4-minute swim -- we saw bobbing heads and pointed ears -- the Chincoteague ponies have come ashore. pic.twitter.com/ZqI6yJIG2V— Jeff Barker (@sunjeffbarker) July 29, 2015
Chincoteague horses head into town pic.twitter.com/BGMeVoYIMJ— Jeff Barker (@sunjeffbarker) July 29, 2015
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