For 96 years now, we have held our Pony Penning and Carnival to the delight of visitors from around the world. At "slack tide" on the last Wednesday before the last Thursday of every July, Chincoteague's "Saltwater Cowboys" herd the wild Chincoteague ponies from Assateague Island, across the Assateague Channel, to neighboring Chincoteague Island. After the swim, the ponies "parade" to the carnival grounds where the foals are auctioned on the last Thursday of July. On Friday, the adult ponies will make the return swim to Assateague Island where they will live in the wild for another year.
A MESSAGE FROM THE CHINCOTEAGUE VOLUNTEER FIRE COMPANY
Please help us protect one of Chincoteague & Assateague Island's greatest gifts - the Chincoteague Ponies.
When observing the Chincoteague Ponies while kayaking, canoeing, boating, touring, biking, walking, etc. please respect the following rules to keep you and the wild ponies safe.
- PLEASE keep a distance of at least 50 feet from the wild ponies.
- PLEASE do not feed the wild ponies. If you feed them anything other than the diet they are used to, it can cause severe colic and possibly kill them. The ponies can also bite, so feeding them items from their natural diet is also prohibited.
- PLEASE do not approach the wild ponies. They will bite and kick, especially if a foal is with its mare. Stallions are even more aggressive.
The Chincoteague Ponies may seem very docile while grazing in the marsh or along side the road but following these simple rules will keep you and the ponies safe. We know you love the Chincoteague Ponies but PLEASE love them from a distance and respect their home and natural habitat. Brochures with the above rules are available in the Chamber office courtesy of the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.