Thursday, July 27, 2017

Chincoteague Pony Swim 2017, Yesterday - Photos

It seems to me that in the past 15 years or so, slack tide between Chincoteague and Assateague Islands for the Pony Swim has occurred between 9:30 in the morning and 2 in the afternoon.  This year slack tide happened at 7 o'clock, in the middle the Coast Guard's predicted time of 6 and 8 a.m.  People were lining up along the fencing of the ashore area and the Chincoteague shore line well before sunrise, and boats, Ski-Dos, kayaks, canoes and paddle boards lined the marked swim lane.
   The ponies left the holding pens on Beach Road in the dark and were herded across Black Duck Drain, along the marsh, and over to the area opposite Pony Swim Lane.  There, they grazed and rested, and a few stallions bickered, until the Coast Guard sent up the red smoke flares indicating slack tide.  The Saltwater Cowboys then drove the herds into the Channel, and two designated boats herded them through the water.
    The first foal to arrive on the Chincoteague shore was a dark chestnut colt with a star, sired by Riptide and the dam is Bay Girl.  He was spotted and then marked with an orange neck cord, and was raffled off as King Neptune in the afternoon.  (Chances were being sold at the swim area in the morning, also.)  After a rest of 45 to 50 minutes, the Cowboys surrounded the herds and paraded them from Pony Swim Lane to the Carnival Grounds on South Main Street.  There the ponies were turned loose to return to their own herds and settle in for 48 hours.
   The Pony Auction began at 8 a.m. this morning.  I'll report on it tomorrow....   Here are a few photos from yesterday:


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