By Carol Vaughn —
For the second consecutive year, the Chincoteague pony auction is being held online.
The wild pony swim and live auction were cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Can’t wait to see the winning bids on the 29th!” said a Facebook post by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
The online auction proved popular last year, raising more than $380,000 and topping the previous record for overall sales by more than $100,000. More than 450 bidders registered for the 2020 auction, according to a Facebook post by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
The highest bid in 2020, $28,250, was for a buyback pony. The bid broke the previous record high bid of $25,000, which happened in 2015.
The funds raised go to support the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which owns and cares for the wild pony herd on the Virginia portion of Assateague.
The online auction this year includes 76 foals, of which 10 are buybacks. The ponies being auctioned this year as buybacks were announced July 16. The term, “buyback,” means the pony will be returned to Assateague to live out its life in the wild and replenish the herd. The winning bidder gets naming rights and a certificate to take home.
Bidding started Thursday, July 22 at 7 p.m. Register by going to sporthorseauctions.com
Winning bids will be known after the auction closes July 29.
All photos of the ponies on the auction website are by DSC Photography.
In addition to ponies, several pony-related items are being auctioned, including a quilt featuring images of ponies of the herd; a canvas print of the Saltwater Cowboys rounding up ponies near the Assateague lighthouse; a hand-knitted shawl; a horseshoe wind chime and small tree of life; a painting by Sharon Lupton; and a Michael Bernstein 2021 pony roundup print.
Several in-person events are being held by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company during the week that typically is Pony Penning Week. Events include:
Tuesday, July 27, there will be a Pizza and Pony Fries drive-thru at the fire station starting at 5 p.m.
Wednesday, July 28, there will be an Oyster Fritter and Pony Fries drive-thru at the fire station starting at 5 p.m. Potatoes for the fries for both days were donated by the Hickman family of Dublin Farms in Horntown.
Thursday, July 29, there will be an auction ending watch party at the fire station starting at 5 p.m. There will be Island Creamery ice cream available for purchase to create your own sundae and the big screen in the dining hall will be on so everyone can cheer on the ending of the auction and see who the winners are. The event is sponsored by Meghan Oliver Clarkson, real estate agent at Long and Foster.
Additionally, there will be free showings of the movie “Misty” at the Island Theatre, 4074 Main St., Chincoteague, Monday, July 26, Tuesday, July 27, and Wednesday, July 28 at 2 p.m. each day.
Other pony-themed live events during the week include Buckaroo Bingo at the Chincoteague Center, 6155 Community Drive, Tuesday, July 27, from 2 to 4:30 p.m.; Chincoteague Pony Drill Team Open House Tuesday, July 27, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., at Kerkaken Acres, 14086 Winterville Road, Bloxom; and a lecture by Cindy Faith on the Chincoteague ponies Tuesday, July 27 at 7 p.m. at the Museum of Chincoteague Island.
Friday, July 30, from 2 to 4 p.m., there will be Misty’s 75th Birthday Party at the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce, 6733 Maddox Blvd., with the opportunity to meet Misty III, a descendant of Misty, games, crafts, refreshments, and more, presented by the Chincoteague Pony Drill Team.
Also Friday, from 7 to 9 p.m., the Chincoteague Storytelling Guild will have storytelling on the theme, “Pony Tales,” outdoors at the Chincoteague Cultural Alliance, 6309 Church St.