More Than 50 Ponies Auctioned In Chincoteague Island - 47 ABC - Delmarva's Choice

More Than 50 Ponies Auctioned In Chincoteague Island

Posted: Updated:

CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND, Va. – Just one day after they swam across the Assateague Channel, more than 50 ponies are on their way to a new home!

"You don't need to register or anything, you just show up with cash or a credit card, and you just put your hand up if you see a pony you've got your eye on," says Denise Bowden, president and public relations officer for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

While some bid as low at $700, others dish out thousands for the pony of their choice.

"I did go higher than I planned to on this one, but I do like the black and white," says Deborah Davis, who bought a pony for $2,600. "He will just be a pleasure horse. My plan is to raise him up and hopefully have him trained."

However, the ones that see the highest bids are not necessarily the ones that people get to bring home, called "buy-backs."

"The pony will come back to Assateague and live its natural life on Assateague never to be sold again, it helps us with replenishment of the herd," says Bowden.

The Beer family tells 47 ABC they have bought a buy-back pony every year since 2012.

"It's just my dream and I think I'm getting a little carried away with three, but it's addictive," says Janey Beer. "We didn't know we were going to do this, it just happens."

Another pony auction option is the "Feather Fund." Since 2003, the non-profit has assisted with giving 30 ponies to deserving children across the United States. The program is in honor of Carollynn Suplee, who came to the auction for the eight years she battled cancer, to buy a child a pony.

"The first pony she ever bought was my child's pony," says Lois Szymanski. "He changed her life and when she outgrew him she started lending him out to other kids."

Szymanski says children apply online and have to prove that they would be willing to work for the horse. If the child ever wants to sell the pony, they are required to sell him or her back to the Feather Fund so they can place it with another child.

"They have to care for it, they have to put some money in it that they saved, even if it's $100 they have to show that they put something towards their pony."

Regardless of where the pony ends up, all proceeds benefit the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. Officials say the funds are their main income to everything from life-saving equipment to vehicles.

"When fire trucks cost half a million dollars and ambulances cost almost $200,000, this is how we make our money," says Bowden.

However, Bowden says for the community, it is more than just a fundraiser.

"We're here for people to have a good time and watch little kids dreams come true, and you know if we make money, that's great."

Powered by WorldNow
Powered by WorldNow All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and WMDT. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.