Chincoteague pony penning canceled, moves to online auction

CHINCOTEAGUE ISLAND, Va. – For the first time in over 78 years, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fireman’s Carnival & Pony Penning celebration has been canceled.

Officials made the announcement Monday afternoon, adding that they carefully analyzed the three phased reopening set forth by Governor Ralph Northam.

“Please understand that this was not an easy decision to make, with the last pony penning being cancelled over 78 years ago during the second World War. We know how much this community loves this fire company and supports our carnival but with the restrictions put into the phases to prevent the spread of the corona virus, it was the only logical decision to make,” says Alex Tucker, the President of Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, Inc.

The foals of the pony herd will be sold in an online auction, with a date to be determined by the Pony Committee. Plans are still being arranged as to where the ponies will physically be during the auction. Longtime auctioneer Tim Jennings will be conducting the auction.

Mayor Arthur Leonard says the Pony Swim is still going to happen but it will likely not be a public event with a large crowd that typically draws 30,000 to 40,000 people.

“Although it be a different venue then they are normally used to having. They’ll still be able to enjoy it. It’ll just be different. And I would just hope the islanders can adapt to this change,” says Leonard.

Categories: Local News, Virginia