Not only could I not find him the firemen and Saltwater Cowboys couldn't seem to get him to appear on stage at the carnival grounds. But lucky KaylaJo McDanolds didn't seem to care when Denise called the winning number. So, unless KaylaJo decides to give King Neptune back to the fire department this little foal will travel to Bangor, Pennsylvania to live.
Chincoteague Pony Penning began 87 years ago (1925) as a way to raise money for new firefighting equipment. It is part of the tradition to hold the auction of the ponies the following day of their arrival to the carnival grounds.
Pony Penning auction for 2012 raised over $90,000 for the Chincoteague Vol. Fire Company. Of the sixtyseven ponies bought Thursday morning at the auction eight were "buy-back" ponies. These ponies are re-released to live with the herd on Assateague.
Finally, today, following tradition, the Saltwater Cowboys will round up the remaining ponies from the carnival grounds and herd them down the streets to Assateague Channel where they make their swim back to their home.
I've lived on the Eastern Shore all my life and have never witnessed a Pony Penning but I have been to their return. I'm sure there's less hoopla and fanfare on returning day but nonetheless exciting to see. Whether you want to see the actual swim back or just The Saltwater Cowboys herd them down Main Street and around the corner to the channel it's still awesome. In fact, you can sit right across the street from the carnival grounds and watch them leave.