These horses aren't taking a dip in the water just to cool off in the sweltering Virginia summer. They're the famous Chincoteague ponies of Assateague Island, and they're herded across the channel to Chincoteague Island every July by "saltwater cowboys." Most of the foals are auctioned off the next day to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which owns and manages the herd under a permit from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. A few foals designated as "buybacks" are donated to the fire company and returned to Assateague Island to replenish the herd and live in the wild for another year. The auction also helps maintain the feral horse population at around 150 on the Virginia side of Assateague Island.
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Click to read more about the Chincoteague ponies of Assateague Island.
Learn more about horses: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/horse/
VIDEOGRAPHER & PRODUCER: Jed Winer
EDITOR: Nick Lunn
ADDITIONAL FOOTAGE: Kristin Hugo
SPECIAL THANKS: Alex Tucker & Lester Dennis
Watch Famous Ponies Swim in Chincoteague Island Tradition | National Geographic
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