Annual Swim of the Wild Ponies

Wild ponies make their way across the Assateague Channel to Chincoteague Island, Virginia, in the 88th annual pony swim. Each year the wild ponies are rounded up on the national wildlife refuge on Chincoteague to be auctioned off in order to control the herd population, and to raise funds for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the horses.

Wild ponies are herded into the Assateague Channel during a rain storm for their annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague, Virginia. Every year the wild ponies are rounded up on the national wildlife refuge to be auctioned off by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Wild ponies are herded into the Assateague Channel during a rain storm for their annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague, Virginia. Every year the wild ponies are rounded up on the national wildlife refuge to be auctioned off by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

With whips in hand, Chincoteague volunteer firefighters and riders prepare the wild ponies for crossing the channel between Chincoteague and Assateague during the annual Chincoteague Pony Penning on  Chincoteague island.  The ponies will be auctioned off and the money raised will be used to fund the island's volunteer fire department.  ( Henny Wong / The Virginian-Pilot )

With whips in hand, Chincoteague volunteer firefighters and riders prepare the wild ponies for crossing the channel between Chincoteague and Assateague during the annual Chincoteague Pony Penning on Chincoteague island. The ponies will be auctioned off and the money raised will be used to fund the island’s volunteer fire department. ( Henny Wong / The Virginian-Pilot )

People cross the marsh in the pouring rain after watching wild ponies during their annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island in Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

People cross the marsh in the pouring rain after watching wild ponies during their annual swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island in Virginia. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel, in a rain storm, under the watchful eyes of volunteers who make sure they cross safely.  (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Wild ponies cross the Assateague Channel, in a rain storm, under the watchful eyes of volunteers who make sure they cross safely. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Girls on an inflatable raft get a close look at the ponies crossing the Assateague Channel. The ponies were later herded through town to a corral on the carnival grounds, where they will be sold at auction. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Yoon S. Byun)

Girls on an inflatable raft get a close look at the ponies crossing the Assateague Channel. The ponies were later herded through town to a corral on the carnival grounds, where they will be sold at auction. (AP Photo/The Virginian-Pilot, Yoon S. Byun)

 

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