This would have been the 95th year of the Chincoteague pony swim and auction, but 2020 will be remembered as the year when the Chincoteague Pony Auction went virtual. Like everything else this year, the pony auction will take place online. In fact, bidding for this year’s foals started on July 23rd and ends tomorrow, July 30th, so there’s still time participate! The dates were chosen to keep as much continuity as possible, since July 30th would have been the date of the live auction.
“The last time that the pony swim and the carnival and everything got canceled was back in 1942 and 1943 during World War II. … I have no other way to put it except that it feels just as weird as everything else has this year.”Denise Bowdon, Chincoteague fire department
The auction will be an entirely online event hosted by longtime Chincoteague auctioneer Tim Jennings and his wife, Cathy, through their company, SportHorseAuctions.com, LLC. “We would much rather be in Chincoteague, with our Island family”, said Tim Jennings, “but we are happy to offer our services with our online platform”.
Prospective buyers will need to go to the auction website, and create an account. They will then need to request a bidder’s number in order to bid.
All of the foals have had their picture taken and can be viewed online. All the information about the foal is on there: when it was first sighted, the color of it, if it can go home with you right away or if it has to wait to be a fall pickup, or if it’s a buyback. A buyback pony is auctioned with the stipulation that it will be donated back to the Fire Company and returned to Assateague Island to replenish the herd.
The annual pony auction funds the fire department, and typically raises as much as $500,000.