Even heat, the sun beating down and mosquitos can’t damped the excitement of the annual Chincoteague Pony Penning’s auction.
The Pony Swim, a dream to see for many familiar with Misty of Chincoteague, the horse made famous by the children’s book of the same name, leads into a massive auction fundraiser for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
Most of the Chincoteague ponies born on Assateague Island are auctioned off annually to keep the herd a manageable side. According to data from the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce, 1,586 ponies were sold between 1999 and 2021. Several “buyback” ponies are purchased and donated back to the fire department to replenish the herd each year, living out their years on Assateague Island.
For the 97th year, proceeds raised during the auction go back to the organization that made it possible.
Here’s a look back at the Top 10 highest-grossing years and what the average pony sold for. How will Thursday’s auction stack up?
Note the 2020 and 2021 auctions were online only due to COVID-19. The 2022 auction will be both online and in-person.
Average cost of a pony: $1,816
Average cost of a pony: $2,151
Average cost of a pony: $2,780. This year holds the record for the highest individual bid, a whopping $25,000.
Average cost of a pony: $2,061
Average cost of a pony: $2,443
Average cost of a pony: $3,386
Average cost of a pony: $4,309.
Average price of a pony: $4,700.
Average cost of a pony: $5,705
This year holds the record for average cost and high bid ($28,250). The auction was online-only due to COVID-19.
1. 2021— $416,950
Average cost of a pony: $3,908 (non-buyback)
Average cost $16,295 (buybacks). This year holds the record for the low bid: $2,400 (increase of $600 from 2020). The auction was online-only due to COVID-19.