Market Friday: Chincoteague Pony Auction: Don't Forget to Pay the Lady!

The Saltwater Cowboys rounded up the northern herd on Sunday, close to daybreak. They allowed them to rest for a short while, then the mares and foals were separated at the carnival fairgrounds. This is where the auction usually takes place and the foals stay there until their pick-up day. The remaining herd will be released back into the wild. If this seems harsh, keep in mind that to keep the herd at a sustainable size, most of the foals are actioned off.


Mother and babies spent their last night together, unbeknown to them. The very next day will be a whole new life for them. The last auction was in 2019. Seems like forever ago that they were able to run wild, taking a stroll on the beach in the sun. The Chincoteague Pony Swim and Auction is an annual event that is always held on the last week of July. It is sponsored by the caretakers of these free-spirited ponies, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company. This year brought us the 97th year of the Chincoteague's Pony Swim/Parade and Auction. A few select foals are kept as buybacks. These are selected for dominant traits they may have, allowing them to replenish the herd.


How to Bid:

  1. Arrive early! It is always crowded and I always like to get as close to the front as possible. There are no bleachers, so bring a chair.

  2. Sunscreen!! It is always hot and you won't want to leave. Your pony may be brought up next! Bring water or make sure you get a drink before taking your seat. I bring a notebook and a pen to write the winning bids down. I have been keeping track of the bids.

  3. No registration is necessary for the in-person auction. If you raise your hand, you bid. Simple as that! This year, for the very first time, they had both online and in-person. It was live, so if you couldn't be there, you could still bid. You must register prior to the auction.


Today is #MarketFriday initiated by @dswigle (Denise, that's me!!) Join me as we share our markets across the globe. I always look forward to seeing what you send me! It is amazing to see the different markets and cultures of our friends here on Hive.

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Each year the Fire Company designates a select few ponies as "Buy Backs". A Buy Back Pony is a foal that is designated by the Fire Company to return to Assateague Island to live out its life there. The Buy Back Pony will be auctioned with the rest of the foals. The winner of a Buy Back Pony will get to name the Pony before it is returned to Assateague. Buy Back Ponies replenish the herd on Assateague. Buy Back Ponies have actually become some of the highest-priced ponies sold at the auction.

Proceeds from the sale of one foal annually go to a regional charity. Past recipients have included Wounded Warriors, Hospice, Palliative Care of the Eastern Shore, and Alzheimer's Adult Care.

Each year the Feather Fund helps deserving children purchase ponies at the auction. The Feather Fund is a charity that was created to honor the memory of Carollynn Suplee, a woman who came to Chincoteague annually to help children buy ponies at the auction until she passed away from cancer in 2003. To learn more visit See enire Chincoteague Island Pony Swim Guide here.


I am always amazed at how gentle these wild ponies are. It must have something to do with not feeling threatened. It was hot and humid. If it wouldn't have made a speckle, I might have lined up with the little kids to get hosed off.


Look at her. Doesn't her nose sort of look like a heart? I think it does and, of course, so did the person bidding on her. You can never go wrong with a heart. ❤️


There was one little glitch that I have never seen before. One pony was sold to two people. The mix-up was the result of serious miscommunication. The person with all the kids got to keep the pony and the other person was happy to pick another pony in its place. Everyone left happy.

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Sold!!! The red shirt and a big smile! Don't forget to pay the lady!

This event is still hosted by the regular Chincoteague Pony auctioneer, Tim. We love Tim and his wife, who helps him out. Happy to see them continue to keep their Chincoteague family together.


Isn't he cute?? My little guy was smaller than this one. I could pick him up and put him in my van. The ride home for your new foal must be approved by the committee. Yes! They have a pony committee. You need a horse trailer, although you could fit one easily into your vehicle when they are young. All ponies must be picked by 5 pm Friday.


I have been discovering new places, every day! I love to share and be shared with by you! I am intrigued by different cultures. It is exciting and yes! I would love to see you! Don't forget to take photos wherever you happen to be shopping - whether it be the grocery store, the local marketplace, or even an art gallery, or a kite festival! Wherever money is exchanged for a service or for merchandise. Be different if you wish! It does not have to be a traditional market! We will love it anyway!


What is the Chincoteague Ponies' social structure?

The wild ponies on Assateague Island congregate in small groups, called "bands". Each band has one dominant stallion and the rest are mares that the stallion breeds with. The number of mares a particular stallion has in his band is dependent upon how dominant the stallion is. The stronger the stallion the more mares he is able to win when fighting other stallions on the Island. The dominant stallion will kick his male offspring out of the band after a couple of years, once the colt has reached sexual maturity. Young bachelor males tend to form their own small band until they become big and strong enough to begin fighting for and winning mares from other stallions. Likewise, female offspring are eventually chased off by their mother to prevent inbreeding. source


The foals were a little scared and a little excitable, although I have to admit, they were impressive.

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Bring your Pocketful of money. I wanted to ask if they would take crypto. I mean, why not? It was so thrilling to see some of these young people so excited to score the bid. They looked so excited. Good luck to all of them! ❤️

Please leave the link to your post here so it can easily be found by others. It helps you and me to have them in one place. Where else can you take such a quick trip around the globe? Thank you so much for joining us!! ❤


And just like that, this post is done. I hope you had a good time and learned a little something new. As always, I want to thank you for taking the time to visit, and just remember, #MarketFriday loves you! Thank you for supporting the challenge! Have a most fabulous day! Cheers!!


Flowers. Always. To color my world. The beauty of the oleander. They come in many different colors, many in pink/peach/white, and burgundy shades. #alwaysaflower

I want to thank you for stopping by and reading my post. This is the end of the line for the auction, tomorrow they swim back to Assateague Island, using the same method in reverse. It has been hot and humid, but, I would do it all over again.


Price History for Ponies

2022 (in-person w/ online bidding) - 63 ponies (including 10 buybacks) $450,200 (record) for 63 ponies---- 10 buybacks; average cost $7,146 (record); high bid $32,000 (buyback)(record); low bid $2,500 (record)

2021 (COVID-19 Online Auction) - 75 ponies (including 10 buybacks which sold for $162,950); average cost $3,908 (non-buyback); average cost $16,295 (buybacks); total average cost $5,559; high bid $25,500 (buyback); low bid $2,400; Total sales=$416,950

2020 (COVID-19 Online Auction) - 68 ponies; average cost $5,705; high bid $28,250; low bid $1,800; Total sales=$388,000

2019 - 57 ponies sold, average cost $4,767, high bid $17,500, low bid $1,400, total sales $271,700

These facts and the rest of the history here





Fridays are all about the #MarketFriday Challenge! Looking to take part in it? Here is how:

Rules of the Road to Join #MarketFriday!

  1. Go to the market, or anywhere that you pay money for a service.
    Take pictures! Be creative!
  2. Tell us a little bit about the market or the event. What brought you there? What did you buy? How much did it cost? Was it expensive? Did it go up or down? I need something other than 50 pictures of the market.
  3. Post the pictures. Of course, you should tell a little bit about the ones you post, it is too difficult to guess on some
  4. Use the MarketFriday Community Platform to post (#hive-196308) This is not required but appreciated.
    PLEASE Drop the link into the MarketFriday comment section so I can find it!!
  5. Following me and reblogging the post would be appreciated, but not a rule, more vision for more views on the #MarketFriday posts!
  6. You must put #MarketFriday by @dswigle somewhere on your post.
As always, please remember! #MarketFriday loves you!

#TeamUSA is a growing community of quality-content people from the United States or those living here. Check us out on Discord!

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