Anonymous donor gives Chincoteague ponies to Virginia herd

SALISBURY, Md. (AP) – Virginia’s herd of wild Chincoteague ponies is growing, thanks to an anonymous donor.

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company spokeswoman Denise Bowden tells The Daily Times of Salisbury that her agency jumped at the chance for eight more ponies, since the herd they manage is down from the maximum 150 ponies their permit allows.

Wild Chincoteague ponies have lived on Assateague Island off the coast of Delmarva for centuries, according to Chincoteague Island’s website . One-third of the 37-mile long island is in Virginia and two-thirds is in Maryland, splitting the pony population into two main herds.

Three of the donated ponies can trace their lineage back to Misty, the pony immortalized in Marguerite Henry’s 1947 novel, “Misty of Chincoteague,” and the 1961 film, “Misty.”