March proved a tough month for the ponies who reside on the south end of Chincoteague Island off Virginia’s coast. Visitors repeatedly ignored the rules against approaching the animals so the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company which owns and manages the ponies, rounded them up.

Chincoteague Island Rules

  • Stay at least 50 feet from the ponies

  • Do not feed the ponies

  • Do not approach the ponies

Spokeswoman Denise Bowden said the public was notified on numerous occasions to stay away from the ponies warning that one kick or bite could cause serious injury. The warnings were ignored so with safety in mind, approximately 20 ponies, including band stallion Riptide and his mares, were corralled for several weeks.

Stallion Riptide

Over the weekend the rest of the island’s 150 ponies were rounded up for health and veterinary checks. The ponies received their regular vaccines, rabies shots and a new preventative vaccine to treat “swamp cancer”. Last year 7 ponies succumbed to the water borne disease. Earlier in the year the FDA gave approval on this new vaccine which involves a three step inoculation.

After their vet checks, the ponies were set free to once again roam the island. Let’s hope people do a better job of following the rules.


Photography Courtesy: Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Co. on Facebook

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