CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (AP) — Crowds cheered as dozens of ponies swam across a channel on Virginia’s Eastern Shore during the annual Chincoteague Pony Swim.

News outlets reported that the ponies traversed the Assateague Channel on Wednesday morning. People watched from the shore as the ponies swam. Sometimes only their heads were visible above the water.

The ponies traveled from Assateague Island to Chincoteague Island during “slack tide,” when there’s little current.

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company’s Saltwater Cowboys lead the ponies across the channel. Some of the ponies are to be auctioned off to help control the size of the herd and to raise money for the fire company. Other ponies will head back into the wild.

Every year, the first foal to come ashore is named King or Queen Neptune.

(Copyright (c) 2023 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Join our Newsletter for the latest news right to your inbox