RICHMOND, Va. (WRIC) — Virginia has an official bird, boat, fish, flower and even an official bat, but now, for the first time, the commonwealth will have an official pony.
Legislation passed by an overwhelming majority in both the House of Delegates and State Senate would add the Chincoteague Pony as the state’s official pony, well above the threshold to make the legislation veto-proof.
Chincoteague ponies, also known as Assateague wild ponies, are well-known for the annual pony swim, in which volunteers drive the ponies from the swamps of Assateague across a saltwater channel to Chincoteague, where ponies are auctioned off to control the population of the herd and raise money for local fire departments.
The pony swim was briefly cancelled during the early days of the pandemic and replaced with an online auction, but resumed last year along with the local carnival and in-person auction.
The legislation is being carried by Delegate Robert Bloxom (R – Accomack) in the house and Senator Lynwood Lewis (D – Northampton) in the senate.