By Allen Hamilton
The annual Chincoteague Pony Auction set a record Thursday. Unofficially, $223,400 was raised in the three hour event Thursday morning from the Chincoteague Carnival grounds. That eclipsed last year’s total, $209,000, by approximately $15,000.
Here was Big Al with the call live from Thursday morning’s auction:
After 5 days of on and off rain, the sun peaking through the clouds was a welcome sight at this years Annual Chincoteague Pony Auction. Following a demonstration by the Chincoteague Pony Drill team, the auction got underway.
The first pony sold, a 3 month old philly brought $1,000, the best buy of the day. There were 10 buy backs. These are primarily females picked by the Fire Co. for their markings to retain for breeding purposed for future generations. Money from the first buy back was ear marked to go to the building fund for the new firehouse. The owner will receive a plaque and a plaque will be placed on the wall of the new firehouse for the donation.
The high bid of the day as the 2nd buy back, which was purchased by Alicia Buckler White of Maryland for $20,000. Other Buy Backs raised $13,000, $8,200, $11,500, $6,500, $10,200, $10,000 and 2 for$ 7,000 for a total of $104,600.
There were 12 fall pickups. These are too young to leave their mother and will be picked up on Saturday, October 13th. They ranged between $1,800 and $5,000.
As usual there was a variety of other items that were donated to the Fire Company for sale. They included Kevin McBride’s 35th annual print with remark that brought $1,650, a Rip Tide painting that brought $550 and 2 large Salt Water Cowboy buckles that brought $1,000 and $750 respectively.
One item of special note was a painting of the late Mr. Wesley Bloxom. Bloxom, a lifelong member of the Chincoteague Fire Company, passed away since last year’s Pony Penning. Secretly, Volunteer Fire Company members donated beforehand to buy the painting for $5,100 and presented it to Wesley’s son John at the auction.
Among the winners Thursday were two youngsters who were awarded ponies in a program that provides two ponies to deserving youngsters who work to earn money to buy a pony and have the knowledge and resources to care for one. Big Al again live from yesterday’s auction:
Tia Tanner age 11 of Bartlesville, Oklahoma and John Price age 14 of Danville, Pa. realized their dream of owning a Chincoteague Pony this year thanks to the Feather Fund.
In closing, the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company sold 53 ponies for an average price of $4,309, This along with money raised at the carnival will help pay for a beautiful new facility under construction on Deep Hole Road with a completion date by the end of the year.
The Ponies will swim back Friday morning to Assateague Island to rest for another year.