Black pinto fillies were the biggest hit at the annual Chincoteague pony sale, held as an online auction this year because of Covid-19 restrictions.
Black and white pinto fillies fetched the top two prices at the sale of ponies from the US island. The top-priced, Lot 63, fetched $NZ42,595 ($US28,250). The filly, who was born in June, was one of the “buy backs”, a pony that is purchased and donated back to the herd. The second-highest priced was also a black and white pinto, with the May born filly fetching $25,250. She was also a buy back. Next highest price was another buy-back, a May born palomino and white pinto filly who fetched $25,000.
This year’s swim was cancelled for the first time since World War 2, and the auction was held online. Traditionally, after the swim, some of the young stock are sold to raise funds for the Chincoteague volunteer fire company before the remainder of the ponies are returned to Assateague.
The online auction, hosted by SportHorseAuctions.com, LLC, proved a success, with record total gross sales of $389,500 and an average sale price $5697. Sales of donated items including photos and prints fetched a further $2050. The previous record $279,000 in total sales, and the previous highest price paid for a pony was $25,000.
The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company said there were 459 registered bidders for the auction, which opened on July 23 and closed a week later on July 30. At the close of the auction there had been 236,551 page views, the company said.
The swim, made famous by Marguerite Henry’s children’s book, Misty of Chincoteague, is a highlight of a week-long carnival in Virginia, which is held every July.