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THE NATION | IN BRIEF / AND FINALLY . . .

Crowds Admire Paddling Ponies on Virginia Island

July 24, 2001|From Times Wire Reports

An estimated 50,000 people are expected to pack the island of Chincoteague, Va., to watch the spectacle of about 150 horses swimming from nearby Assateague Island to Chincoteague, 190 miles northeast of Richmond.

The foals will be auctioned after the swim, a tradition that can be traced to the 17th century.

For most of the year, the ponies roam free on a national wildlife refuge on Assateague.

"When you see the ponies swimming across the water, it just brings tears to your eyes," said Suzanne Taylor of the Chincoteague Chamber of Commerce.

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