Three Chincoteague Ponies Donated to Herd

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By Linda Cicoira
Three Chincoteague ponies were grazing at the carnival grounds on the island this week after being donated to the fire company to help replenish the famous herd, according to Denise Bowden, a company spokesperson.
“We accepted a donation of three beautiful, mature mares to help us with herd numbers,” she said. “This past year has been one of the most difficult years we have experienced in terms of herd loss so these new mares should help us greatly.”
“The ponies that are still dealing with the swamp cancer continue to hold their own,” Bowden continued. Every other day a vet has visited to check the wounds of those ponies. “So far, things are looking good. But be cautious, things can change easily. Not trying to be negative but trying to be realistic.”
Last week another pony died from the swamp cancer or pythiosis, a fungal infection. The illness occurs in a wound or cut when the animals stand in water that has pathogens. Areas that don’t have harsh winters are more likely to see problems because the water there doesn’t freeze. Five other ponies are continuing to recover.
In a Facebook message, Bowden thanked the public. “You all have been so giving, so gracious, and so kind with your donations to the herd and we appreciate from the bottom of our hearts … The love, the support, (and) the outpouring of respect you have shown to us and our community speaks volumes and each and every one of us appreciates each one of you from the bottom of our hearts!”
Bowden went on to tell about another way to donate before the end of the year for those interested in getting tax deductions. “We are selling bricks at the new firehouse that can be engraved like the ones at the Robert Reed Park in town. They are $100 each.”
Bowden directed interested parties to the fire company’s website at www. cvfc3.com Donations will also be accepted by regular mail. “For corporations, large groups, or even families, and individuals we have kicked off a capital campaign for the new station. We would like to personally thank the Refuge Inn for being the first local business to sponsor a Named Gift Opportunity.”
Bowden did not identify the pony donators.

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