Virginia lawmakers accredited a invoice on Tuesday, designating the Chincoteague Island pony because the official pony of the commonwealth.
The invoice was launched by Republican state delegate Robert Bloxom Jr., who’s a resident of the Jap Shore of Virginia, the place Chincoteague Island is situated.
“That is in all probability crucial invoice of this legislative session. That is the principle occasion,” Bloxom advised the Home of Delegates final Friday.
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The delegate gave a quick historical past of the Chincoteague pony, which he referred to as a “particular breed” that has lived and run wild on Assateague Island for tons of of years.
Tales handed down for generations linked the horses to an previous Spanish Galleon that shipwrecked off the coast of Assateague Island within the 1700s.
Bloxom stated DNA testing was carried out on the herd, which linked the ponies again to Spanish origins.
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For the previous 98 years, a pony swim has occurred in Chincoteague Island.
“That is the place the ponies are herded to swim to Chincoteague Island yearly, on the final Wednesday of July at slack morning tide,” Bloxom stated.
As soon as on Chincoteague, a few of the foals are auctioned off, not simply to regulate the scale of the herd, but in addition to usher in cash for the Chincoteague Island Volunteer Hearth Division.
The division supplies fireplace and ambulance providers for the practically 3,000 residents on Chincoteague Island.
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Final 12 months, Bloxom stated, the public sale raised over $400,000.
The horse swim was made well-known by the guide, “Misty of Chincoteague,” written by Marguerite Henry in 1947, and later become a film in 1961.
Bloxom advised the home speaker he hoped he might see the significance of naming the Chincoteague pony the state pony.
“It’s time the Commonwealth pony up and provides Chincoteague heritage the popularity it deserves,” Bloxom stated.
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Delegate William C. Wampler III, a Republican out of Abingdon, Virginia stated he believed the present state pony was within the mountainous Grayson County and questioned if the delegate of that county wished to defend its present designation because the state pony. However the room fell silent.
“I’d put my public sale up in opposition to his public sale, which I don’t imagine there may be on, any day,” Bloxom stated. “I’d put my saltwater cowboys herding up my herd, far earlier than they run wild within the mountains and by no means get herded up.”
On the finish of the dialogue, a number of delegates tossed jokes into the ring, together with Republican Home Delegate Tony Wilt of Rockingham, who requested if an individual wished to vote in opposition to the measure, if the response can be “nay.”
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When the matter was delivered to a vote on Tuesday, Home delegates accredited the measure, 93-7.
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