The Chincoteague pony was made famous by the publishing of Marguerite Henry's book "Misty of Chincoteague" in 1940. The book was based on the true story of a Chincoteague pony that was purchased at the annual Pony Penning. In 1963, the book's sequel "Stormy, Misty's Foal" was published and in 1992 the final book "Misty's Twilight" was published.
The Chincoteague pony is found most often in a pinto pattern and tend to be white with a Palomino-bay color on top. Occasionally there are sorrels and black ponies found. The pony breed is well known to be hardy and well proportioned in appearance. They are also known to be strong and possess a body which is very muscular. The manes and tails of the Chincoteague's are considered to be extra thick. During the winter months, they tend to grow hair coats which are heavy and thick. This gives them an appearance that is particularly shaggy looking during these months. The ponies have faces which are very expressive and they have eyes which are large and wide-set. The Chincoteague pony has a stature which is generally small and will not reach more than 14 hands with a weight of approximately 750 pounds. They are considered to be very good natured and intelligent with a very gentle disposition.
Today, there are many Chincoteague ponies which are privately owned across the United States. In 1984 the National Chincoteague Pony Association was founded by Gale Park Frederick. The purpose of the association is for the promotion of the Chincoteague breed throughout the United States and Canada.
Prior to starting the Association, Gale Park Frederick and her children attended the auction during the annual Pony Penning event. While there, she bid on three of the foals being auctioned off. She left the auction as the proud owner of two fillies and one colt.
The sweet nature of these sturdy ponies won the hearts of Frederick and her three children. It was shortly after this meeting of the hearts that Frederick decided to begin a breeding program with the ponies. Her goal was to create line of the Chincoteague ponies that was pure. She founded the association as part of her breeding endeavor. She wanted the association to be an educational organization as well as an agricultural nonprofit establishment. Her other goal was to improve upon the existing breed and to promote it. She wanted the breed to become recognized all across the United States as well as around the entire world.
Gale Park Frederick is the only known breeder of the Chincoteague pony. The pony is now officially recognized as a breed which is pure and very rare. With her dedication and determination, Frederick has successfully managed to return the breed to its original and true size and conformation. She has a small herd of the ponies on her farm in Bellingham, Washington. The ponies range in their size from 13 to 14 hands in height.
Eager buyers purchase her foals each year. The ponies which are a solid color sell for around $4000.00 each. The ponies which are the pinto and paint foals sell for around $6000.00 each. In order to purchase one of these ponies, you must be placed on the waiting list that extends for several months in advance.