The small island of Chincoteague became well known when, in 1947, Maguerite Henry wrote “Misty of Chincoteague” . Her book became well read, won the Newbery Honor and in 1961was made into movie. The feral ponies actually live on island of Assateague where they live under the watchful eye of the Volunteer Fire Company. By order of federal law, no more than 150 ponies are allowed to live on the VA side of this island.
To maintain the herd, the Fire Company, annually, rounds up the ponies and auctions they off. This has been proven to be a winning arrangement. The population stays under control and the money raised benefit the Fire Company and in turn the island.