National Chincoteague Pony Association Celebrates 25th Year Anniversary

Share Article

The National Chincoteague Pony Association ( is proud to announce their 25th year in the world's first Registry for Chincoteague Ponies.

The National Chincoteague Pony Association ( is proud to announce their 25th year in the world's first Registry for Chincoteague Ponies. Gale Park Frederick, founded the Non-profit Organization in 1981, Bellingham, WA.

The History of the Chincoteague Pony:

Due to a ship wreck in the 1600s, the surviving ponies swam to the Assateague Island, Virginia and Maryland.

They became a race of hardy ponies that live on the island of Assateague off the coast of Virginia and Maryland. The ponies are small horses, compact and once on the islands they became stunted under the harsh environment. To keep from starving they ate coarse saltmarsh cordgrass, American beachgrass, thorny greenbrier stems, bayberry twigs, seaweed and even poison ivy. When their fresh water sources froze during cold winters or dried up during the hot summers, they learned to survive on small amounts of seawater which, at times, gave them the appearance of being fat or bloated. Thus, the horses bred down in size to the unique breed known today as the Chincoteague Pony.

Today in America's Back Yards:

Today the ponies living away from the islands are “easy keepers.” The Chincoteague Pony requires little food compared to an adult horse. They will do nicely in a weed patch, plus hay, a salt block, grain and fresh water. There is a saying, “A Chincoteague Pony can get fat on a cement slab.”

There are approximately 980 privately owned Chincoteague Ponies scattered over the United States and Canada.

In the mid 70's, Gale Park Frederick obtained three Chincoteague Ponies and in the 80's set up a non-profit organization for the breed, as a Section 501(c)(5) Agriculture and Education non-profit organization. It is called The National Chincoteague Pony Association ( and is the World's first Chincoteague Pony Registry.

The purpose of the organization is to recognize this unique breed of pony and to improve and promote the breed across the United States and around the world. The registration is called The National Chincoteague Pony Association and it is the very first and the oldest Chincoteague Pony registry. The ponies are now recognized as a pure and rare breed.

Gale Park Frederick is the only known breeder of the Chincoteague ponies. After purchasing her original three Chincoteague ponies, she transferred them to Washington State, and has been successfully breeding the ponies ever since. For over 32 years she has been breeding them and has a well established breeding farm for the Chincoteague ponies, keeping them a pure breed.

A Selective Breeding of the Chincoteague Ponies have given the world back the conformation and size of the original shipwrecked horses in the 1600's. Now available up to 15 HH in size. Ranging from 13HH to 15HH on the Bellingham Farm. A herd size of 13 ponies insures 5 lucky people a new pony each year from her farm in Bellingham, Washington.

In Gale's many years of raising Chincoteague ponies, she has gathered many delightful observations about this breed. They include a mare named "Betz," who liked to have help in birthing her foal while she was lying down eating grass, and "Towie Tug Button" who stood up to a large stallion to protect another pony in the field from being run ragged.

"The stallion, 'Crackerjack,' protected me one afternoon when the herd of 6 ponies came running up from behind," says Gale. "He stood behind me to protect me from the rest of the running ponies. He was in front of the herd running and came to a dead halt and stood at my back until the other ponies veered to the sides of us. One time when one of the mares, 'Miss Arrow Head Nine,' ran out of patience with her foal for the umpteenth time, the foal was placed in another band. A young mare 'Black Diamond' took over raising the little foal, 'Ice Cream Sundae.' Black Diamond made sure the foal received her fair share of the hay and grain. The foal grew up to be one of the prettiest mares on the farm. She is now ranked second to the lead horse in the herd."

The Chincoteague ponies love attention and the love that people give them. When cars drive up the farm's long driveway the ponies come running in from the pasture and stand by the white board fence, waiting for that smile, that touch and those kind words that visitors are so generous in giving them.

"If we stand and clap and laugh, the Chincoteague ponies run, jump, gallop and frolic in the green pastures," says Gale. "They love the attention and provide hours of amusement. Each pony has its own personality and likes."


Gale Park Frederick, The National Chincoteague Pony Association

2595 Jensen Road

Bellingham, WA 98226

360-671-8338 (Live Barn-Cam for Mare and Foal Viewing)


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Visit website