A crowd of spectators gather on a pier just before the start of the Chincoteague Pony Swim on Wednesday, July 26, 2017. Every summer people from around the country visit Chincoteague Island, Va. to watch the event.
A young boy sits on the back of a the pony barge before the start of the Pony Swim. Volunteers calling themselves the Saltwater Cowboys often bring their children along, who often take on the same role as their parents.
Members of the Coast Guard signal the start of slack tide using red smoke. Slack tide is a period between tides when it is easiest for ponies to swim the Assateague Channel.
Saltwater Cowboys lead a herd of ponies into the Assateague Channel. The ponies will eventually make their way to Chincoteague Island where they will be paraded down Main Street.
Ponies swim towards Chincoteague during slack tide.
The first horse to emerge from the water makes its way towards land.
Saltwater Cowboys make their way down the road during the Chincoteague Pony Parade. After the parade the ponies will be placed in a corral within the Chincoteague carnival grounds and placed into an auction the next day.
Three man attempt to hold a pony in place as it tries to break free during the Chincoteague Pony Auction on Thursday, July 27, 2017. The auction serves as a means to prevent the wild horse population on Assateague from growing too large while raising funds for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
A pony is tagged just before being auctioned.
A group of ponies make their way towards the Assateague Channel during the Pony Swim back to Assateague on Friday, July 28, 2017.
A group of ponies splash around in the water during the Pony Swim back to Assateague.
A group of ponies make their way back to Assateague Island signaling the end of the weeklong Chincoteague Pony Swim.