CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. (WJZ) — An investigation is underway on the Eastern Shore after one of the famous Chincoteague Island ponies is stolen. Horse lovers across the country are outraged.
Meghan McCorkell has more on this theft.
The pony disappeared September 6 or 7, leaving the entire community in shock.
For 90 years, crowds from around the world have flocked to Chincoteague to see the swimming of the ponies.
Now, for the first time, investigators say one of them has been stolen right out of its pen at the carnival grounds.
“She has a soaring bird on her left shoulder and then the white continues across her back,” said Lois Szymanski. “And then in the middle, she has a brown heart, a chestnut heart.”
Szymanski’s family owns a Chincoteague pony. She says the disappearance of the five-month-old foal named “Dreamer’s Faith” is devastating.
“Never. In 90 years of pony penning, they’ve never had a horse stolen,” Szymanski said.
Police have now launched a grand larceny investigation, interviewing people who live nearby and reviewing surveillance cameras across the island.
“No local person would have the audacity to do something like that,” said Michael Bernstein.
Dreamer’s Faith is what’s called a “buyback pony” and is supposed to spend the rest of her life on Assateague Island.
“To think that someone would come in and do this to us and to this community is devastating,” said Denise Bowden, Cincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.
Volunteer fire company members who care for the horses vow to find the foal.
“We’re not going to leave any stone unturned. We’re going to do everything in our power to find her,” said Bowden.
The entire community is feeling the loss.
“I’m also hoping that people do the right thing and come forward and we bring this foal home where she belongs. She belongs on that island,” said Szymanski.
A $1,000 reward is now being offered to ensure that happens.
Since news of the stolen pony broke Thursday night on the fire department’s Facebook page, more than 350,000 people have viewed it.
A fundraiser has now been started to set up security cameras all around the pony pen.
Anyone with information is being asked to call the Chincoteague Police Dept. at 757-336-3155.