Chincoteague pony trots in as Virginia’s state pony

Virginia has a state bird, insect, tree and even a state bat. And now, thanks to an Accomack County 4-H teen, the Commonwealth has an official state pony—the Chincoteague pony.

Of the state laws that took effect on July 1, possibly the most heartwarming was one naming the Chincoteague pony as the state’s official pony. The effort was spurred by 17-year-old Sophia Gallivan, a student at Broadwater Academy on the Eastern Shore.

“My dad and I were driving home from a horse show, and we were talking about iconic things from each state,” said Gallivan, who is a horse enthusiast and member of the Chincoteague Pony Drill Team. “The Chincoteague pony is such a Virginia icon that I thought it was probably the state pony, but then we found out it wasn’t recognized at all. I was like, ‘This has to be done.’”

Backed by the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company—the organization that manages the legendary wild ponies—Gallivan contacted….

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