Chincoteague firefighters known as saltwater cowboys will oversee the annual pony swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague in Virginia on July 30.
The event is preceded by a carnival, which began Friday and continues on several dates in July and early August.
Each year the wild ponies are auctioned to raise money for the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company, which cares for the Virginia herd. This year's auction is July 31.
Ponies that are not sold and those that are donated back to the fire department will roam free for another year on the national wildlife refuge on Assateague.
The pony swim was made famous by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague.''.