“The volunteer fire company fielded hundreds of inquiries from people concerned about the pony after it was reported missing…”
The Chincoteague Police Department announced Thursday the remains of the pony, Dreamer’s Faith, were located Wednesday night on the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company carnival grounds.
The fire company reported the pony’s remains were found in a corner where a chain-link fence and several trees and bushes are located. The fire company owns and cares for the herd of wild ponies on Assateague Island in Virginia.
A lawn maintenance contractor working in the area found the pony, police said.
The pony was positively identified by a microchip. There were no signs of any criminal activity and the police department is considering the case closed.
Dreamer’s Faith was purchased as a buyback pony at the 90th annual Pony Auction on Chincoteague in July. The filly was among 61 foals sold at the auction, which raises money for the fire company.
Buyback foals are returned to the wild Chincoteague pony herd to live on Assateague Island and help to keep the herd replenished. The winner of a buyback auction has the privilege of naming the foal.
The buyback ponies typically are kept in a large corral at the carnival grounds until spring.
Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Co. spokesman Roe Terry issued a statement Thursday saying the fire company board of directors will meet Thursday night “to go over the entire case and other aspects of the case, such as, but not limited to, the search, the reward money, the camera money donations, the new lighting we are putting up, our commitment to the family who donated this pony (yes, I have been in contact with them), and our ongoing commitment to the dedicated, understanding followers of our annual event and the yearlong care of the entire herd.”
Terry went on to say, “Please, before you cast too many stones in our direction, give us the chance to at least give you another follow-up tomorrow afternoon. We are not trying to cover up anything.”
It was thought the foal had been stolen from the corral, and police sought information about a white pickup pulling a horse trailer that had been seen in the vicinity around the time the pony disappeared Sept. 6 or 7.
News of the foal’s apparent theft sparked outrage among fans of Chincoteague Island and its famous wild ponies, resulting in more than 800,000 page views on the fire company’s Facebook page within days, as well as in supporters creating and posting flyers and posting identifying information about the pony on websites and social media outlets.
The Beer family, who bought the foal at auction, created and posted a video on their Facebook page, Dreamer’s Gift, about the case. The video shows footage of the filly, as well as footage from the auction where they purchased Dreamer’s Faith for $7,500.