CHINCOTEAGUE, Va. — Dozens of foals are about to be auctioned off to support the Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company.

The fire company runs the annual pony swim between Assateague Island in Maryland and Chincoteague Island in Virginia. A spokeswoman for the fire company says more than 40,000 people watched on Wednesday as about 130 wild ponies were herded across the 200-yard channel.

The annual crossing was made famous by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel "Misty of Chincoteague."

Ponies that are not sold on Thursday and those donated back to the fire department will roam free for another year on the national wildlife refuge on Assateague.