NORFOLK (AP) -- An annual roundup of wild ponies on the Eastern Shore has been cancelled due to the government shutdown.

The Chincoteague Volunteer Fire Company had planned to conduct its fall roundup on Assateague Island on Friday and Saturday.

The fire company manages the herd of wild ponies and gives them a medical checkup each fall before the winter sets in. The fall roundup has grown in popularity as a way to guarantee that tourists visiting the national wildlife refuge on the island will be able to see a pony.

During the summer, tens of thousands of tourists flock to the area to watch the ponies swim from Assateague Island to Chincoteague.

The pony swim was made famous by Marguerite Henry's 1947 novel 'Misty of Chincoteague.'

AP-WF-10-07-13 1446GMT

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