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THEN: In August 1946, a group of men and their horses - accompanied by a dog or two - gather in the dawn light at Chincoteague Island, Va. (Hans Marx, Baltimore Sun photo, 1946)

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NOW: A barge transfers “saltwater cowboys” and their horses to the ponies’ landing spot in preparation for the 2013 Chincoteague pony swim. Behind them, red smoke goes off, signaling the swim will start soon. The 2014 swim will take place Wednesday, marking the 89th edition of the annual event. (Erin Kirkland, Baltimore Sun photo, 2013)

Click here for pictures of the Assateague Island wild ponies, friends of the Chincoteague pony swim participants