Before beginning his latest research project, Nicolas Delsol had never even heard of Misty of Chincoteague, one of the fabled feral ponies from the barrier island of Assateague, along the Maryland and Virginia coast. Local legend has it that the horses descended from survivors of a Spanish shipwreck 500 years ago, though that has never been proven. But now Delsol, a French-born archaeologist, has evidence that the story may be more than just a myth. Delsol unearthed a genetic connection between the wild breed and horses from 16th-century Spain.
DNA evidence may link Maryland’s Chincoteague pony origins to Spanish shipwreck
August 8, 2022