In September, 2013 I wrote about Beeswax, "one of the best polo ponies in America," who was brought to Ocracoke to interbreed with the local horses. There are, of course, many other stories about our banker ponies -- including their origins, use by the US Life Saving Service, and mounts for the mid-1950s Boy Scout Troop.
Jean Day, in her book Banker Ponies, an Endangered Species, relates this amusing story:
"In 1939 there were 50 to 100 ponies on Ocracoke, about half of them wild, the others broken for riding.
"Big Ike O'Neal of Ocracoke sold some of his horses, including one he called 'Old Jerry' to someone on Portsmouth Island. Imagine Big Ike's surprise when two days later, he saw Old Jerry on a high sand dune at Ocracoke munching sea oats. To do this, Jerry had swum a mile and a half across the inlet where tidal current fought the ocean swell.
"He just wanted to go home."
Our latest Ocracoke Newsletter is a reprint of a 1948 article about the Mail Boat Aleta, "Boat Hauls Mail, More." You can read it here: http://www.villagecraftsmen.com/news032114.htm.