A tourist becomes a cautionary tale on Assateague Island.

An Assateague Island visitor got an unwelcome surprise during an encounter with a wild horse on a Maryland beach. The speedo-clad tourist reached over to pet one of the island horses and was swiftly kicked in the groin. The unfortunate incident was caught on video by another tourist and serves as a warning to keep your distance from the animals.

Courtesy of Viralhog's YouTube

Summer is a popular time to visit Assateague Island. Just like the humans, the wild horses like to spend time on the beach, enjoying the sun and wading in the ocean. The wild horses, made famous by the Misty of Chincoteague novels by Marguerite Henry, have lived on the island since the 17th century. The National Park Service recommends visitors never pet or feed the horses and stay at least 40 feet away at all times. 

This incident in Maryland comes on the heels of the annual “Pony Penning” event in Virginia. Horses from the Virginia side of the Assateague Island are rounded up for a swim to Chincoteague Island, and the new foals are auctioned off. The popular event coincides with a carnival, farmers' market, blueberry festival, and parade. 

Chincoteague pony swim

Courtesy of Chincoteague.com

The pony swim takes place on Wednesday, July 24, 2019, and the public can view the swim from several locations around the islands. The swim will take place sometime between 7 a.m. and 1 p.m., and the town has a free Pony Shuttle service to take visitors to the viewing locations.

One of the prime spots is in front of the big screen at Veterans Memorial Park. The first foal to come ashore will be raffled off at the carnival. For more information about viewing locations and the pony swim events, go to chincoteague.com.

Have you witnessed the annual Pony Swim? Where is the best place to watch? Tell us in the comments!