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British Pony Books Home

Josephine Pullein-Thompson


Noel and Henry

Six Ponies
Pony Club Team
The Radney Riding Club

One Day Event
Pony Club Camp


The Moors

Star-Riders of the Moor
Fear Treks the Moor
Ride to the Rescue
Ghost Horse on the Moor
Treasure on the Moor
Mystery on the Moor
Suspicion Stalks the Moor


Woodbury Pony Club
Pony Club Cup
Pony Club Challenge
Pony Club Trek

It Began with Picotee (with Josephine and Diana Pullein-Thompson)
A & C Black, London,1946, illus Rosemary Robertson

Character list

Olivia, Bridget and Griselda Douglas own Picotee, and they are then lent Tony. Then they buy a
chestnut foal they call Pengo, and then they agree to school Colonel Selcombe’s half Shetland,
and then they borrow Mrs Baxter’s two ponies.... And they end up with plenty of ponies.


Six Ponies
Collins, 1946, illus Anne Bullen
Armada, 1971 and 1979

Swift, 1987

Fidra, pb, 2007

Character list

The West Barsetshire Pony
Club are given six New Forest
Ponies to break in.  The six
members who have the ponies are a very varied lot:  from Noel who agonises over everything, to Richard who couldn’t care less, and Evelyn and June who are convinced they know it all.  Not everything goes to plan by a long way.

I Had Two Ponies
Collins, London, 1947, illus Anne Bullen
Armada, London, 1963

Collins Pony Library, London, 1974

Spoilt Christabel couldn’t care less when her two ponies are sold.
Then she goes to stay with the Westlake family, and begins to
see the error of her ways. Stricken by guilt, she tries to find the
two ponies.

Plenty Of Ponies
Collins, London, 1949, illus Anne Bullen

Collins Seagull, London, 1964

Armada, London, 1970, later 1970s

White Lion, London, 1977

Character list

The Esmond family are hopeless, despite having
lovely ponies and a groom, so they decide to start
a self-improvement campaign, but they seem to
get worse, not better.

Pony Club Team
Collins, London, 1950, illus Sheila Rose

Collins, London, 1956

Armada, London, 1973, 1977

Collins Pony Library, 1973

Swift, London, 1987

Character list

The Major decides to hold a course for the Pony Club
during the holidays, with a dressage competition at the
end. We meet Henry, see more of John, and Christopher explodes onto the scene with the uncontrollable Fireworks. The Radcliffes haven’t changed, and although the Pony Club get there in the end, it is a struggle.

The Radney Riding Club
Collins, London, 1951, illus Sheila Rose

Knight, Leicester, 1970

Armada, London, 1981

Swift, London,1987, hb

Character list

Set on Henry’s home turf, he and Noel decide to start a Riding Club.

The set of characters is mostly new, but the problems that beset
them are the same.

Prince Among Ponies
Collins, London, 1952, illus Charlotte Hough

Collins Seagull Library, 1962

Armada, London, 1970, 1978

Character list

Patrick and Sara, who have learned to ride quite

correctly, go to stay with the Merrimans. Jane Merriman
has a pony, the glorious Adonis, who has been declared

unsafe, but Patrick and Sara think their methods might

work, so they start riding him in secret.

One Day Event
Collins, London, 1954, illus Sheila Rose

Collins, London, 1958

Collins Pony Library, London, 1973

Armada, pb, 1974, 1979

Swift, London, 1987

Character list

Noel has two Anglo-Arabs to school: Truant
and Tranquil, but she is in the usual Noel-like
floods of despair, as nothing seems to be going right. Henry isn’t having much luck with Echo either,
so the Major yet again comes to the rescue of the Pony Club, and starts schooling them.

Show Jumping Secret
Collins, London, 1955, illus Sheila Rose

Collins Seagull Library, London, 1963

Armada, London, 1969, 1981

Collins Pony Library, London, 1974

Character list

Charles has suffered from polio, which has
badly affected one of his legs. Riding is
supposed to help him, so he learns to ride.
At first, under the auspices of his cousins, this is disastrous, but then he finds
a riding school run on more enlightened principles, and matters start to improve.
He learns to jump, and then buys the grey mare, Secret. Charles is determined
to show jump her successfully.

Patrick’s Pony
Brockhampton, Leicester,1956, Illus
Geoffrey Whittam
Brockhampton, Leicester, 1957

Beaver, London, 1985, pb

Character list

Patrick lives with his grandfather and his pony Taffy, but when Grandfather
becomes ill, Patrick is carted off to a children’s home. Taffy goes too, but he
suffers at the home. Patrick then finds a foster family who live on a farm, but
the father is hostile and won’t take Taffy. Patrick and the daughter, Carol, are
 determined to rescue Taffy.

Pony Club Camp
Collins , London, 1957, illus Sheila Rose
Collins Pony Library, London, 1973

Armada, London, 1974, 1980

Swift, London, 1987

Character list

Characters in tent order

Noel has left school; Henry is on leave from
the Army, and it’s Pony Club Camp time. Noel
and Henry are now promoted to teaching. All of the Pony Club have moved on, and there are plenty
of new characters too. It’s interesting to see them now interested in each other as more than just
someone who rides a pony. This is the book in which Noel and Henry kiss (or do they?)

The Trick Jumpers
Collins , London, 1958, illus Sheila Rose
Armada, London, 1965, 1975

Collins Pony Library, London, 1973

After a very unpromising start, the Trelawny and

Henderson families unite to produce a show
display that will have any Health and Safety
Executive fainting away with sheer horror.

All Change
Ernest Benn, London, 1961, illus Sheila Rose
Armada, London, 1963, 1972

Reprinted as The Hidden Horse

Armada, 1982, 160 pp

And under this same title
J A Allen, London, 1994

Character list

After Lord Conway’s death, the Conway family think they will have to move away from the estate
they have grown up on and loved, after their father, the Land Agent, crosses swords with the new
owner, a city man whom the Conways think cannot possibly understand country ways.

Race Horse Holiday

Armada Original 1971, pb, London, 127 pp.

Armada, London, 1977

Severn House, London, 1979
Cavalier, 1996, pb

Vivien and John spend their holidays at a local
racing stables.

Black Ebony
In Black Beauty’s Clan, Brockhampton, London, 1975,
illus Elisabeth Grant

Knight, Leicester, pb, 1979

In Black Beauty’s Family, Chancellor, 1986

In Black Beauty’s Family, Red Fox, London, 2000

An extract appears in The Treasury of Horse & Pony Stories,
and in Horse and Pony Stories, ed Janet Barber, Sundial Books
Ltd, London, 1979

Character List

Black Ebony is Black Beauty’s youngest brother. His life is much like
Black Beauty’s: he’s broken in, spends time in the railway field, is sold to
a member of the aristocracy and goes hunting. Then he is used as a mount
by a Mr Arkwright, and finds out about the grimness of life in the mines,
both for humans and ponies.

Star-Riders of the Moor
Hodder & Stoughton, London,1976, illus Elisabeth Grant

Knight, Leicester, 1979, pb
As Star Riders by J A Allen, London, 1990
Character List

A film is being made on the moor. The children are invited to
take part, but then strange things start to happen, and they begin
to wonder if the film is actually a cover for something sinister.

Black Nightshade
Knight, Leicester, pb, 1978

In Black Beauty’s Family, Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1978,
283 pp, illus Elisabeth Grant

In Black Beauty’s Family, Chancellor, 1986

In More From Black Beauty’s Family, Red Fox,

Character List

Black Nightshade is a thoroughbred racehorse, is born during
the reign of George III. He has a varied career, for as well as
racing, he is a highway man’s horse, is owned by a manufactory owner, and
plays a  part in the Napoleonic War.

Ghost Horse on the Moor
Hodder & Stougton, London, 1980, illus Eric Rowe
Beaver, London, pb,1980

A distraught grey horse gallops over the moor, with no rider, and with its saddle
flapping underneath it. Frances and her friends are determined to catch the horse
and find out who it belongs to and why it is there.

Fear Treks the Moor
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1979

Knight, Leicester, pb, 1981

Character List
Frances and her friends are busy running Mr Jackson’s pony trekking business, but
one of the trekkers is terrified of two fearsome strangers who say they are his uncles.
First they try to disguise “N Hutchinson”, and when that doesn’t work, try more and
more desperate measures.

Ride to the Rescue
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1979, illus Elisabeth Grant

Beaver, London, 1984, pb

An extract appears as The Runaway Boy in The Treasury of Horse & Pony Stories

Character List
Mrs Hathaway, who lives in a lonely cottage on the moor, is convinced that she is
going to be burgled. Frances (who has a new horse, Orlando), believes her, and is
determined to solve the mystery.

Black Swift
Canongate, Edinburgh, 1981, pb

Black Swift was born at Radstock Castle during the Civil War, and is the fastest filly in Sir Thomas
Wakefield’s stable. She is the first of a new breed with which her owner hopes to repair his fortunes,
but then she is stolen and taken to the battlefields of the Civil War.

The No Good Pony
Sparrow, London, 1981, pb

Severn House, London, 1982, hb

An extract appears as The Race in The Treasury of Horse & Pony Stories

Character list
The Brodie and Dalton children have to live together now that Mr Dalton has married
Mrs Brodie, but they don’t get on at all. The Dalton’s ponies are immaculate, but
the Brodie’s Treacle is anything but. Treacle, though, proves that looks aren’t

Black Raven the Witch
Appears in Black Beauty’s Family 2, Beaver, London, 1982

Character List

Black Raven is a West Country mare who helps a couple of young lovers to elope, and saves a
witch from drowning.

The Prize Pony
Arrow, London, 1982, pb

Severn House, London, 1983, hb

Character list

Debbie does that thing that every pony mad girl dreams of: she wins a pony.
Unfortunately, she does not end up with the pony that is best for her, and her dream
of owning a pony soon turns into a nightmare.

Treasure on the Moor
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1982, 112 pp, illus Jon Davis

The children hunt for the Kenny treasure, which might be hidden in the estuary, or could equally
well be on the moor.

Save the Ponies
Sparrow, London, 1983

Severn House, London, 1984, hb

An extract appears as The Storm in The Treasury of Horse & Pony Stories, 1995

Set in Greece, Mandy, Kate, Jeremy and Fergus meet Nico and Sophia and find
that an Athenian horse dealer is illegally buying the island’s ponies to use them in
a circus. The children decide they must save the ponies.


Pony Club Cup
Armada Original, London, 1983
Character list

The Woodbury Pony Club is the worst in the district, so they aren’t too hopeful when told their new
instructor is an ex-jockey. David Lumley, though, soon takes them in hand, and they and their
dreadful ponies start to improve, ready to show the neighbouring Cranford Vale team what’s what.

Pony Club Challenge
Armada Original, London,1984

Character list

The neighbouring Pony Club, the Cranford Vale, have challenged the Woodbury to a Tetrathlon,
but they only have three weeks to get their unfit selves and their ponies ready to shoot, run, and
ride cross country.

Mystery on the Moor
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1984, illus Chris Rothero

The fear of rabies haunts the moor, and there is also the problem of the unpleasant Mr Bates, who
tries his hardest to keep everyone away from his farm.

Pony Club Trek
Armada Original, London, 1985
Character list

The Woodbury Pony Club are going on a three day ride over the Downs, though as you would expect,
nothing goes smoothly, until at the end, they are fighting to save a pony’s life.

Suspicion Stalks the Moor
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1986, illus Glenn Steward

A famous stallion has vanished, and when the children see a horse being unloaded off a ship in the
dead of night, they can’t help but wonder if the two are connected, particularly when mysterious
Mr Spalding has a stallion at his farm.

A Job with Horses
J A Allen, London, 1994
Character list

Kate’s mother re-marries, and when she has a baby, Kate is even more unhappy.  As she’s passed
her BHSAI exam, she applies for a job at a West Country stately home, which
runs a jousting team,
as one of the things it does to keep afloat. Not all of the glamorous jousters though, are exactly what
they seem.

Proud Riders: Horse and Pony Stories
Brockhampton, Leicester, 1973

A short story collection edited by Josephine Pullein-Thompson.

Pony Club Stories

Dean, London, 1994

Contains Pony Club Cup, Pony Club Challenge and Pony Club Trek

Treasury of Horse and Pony Stories
(with Diana and Christine Pullein-Thompson)

Award, London, 1995, 480 pp, illus Eric Rowe

Award, London, 2015, 480 pp, illus Eric Rowe

A collection of short stories written by the sisters over the years. Josephine’s
contributions are: I'll Never Pass, The Runaway Boy, The Failure, Ebony Joins
the Circus, The Race, The Storm, Oh Cobweb, How Could You? and The Trek.
They are all either extracts, or appeared first elsewhere.


Short Stories

Cocktail Capitulates

Riding Magazine, January, 1941, written with Diana and Christine

A ruined pony is rehabilitated.

The Road to Ruin

Riding Magazine, Summer,  1942, written with Diana and Christine

A pony goes to the bad.

If I Had That Pony

Collin’s Children’s Annual, undated, possibly 1950s.

The Failure

The Pony Club Annual 1966, Max Parrish & Co, 1965, illus Sheila Rose

Philippa hates her sisters: they are successful and she is not.

The Mock Hunt

The Pony Club Annual 1967, Max Parrish & Co, 1966, illus Joan Wanklyn

The Trek

The Pony Club Annual 1969, Purnell, 1968, illus Sally Webb

A Horrible Horsy Daughter

The Pony Club Annual 1971, Purnell, 1970, illus Janet Johnstone

Horse and Pony Stories, ed Janet Barber, Sundial Books Ltd, London, 1979

The Scavenger Hunt
The Pony Club Annual 1972, Purnell, 1971, illus Janet Johnstone

Christine Pullein-Thompson’s Book of Pony Stories, Piccolo, London, 1975

Clare is in a foul mood when she starts off for the Scavenger Hunt.

The Birdwatcher of Beacon Hill
The Pony Club Annual 1973, Purnell, 1972, illus Sian Williams

The Datchett family move to the country.

Chop and Change
The Pony Club Annual 1974, Purnell, 1973, illus Sally Webb

The Best of Pony Club Stories, Purnell & Sons, London, 1978
A pony’s eye view of a Pony Club rally.

Bound to Fail
Pony Magazine Annual 1975, illus Christine Bousfield

Will Pippa fail C test yet again?

Bone of Contention
The Pony Club Annual 1976, Purnell, 1975, illus Sally Bell

A local footpath becomes an issue.

Oh, Cobweb, How Could You!

The Pony Club Annual 1983, Purnell, 1982, illus Christine Bousfield

Horse & Pony Stories, a Thoroughbred Collection, 1992

Cobweb stops jumping, but it turns out there is a valid reason!

The Pullein-Thompson Treasury of Horse and Pony Stories

Award, 1995, illus Eric Rowe

I'll Never Pass

The Runaway Boy

The Failure

Ebony Joins the Circus

The Race

The Storm

Oh Cobweb, How Could You?

The Trek

Non Fiction

Ride Better and Better
Knight, Leicester, 1977, illus Priscilla Goodfield

How Horses are Trained
Routledge & Kegan Paul, London,1961

Ponies in Colour

Batsford, London, 1962, photos: Nicholas Meyjes

Learn to Ride Well

Routledge & Kegan Paul, London,1966

Cavalier, 1996

Horses and Their Owners [Ed JPT]

Nelson, London, 1970

Fair Girls on Grey Horses
(with Diana and Christine Pullein-Thompson)

Allison & Busby, 1996, hb

Allison & Busby, 1998, pb

Gin and Murder
[Adult detective fiction]

Hammond, Hammond & Co 1959

They Died in the Spring
[Adult detective fiction]

Hammond, Hammond & Co 1960

Murder Strikes Pink

[Adult detective fiction]

Hammond, Hammond & Co, 1963

As Josephine Mann
A Place with Two Faces

[Romantic fiction]
Lion Library 1972, Coronet 1972

Adult Fiction