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Terri Farley

Terri Farley grew up in California, where she learned to ride. It wasn’t a question of nipping along on her bicycle to the nearest stables. Los Angeles, where she grew up, is deeply unfriendly to the pedestrian, and the only way Terri could get to the stables was to nag her father to drive her there. She said “I began riding the minute I talked my dad into driving me to a stable! In Los Angeles, where I grew up, that's just about the only way it's possible -- legally. The illegal part, I tell about in one of my presentations and yes, I did get caught!”


She was educated at San José State University, where she graduated in English, and at the University of Nevada, which she left with a Masters in Journalism. After graduating, she taught English and reading in inner city Los Angeles. However, the open range, with its mustangs, was where she wanted to be, and where she moved to after her marriage - she now lives in Sierra Nevada (although she seems torn about where she really wants to be - on the Phantom Stallion website, she says she “always longed for the open range,” but now she’s there, her Terri Farley website says she “still longs for the California beaches where she grew up.”)


She carried on teaching, and started to produce articles for magazines. She had started writing as a child when her mother passed her old electric typewriter on to Terri. Her parents said the first story she wrote was about a horse: Pagan, the Wild Stallion, and the vast majority of her books have been about horses, all, in fact, bar her latest. The Phantom Horse series was born when Terri was working as a journalist on a story about the Black Rock Desert. She went on a ten day cattle drive, riding a cow horse, Ace. While she was riding, she looked down a canyon with mist rising out of it, and thought she saw a white horse. Unfortunately at that point Ace shot off after a cow that needed chasing back into the herd, and by the time she worked her way back to the canyon, there was no sign of the horse.


“ I wondered,” she said, “what would happen if there were a white stallion that came and went so quickly that people thought he was a ghost, and maybe began calling him The Phantom.“ The short answer is a 24 book series, the adventures of Samantha Forster, Jake Ely and the silver stallion The Phantom.


Ten years after her cattle drive experience, Terri Farley found a real live Phantom Stallion, a wild white stallion who had been living near Stage Coach, Nevada, but who was moved by the Department of Agriculture to the Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingleford, California after his territory was taken by a housing development. He had indeed been called The Phantom.


Terri Farley is a vigorous opponent of the Bureau of Land Mangement’s (BLM) policy on managing wild horses. The BLM wants to reduce the number of horses from around 38,000 to 26,000, which they say will maintain the health both of the horses and the land on which they graze. Helicopters are used to gather the horses, a controversial practice which can result in horses dying. The horses so removed are sometimes adopted, or kept on holding ranges - Terri Farley’s spin off series, Wild Horse Island features a horse saved from the range in Nevada. Terri Farley wants the BLM to stop the helicopter roundups, and not to kill the horses already removed. In a letter she suggests her fans send to the BLM she says:


“The Bureau of Land Management has rounded-up thousands of America's wild horses. Now, it may kill them. Over and over again Americans have said their horses must run free, but that hasn't stopped BLM from saying that killing wild horses is a "magic bullet” for budget problems.


Instead of spending millions of dollars on flashy helicopter round-ups, please halt all round-ups until independent observers can assess range conditions and take accurate counts of wild and domestic animals on the land.” (quoted from website)


Whether the BLM plans to slaughter horses I do not know. They state unequivocally on their website that they do not:


“The Department of the Interior and the Bureau of Land Management care deeply about the well-being of wild horses, both on and off the range, and the BLM does not and has not sold or sent horses or burros to slaughter.”


The author of the Fugly Blog posted on the topic of wild horse management in 2009, and reading the debate there gives an overview of the current state of opinion.


Finding the books: all the books are very easy to find in the USA, and many of the series turn up in the UK.


Links and sources

Terri Farley’s website

The Phantom Stallion website

More biographical information on Terri Farley

An interview with Terri Farley (31st March 2003)

An interview with Terri Farley on Seven Tears into the Sea

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) and the mustangs

A clip of a real life Phantom stallion

The Bureau of Land Management’s National Wild Horse and Burro Program


 





Phantom Horse

The Wild One

Mustang Moon

Dark Sunshine

The Renegade

Free Again
The Challenger

Desert Dancer

Golden Ghost

Gift Horse

Red Feather Filly

Untamed

Raindance

Heartbreak Bronco

Moonrise

Kidnapped Colt

Wildest Heart

Mountain Mare

Firefly

Secret Star

Blue Wings

Dawn Runner

Wild Honey
Gypsy Gold

Run Away Home


Wild Horse Island

The Horse Charmer

The Shining Stallion

Rainforest Rose

Castaway Colt

Fire Maiden

Sea Shadow

Mistwalker

Water Lily

Snowfire

Faraway Filly

Galloping Gold


Castaway Colt

Harper Trophy, New York, 2008, 209 pp



Darby is nervous about starting her new school in Hawaii.

Galloping Gold

Harper Trophy, New York, 2009



Darby’s best friend Ann has a horse called Sugarfoot. He has problems, and Ann’s parents
threaten to shut down their equine rescue programme unless Sugarfoot can be made to behave.

Bibliography - horse books only

The Wild One

Avon Books, New York, 2002, 216 pp



Sam’s horse Blackie threw her in a near-fatal accident two years ago. Now she’s back, but
Blackie has disappeared.

Faraway Filly

Harper Trophy, New York, 2009



The original owner of Darby’s filly, Hoku, wants her back.

Raindance

Avon Books, New York, 2004



Dark Sunshine is about to give birth to the Phantom’s latest foal. Sam is sure she can cope when
she’s left alone when the family go off, but when a thunderstorm hits it looks as if she’s in trouble.


Heartbreak Bronco

Avon Books, New York, 2004, 227 pp



Everyone thinks the horse Jinx is a curse, but Sam knows he’s incredibly fast.  He might be
the good luck charm she needs.


The Horse Charmer

Harper Trophy, New York, 2007



Darby loves horses, though she’s never ridden one. She’s saved a wild horse, and her
grandfather, who has a ranch on Hawaii, takes Darby and the horse in.

Kidnapped Colt

Avon Books, New York, 2005, 215 pp



A friend needs Sam’s help with a colt and its mother, but when they disappear, Sam fears it’s
the Phantom who’s stolen them.



Mountain Mare

Avon Books, New York, 2005, 214 pp



A strange tame horse turns up at the Rodeo. Sam’s determined to find out who she is, despite
the efforts to stop her.

Mustang Moon

Avon Books, New York, 2002, 234 pp



The wild stallion Phantom and Sam have become friends. A horse is stealing mares from the
local rancher, and Phantom gets the blame. Sam’s determined to prove him innocent.



The Shining Stallion

Harper Trophy, New York, 2007



A shadowy horse turns up on the ranch, and Darby is the only one who can stop him.

Untamed

Avon Books, New York, 2004, 206 pp



Sam discovers a plot to wipe out the wild horses near her home, but she can’t persuade
anyone else to believe her - not friends, family, or the sheriff.

Red Feather Filly

Avon Books, New York, 2004, 201 pp



Sam and her friends are preparing for a charity race.


Dark Sunshine

Avon Books, New York, 2002, 234 pp



Sam rescues an abused mare from outlaw horse rustlers, but it causes problems at home as
there’s a drought and very little grass for the horses they already have. Then the rustlers find out
exactly who it was who informed the police about them....






The Renegade

Avon Books, New York, 2002,



A rodeo contractor wants to buy mustangs for her rodeo. Sam’s father refuses, but then Sam
spots that Phantom is no longer with the herd. Has the woman taken him anyway?

Free Again

Avon Books, New York, 2003



Sam manages to find a home for a group of mustangs who had been labelled as unadoptable.
One of them is a blind filly, who wanders off and is lost during a snowstorm.


The Challenger

Avon Books, New York, 2003, 234 pp



The local cougars are threatened with being shot. It’s dangerous for a wild horse to be out on
their own - it makes them much more vulnerable to cougar attack. A rebellious young stallion
strikes out on his own and Sam has to try and save him, as well as protect the cougars.

Desert Dancer

Avon Books, New York, 2003



Phantom’s lead mare is missing, and Sam finds her badly injured, having been captured in a
Government round up. Sam has to wrestle between freeing the mare, knowing her injured
state means the whole herd will be slowed, or leaving her.

Golden Ghost

Avon Books, New York, 2003



Sam finds a lovely palomino mare in a ghost town. The mare looks cared for and Sam wonders
if she belongs to a friend whose horse is missing. She’s not the only one who wants the horse
though: Phantom is keen too.

Gift Horse

Avon Books, New York, 2003, 234 pp



Sam rescues a draft horse, Tinkerbell, from an auction. It seems that his main talent is for
jumping out, but when the ranch is threatened, Tinkerbell’s other talents are revealed.

Moonrise

Avon Books, New York, 2005



A pack of dogs is running loose and threatening the wild horses, but Phantom’s mind is on the
threat presented by his own son.


Wildest Heart

Avon Books, New York, 2005



A fire strikes the wild horse sanctuary, and Phantom is badly injured.


Firefly

Avon Books, New York, 2005



The Phantom’s colt has been injured, and Sam needs to find him a home.


Secret Star

Avon Books, New York, 2006



The horse Bayfire has come to the ranch to prepare for his latest movie, but there’s something
wrong with him.

Blue Wings

Avon Books, New York, 2006, 242 pp.



Sam’s stepmother picks out a wild mustang as a birthday present for Sam’s father.

Dawn Runner

Avon Books, New York, 2006, 212 pp.



Sam’s friend Ryan wants to recapture his mare, who is running with the Phantom. The mare’s
colt needs her.

Wild Honey

Avon Books, New York, 2006, 212 pp.



The Phantom’s lead mare is injured. Sam is worried if she gets a vet to the horse he won’t let
her return to the wild, so she treats the mare in secret.

Gypsy Gold

Avon Books, New York, 2006, 306 pp



Nicholas is travelling cross country with a Gypsy Vanner Mare and a mustang - he says the
mustang’s a stray, but it looks a lot like one Sam knows is missing.

Run Away Home

Avon Books, New York, 2006, 273 pp



Can Sam keep her beloved mustangs free for good?

Rainforest Rose

Harper Trophy, New York, 2007



Darby wants to visit her great-grandmother, a healer who lives in the woods, but she’s scared
to because of the pink roan mustang who roams the forest.

Fire Maiden

Harper Trophy, New York, 2008, 242 pp



Darby goes on volcano watch with the young mustang Hoku, but they get stranded when the
volcano erupts.

Sea Shadow

Harper Trophy, New York, 2008



An earthquake sets off a tsunami which strands a group of mustangs on the high ground.

Mistwalker

Harper Trophy, New York, 2008, 242 pp



Darby’s mother has come back to the island to visit. She fights with Darby’s grandfather, and
wants to take Darby back to the city with her.

Water Lily

Harper Trophy, New York, 2008



A tsunami sweeps over the island. Darby’s friend’s mother, Dee, is missing after the storm.

Snowfire

Harper Trophy, New York, 2008, 201 pp. Cover John Rowe.



Stallions fight when bands of them are driven into the same territory by polluted water.