Cowley, Joy

About the author

Joy Cowley (b.1936) was born in New Zealand. She is a phenomenally prolific author: she’s written over 400 books. She started off editing the children’s page for local paper the Manawatu Daily Times when she was sixteen, and went on to write stories for her own son. She had one printed in Short Story International which was seen by a publisher, and she was off. Amongst her books is one horsey trilogy about a Clydesdale horse. Bow Down Shadrach won the New Zealand Children’s Book of the Year 1990. It may very well be that amongst her prodigious output are more horse stories: if you are able to help here, do please let me know,

Finding the books
Easy to find. The trilogy appears to be in print.

Sources and links
Joy Cowley’s website


The Shadrach Trilogy
Bow Down Shadrach
Gladly, Here I Come
Shadrach Girl

Bibliography (pony books only)

Bow Down Shadrach

Hodder and Stoughton, Auckland, 1992
Penguin Books, UK, 1999, pb
Penguin Books, New Zealand, 2003
Reprinted in The Shadrach Trilogy, Penguin, 2009

Shadrach was trained for the circus: he’s now old, and although he’s a pet, Hannah finds that he’s been sold to a dog food factory.She and her younger brothers decide to rescue him, but from the beginning, their attempts go horribly wrong.

Gladly, Here I Come

Viking, 1994, hb
Puffin, 1995
Wright Group, 1997
Penguin Books, 2000
Reprinted in The Shadrach Trilogy, Penguin, 2009

Shadrach’s filly Gladly has arrived at the farm (this is good) as has a boy named Eden from a Social Welfare Home (not so good). Hannah is full of generosity towards him; Sky and Mikey are deeply suspicious.

Hannah’s generosity doesn’t go as far though as sharing her precious horse. Sky and Mikey form a hostile alliance and Hannah copes by weaving wonderful new stories for Eden. But Hannah doesn’t foresee that the invitation into her imaginary world will lead Eden and Gladly into great danger.

Shadrach Girl

Puffin Books, 2000
Reprinted in The Shadrach Trilogy, Penguin, 2009

University is now on Hannah’s horizons: she’s 16. Sky and Mikey are growing up fast too, Eden’s still with them, and gets on particularly well with Hannah’s horse Gladly. But then the family is shattered when their mother is gravely ill, and no one knows what to do. When Sky, Mikey and Eden are pitted against nature and its wildness, everyone has to dig deep and find their courage.