Brims, Bernagh

Bernagh Brims is another author who started writing pony stories when young: she was 15 when she wrote Runaway Riders, but the book was not published for another two years, during which time she had to learn to type in order to submit the book. When it was published, the Times Education Supplement said: ‘This book is delightfully written, and the frank style of the author reflects an alert and active mind... the story is told with vigour, dramatic tension and often a perceptive insight into human nature’ The book was read as a serial on the BBC, and was also serialised in the Children’s Newspaper in 1964. Steve Holland’s blog post herehas a facsimile of the first page.

Bermagh Brims herself became a studio manager for the BBC in Belfast. She is still working in television and radio as a producer, though she edited some short story collections featured in the programmes in the early 1990s. She produced the children’s TV series Hurley-Burley, and there is a picture of her in that role here. On the back of Runaway Riders, she said ‘In the future I would like to work with horses, write books, and play in an orchestra -- but I have not yet discovered a career that will combine all three’ It looks like the world of broadcasting won out over all of them.

Her books are written with great verve: there aren’t many pony books that place their heroes right at the top of equine sport right from the word go, with the children taking part in Dublin and Wembley shows, but both stories are good wish fulfilment, if a little outside the average rider’s experience! The characters are determined and believable, and the pulling of the black horse from the final jump off in Red Rosette adds an element of believability.

Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for much of the information above, and for the pictures.

Finding the books
Both titles are generally easy to find, and not usually expensive.

Links and sources
Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for much of the information above, and for the pictures.