About the author
Catherine Carey wrote five titles for the Crown Pony Library. She didn’t write books in the top rank. The five books I know about were all written in the first person: her equine knowledge is accurate (see Pink Pony, which describes the training of a mare from the age of one) but her plotting sometimes lets her down. Because of a Pony is perhaps the worst offender. Jessamy and her friend Linnet are longing for adventure, but don’t spot it until it is on top of them. The pony element in the book is very slight; and not enough is made of the characters’ relationships to each other to make the eventual outcome with Jessamy’s sinister cousin at all believable. Possible plot developments, like the hopelessly inept district commissioner of the local Pony Club, are ignored, leaving you wondering why they were put into the book in the first place.
Show Jumping Summer is rather better: it was the book I enjoyed most. Melrose lives with her quite extraordinarily pushy father and aunt, who are convinced that she is gong to become a show jumping star. Melrose does not like the relentless lifestyle, but over the course of the book does manage to stand up to her bullying family, and start to do things on her terms.
Grey Arrow is notable for being one of those pony books (there are alas more) to have, shall we say, a stern hero, Philip. The heroine, Melanie is pretty nearly as bad as him: an epic grudge holder, she puts a thistle under the saddle of Philip’s horse. She does, however, develop over the course of the book, and the romance which starts off between the pair is not completely unbelievable.
Finding the books
If you decide you want to read her, the books are usually easy to find. The Nameless Pony can be tricky, but even when it does turn up, is not generally expensive.
Crown Pony (No 10), 1967
Crown Pony, 1975, pb
Melanie buys Grey Arrow, but cannot control her. She is helped (extremely reluctantly at first) by Philip. He is a tad stern, and at one point spanks Melanie. She puts a thistle under his saddle, so you could say the two deserve each other. There is the start of a romance between them despite the unpromising start.
Lutterworth Press, Guildford, 1969, 125 pp. (Crown Pony no. 12)
October has outgrown her first pony, Pebbles. Instead of a sensible next pony, she chooses the one-year-old filly she calls Southern Cross. Cross’s training is covered from that point on. After the filly has been backed, and before she can enter the County Show in-hand championship, she has a terrible accident
with a lorry. Cross’s legs, though badly injured, do not scar, and she is able to take part in the show.
Lutterworth Press, Guildford, 1969
Lutterworth Press, 1967
Melrose Trelawny is supposed to be a junior showjumping star, but she hates the
relentless grind (and her bullying father and aunt help not one jot). As she makes
the transition to Young Rider classes, she finds a friend and slowly learns to assert
herself with the family. She also finds the beginning of romance with a fellow rider.
BECAUSE OF A PONY
This is a book which can’t quite make up its mind whether it’s an adventure story or a pony story, and unfortunately it succeeds as neither. Jessamy and her friend Linnet are desperate for adventure, which eventually comes as Jessamy manages to remember where a hidden will might be found. There is a Hunter Trial tacked on to the action, but that is about it for pony content.
THE NAMELESS PONY
Crown Pony (No 17), 1972
Spoilt, unhorsy Shelley is sent off to her cousins in Northumbria for the holidays, as her aunt thinks she’s too serious. There’s the long-lost Shelton treasure to find, and Shelley’s cousin Gae’s education to sort out, all of which happens while Shelley learns to ride with incredible speed. As a reward for finding the treasure, she’s given the pony on which she learens to ride.