Heath, Veronica

About the author

Veronica Heath (1927–2012) wrote one true pony story: Ponies in the Heather. Susan’s Riding School is a career novel (part of the Mary Dunn Career Novels series) and her other three titles were part of a slightly odd series, the Junior Sportsman’s Library, which was issued by Frederick Muller in the 1950s and 1960s. It aimed to encourage young people to take up various sports through what were basically factual books dressed up with a thin veneer of story. Of the three titles Veronica Heath wrote for the series, two, Come Riding with Me and Come Show Jumping with Me are about the same character, Jane. The remaining book, Come Pony Trekking with Me, is about a different set of characters.

Veronica Heath started writing when she was 17, and had an impressively long career, only stopping when she was 83. Her articles covered a wide range: country sports, rural enterprises, gundogs, cookery and more. She was the Guardian’s country diarist for Northumberland for 35 years, as well as contributing to The Telegraph, The Shooting Times and The Field.

Finding the books
If you want to read her pony books, don’t start with Susan’s Riding School: it is very hard to find indeed. The other titles are reasonably easy to find.

Links and sources
Veronica Heath’s daughter, Rose Murray Brown
Many thanks to Konstanze Allsopp for the picture.


Come Riding
Come Riding With Me
Come Show Jumping With Me
Come Pony Trekking With Me


Come Riding With Me

Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1955, illus Tom Carr
Reprinted 1960

Looks to be non-fiction, but is actually a story, Jane is being taught to ride by her aunt, and she progresses from raw beginnership to hunting.

Susan’s Riding School

Chatto & Windus, 1956, (Mary Dunn Career Novels)

Susan’s first job is at a local riding school, after which she works at a stud, and then has a very unpleasant time in a livery stables. She then studies for her British Horse Society examinations, and starts a riding stables with her friend Mary.

Ponies in the Heather

Lutterworth Press, 1959, illus Jennifer Kent

Four children (Paul, Murray, Fiona and Clare) are in the Highlands for their holidays.  They decide to form the Glen Ennicht Foxhounds with a pack of “five rogues and vagabonds” and their own four ponies.

Come Show Jumping With Me

Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1961, illus Tom Carr

“In this absorbing story we follow the fortunes of Jane, the heroine of Come Riding With Me, in her bid to become successful in the show jumping ring. The reader is taken through each phase of show jumping training, including the purchase of a suitable young pony and its earliest schooling and progression through small shows until in the
most exciting final chapter Jane successfully competes at the International Horse Show.“

Many thanks to Konstanze Allsopp for the picture.

Come Pony Trekking With Me

Frederick Muller Ltd, London, 1964, illus Tom Carr

Set in a pony trekking centre in Northumberland, this is the story of the Spencer family on holiday.


Sheep Stealers

Pony Magazine, September 1951, illus Maurice Tulloch