Hughes, Jenny

About the author

Jenny Hughes was born in Poole, and has spent most of her life in Dorset. She had her first writing success when she was 14, and won an essay competition sponsored by a tea company. Part of the prize was ten pounds in weight of tea – vital supplies presumably to help while away those hours at the typewriter. Her fascination with horses came despite none of her family being bitten by the bug. During her career, she has worked with polo ponies and at a stud farm, as well as at an equestrian centre. All have provided her with material for her books, as have her own horses. She is also interested in theatre, and has written a serious play.

Her pony books have a touch of humour, as well as romance, and are aimed at the teenage market. In common with several of today’s British pony book writers, she has found it easier to be published outside the UK. Most of her recent novels have been published under the Pony Club imprint of Stabenfeldt, though Kenilworth have published some in paperback in the UK. Her books are, she says, written with English settings, but Americanised by the Stabenfeldt editor.

Finding the books
The UK paperbacks are easy to find (and mostly still in print). The Pony Club titles are starting to appear on the second hand market here.

Jenny Hughes
Jenny Hughes’s website
Jenny Hughes’ biography on the Pony Club book club site – not now extant


A Horse by any Other Name

Kenilworth, 1994, pb, cover Sheila Ratcliffe
Half Halt Press, 1994

Fran wants to save the neglected chestnut Charlie, but she can’t understand the stranger who helps her. Why does he look at her with such contempt?

Many thanks to Annette York for the picture.

The Horse from Nowhere

Kenilworth, 2000, pb
Stabenfeldt, 2005, hb, 152 pp.  

The blurb:
“When a beautiful horse unexpectedly comes into Kate’s life she is completely smitten and is reluctant to find his real owner. Then she meets Jason who also turns her world upside down as they risk everything to track down the horse thieves bringing misery into so many lives.”

The Painted Horse

Kenilworth, 2000, pb. Cover art Sheila Ratcliffe

Rich girl Stacey thought she could ride until she was bought Diablo. Dean knows she can’t, and her father takes Dean on as groom and gardener after he loses his job with the mysterious and unfriendly Mr Randall. Stacey’s lessons with Miss Crabtree don’t go well at first, but Miss C thaws out when Kris, half American and half English, arrives. Kris, Dean and Stacey between them try to work out just what is the mystery next door, and why Mr Randall is so determined no one gets to look at his horses.

A Horse Called Gem

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2002, pb

The blurb:
“Jack’s not keen when his girlfriend, Billie, offers to help with a new girl’s riding problems but becomes more involvedwhen they discover she’s a victim of the local bully, Kyle. Now there are three things to put right, the horse’s behaviour, Kyle’s destructive cruelty and the strange enigma of the Longrigg Emerald.”

Many thanks to Konstasnze Allsopp for the picture.

The Dark Horse

Kenilworth, 2004, pb, cover Sheila Ratcliffe

Tanglewood is in financial trouble, and Darren and Liz might have to sell up and leave. This puts the spiritedThoroughbred, Toshak at risk, and so Liz and Darren start a bizarre treasure hunt in a desperate attempt tosave the stables.

Many thanks to Lisa Catz for the picture.

Mystery at Black Horse Farm

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, pb, 2004
Cover and illustrations Jennifer Bell

The blurb:
“When Yasmine and the gorgeous Oliver travel together to summer camp it seems her dreams have come true.They’re getting on well and the riding’s great but trouble seems to be brewing at Black Horse Farm. When someone’s attacked it takes all Yasmine’s bravery and riding skill to find the solution and bring about an arrest.”

The Horse in the Mirror

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2004

The blurb:
“Ellie is the proud owner of Aslan; to her the cleverest horse in the world. Ellie falls heavily for Jonah but soon she hasa lot to worry about. Is Jonah interested in her or just her pony, and is he really willing to help with their show jumping in time for the big competition? Suddenly there’s something far more sinister to solve – a scar-faced man appears andit’s vital they discover if he’s exactly whom he says.”

The Fantasy Horse

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2005
Cover and illustrations M Stokes

Emma has the lead in the Fantasy Horse show at the new theme park. Then odd and sinister things starthappening:  thefts; someone threatening to hurt horses and people, a terrible accident, and Emma’s boyfriend turning sulky and weird.

A Horse Called Trouble

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2006

The blurb:
Amy arrives at the prestigious Caspian Riding Centre as one of a group of prize winning riders. The good-looking Matt makes an impact and Amy also finds an instant connection with a talented but difficult horse nicknamed Trouble. The riding is brilliant and the atmosphere competitive but it’s clear there’s an element of real danger when the spoilt ‘star’ of the group is threatened and finally kidnapped. Suspicion falls on the charismatic owner of the centre and it takes Amy, helped by the now devoted Trouble, to uncover the truth.

Legend of the Island Horse

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2006
Cover and illustrations Jennifer Bell

Tia’s summer is being spent on a remote island, and it’s going well: she’s met the wonderful Daniel, marvellous with horses and a fantastic rider, there are moors, cliffs, private beaches and coves for swimming. It looks as if it’s going to be a wonderful romantic summer until people start getting hurt. Is it something to do with the legend of an Island Horse who washed ashore after a shipwreck 150 years ago?

The Horse in the Portrait

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2008

The blurb:
“The eagerly awaited sequel to THE HORSE IN THE MIRROR finds Ellie and her friend Tara back at Garland House. They help the gorgeous Jonah and his family with their new project but soon things start going wrong Is the ghost of Silas haunting the old place or is there a wicked human force at work? Ellie and her wonderful pony, Aslan, brave a secret passage, a wild moor and a raging river to discover the amazing reality.”

Hero Horse

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2008, 153 pp.
Cover and illustrations Jennifer Bell

Dana promises her best friend Lucy that she’ll give up a few weeks’ summer competition so she can go with Lucyto her family’s estate in the country.  This sounds ideal, but Lucy’s Uncle James is horrible and no one gets on with him, and the estate is falling down from neglect.

The Iron Horse

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2009, 153 pp.  Cover Jennifer Bell.

Green Acres has been a wonderful place for Gemma and her siblings to grow up, but then a gang shows up; property is vandalised, and the horses are in danger. Gemma doesn’t want to believe it’s the gang, one of whom is a friend, but someone seems to be trying to drive Gemma and her family out.

The Sea Horses

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2009, 153 pp.
Cover and illustrations Jennifer Bell

Sofie is depressed when she finds out her mother is going on a big photo shoot during the summer:  but without Sofie. However, Sofie gets sent on an excellent riding holiday where she gets to ride and swim every day. When Caitlin arrives at Beacon Lodge, tempers explode.

Horses Get Lonely Too

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt,

The blurb:
“Sian has been raised on a farm with her mom. Her life is pleasant chaos, filled with lots of chores, lovely animals, especially her beautiful pony Marnie, and several rescue horses, but she’s in need of a friend. Then Jess moves in next door. Jess has had a life of luxury: a father who will give her anything, servants who are like family, and now a new house in the country and a new dream horse, Tag. The best of everything! Yet she, too, has a problem. Something is terribly wrong with Tag. He seems misterable and lonely. Sian wants to help, but there’s a catch; their parents don’t get along and have forbidden the girls from seeing each other. The answer to both girls’ problems will launch them into all sorts of trouble!”

The Problem Horse

Pony Club, Stabenfeldt, 2010, 140 pp. Illus Asbjørn Tønnesen

Tamzin lives at a stable which retrains problem horses, and life seems good, even though she doesn’t have a horse of her own. However, when Sophie arrives, Tamzin’s friend Seb has eyes only for her.  Tamzin falls for the mare Rosa and spends hours with her, although she knows the mare must return to her owner.