Vaughan, Carol

About the author

Carol Vaughan isn’t particularly well known now: the first of her books about the Percheron, Matilda, was published in paperback but none of her other books, as far as I know, were. Books about heavy horses are not common, particularly Percherons. Carol Vaughan’s books are amongst the most attractive of pony books visually: I love Constance Marshall’s illustrations and the Michael Charlton one for King of the Castle is a delight.

Carol Vaughan’s output doesn’t look large, but she was a regular fixture in Pony Magazine, Pony Magazine Annual and The Pony Club Annual, turning out many, many short stories.

Finding the books
Most of the books are easy to find, apart from Dancing Horse, which can be tricky.


The Matilda Series
Missing Matilda
Two Foals for Matlida
Trekker’s Trail


Missing Matilda

Blackie, 1964, illus Constance Marshall
Knight, pb, 1977

The blurb:
When Mary Ann and Jimmy learn that Matilda is to be sold to an unscrupulous dealer, they decide to kidnap and hide her. But Matilda is a great, grey Percheron carthorse and feeding and taking care of such a spirited charge, while keeping her out of sight in a deserted windmill, takes all their ingenuity. When Matilda’s hiding place is in danger of discovery, Mary Ann has a brilliant idea: to enter the big horse in the fancy dress class at the local gymkhana. With Jimmy as her rider, she wins first prize, but her disguise is perfect and Matilda is still missing. On the last day of the holidays Mary Ann and Jimmy know a proud moment when Matilda is recognized as a true princess among carthorses and offered a fine new home.”

Two Foals for Matilda

Blackie, 1965, illus Constance Marshall
White Lion, hb, 1976

The blurb:
“It was a year since Mary Ann and her brother Jimmy had saved Matilda’s life – Matilda, the beautiful Percheron mare on old Mr Larrimer’s farm. Then they had helped him sell Matilda to M.Lavalliere, who bred Percheron horses in Northern France. Now the kindly Frenchman had fulfilled his promise to invite them all to two weeks’ holiday to see Matilda. They found the beloved mare fat, lazy and maternal – but blessed with two lovely foals. The story of the children’s holiday in the French summer sun begins with Matilda’s role as a film star, as a visiting film unit is making a movie about William the Conqueror, and needs a mare fit for a Duke, or a King! But more, much more is to follow before the children take the boat back to England, full of happy memories. “

The Dancing Horse

Blackie 1966, illus Constance Marshall

The Manorfields Stud is invaded one day by stray horses and ponies. It turns out that they are from a visiting circus, and escaped after their train derailed. Michael, Peter and Judy return the horses, but are particularly struck with the beautiful Arab, Roi Soleil. His rider, Fleurette, was injured in the derailment and can’t ride him. The Manorfields’ au pair, Monique, resolutely refuses to have anything to do with the horse or his rider, and in the end the family find out why.

Trekkers’ Trail

Blackie, 1967, illus Constance Marshall
White Lion, hb, 1977

Another Mary Ann, Sandra and Jimmy story: they have been invited to the premiere of Matilda’s film, and plan to ride there.  Once they’re there, they get involved in the hunt for William the Conqueror’s sword, which has been stolen.  Jimmy meets another horse, who looks as if he will solve the problem of what to do now he’s outgrowing Paint.

King of the Castle

Blackie, 1968, illus Michael Charlton


Carol Vaughan was a prolific writer of short stories. The lengthy list below is just the ones I’ve tracked down so far. I’m sure there must be more.

Felicity Lost the Cup
Pony, October 1951, illus Patricia Brown

Haphazard Harry
Riding, June 1952

A Pony like Cloud?
Pony, June 1958, illus S W. West

Fortune’s Gold
Pony August 1959- January 1960, seven part serial illus Joan Wanklyn

Jumping Jones
Pony, December 1962, illus Janet & Anne Grahame Johnston

Mountain Adventure
Pony Magazine Annual, 1962, , illus Joan Wanklyn

The Black Colt
Pony Magazine Annual, 1963, illus J & A Graham Johnstone

Dude’s Downfall
Pony Magazine Annual, 1965, illus Joan Wanklyn

Gypsy’s Gold
Pony, October 1965, illus Joan Wanklyn

Toffee’s Trek
Pony June-July 1965, two part serial illus Joan Wanklyn

Kidnapped Kelpie
Pony, July – August 1966, two part serial illus John Tickner

Bucking BroncoPony Magazine Annual, 1966, illus Joan Wanklyn

Carol Indian Ink
Pony January – February 1967, two part serial illus Joan Wanklyn
Zig ZagPony Magazine Annual, 1967, illus David Rook
A Pony Like PaladinPony Club Annual, 1967, illus Sheila Rose

The Runaway Reindeer
Pony, December 1967, illus Joan Wanklyn

Kelpie’s Kickshaw
Pony, April 1968, illus John Tickner

Xanadu’s Xylophone
Pony, August 1968, illus Joan Wanklyn

Fledgling Foal
Pony, December 1968, illus Janet Johnstone

A Rider for RocketPony Club Annual, 1968, illus David Rook

Pony Express BoyPony Magazine Annual, 1968, illus Joan Wanklyn
Spanish GoldPony Magazine Annual, 1969, illus Joan Wanklyn

King Kelpie
Pony, August 1969, illus John Tickner

Mustang Mare
Pony, April 1970, illus Christine Bousfield

Rebel RaiderPony Club Annual, 1970, illus Joan Wanklyn Oregon OutlawPony Magazine Annual, 1971, illus Ninetta Butterworth
King ColePony Magazine Annual, 1972, illus Christine Bousfield

Flight of FancyPony Club Annual, 1972, illus Elizabeth E Bailey
Elegant EddyPony Magazine Annual, 1973, illus Christine Bousfield

Understanding Ulysse
Pony Club Annual, 1974, illus Christine Bousfield
Double Trouble
Pony Club Annual, 1975, illus Sally Webb

Lucky Star
Pony Club Annual 1976, illus Lesley Bruce

Foreigners are Different
Pony Club Annual 1977, illus Janet Johnstone

Ambling Anna
Pony Club Annual 1978, illus Sally Bell

Crystal ClearPony Club Annual, 1980, illus Sally Bell

Trials and Tribulations
Pony Club Annual 1981, illus Ellen Gilbert

Rockabye Renegade
Pony Club Annual 1982, illus Sally Bell

Highwayman’s Copse
Pony Club Annual, 1983, illus Elaine Roberts

The RunawayPony Tales, 1988, illus Claire Colvin