Williams, Dorian

About the author

Dorian Williams (1914–85) was, to those of us of a certain age, the voice of show jumping. He commentated in the glory days of horses on television, when the Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International Horse Show were on television every evening while the shows were on.

Educated at Harrow, he had an immensely full life. Besides commentating, he was chairman of the British Horse Society, and instrumental in setting up the National Equestrian Centre at Stoneleigh. He was also Master of the Whaddon Chase. A keen amateur actor, he set up the Pendley Shakespeare Festival, and set up a Centre of Adult Education at Pendley, his family home.

As well as all this, he found time to write, and besides many non-fiction titles, wrote the Wendy series for children, as well as two books, Pancho and Kingdom for a Horse, aimed at adults. The Wendy series is a solid one. One of my reference books lists a fourth title in the series: Wendy Goes Abroad, but I can find no reference in the copyright libraries to it, or any copy for sale. It seems probable that the book was planned and advertised but publication was cancelled, for whatever reason.

Finding the books
All the books are reasonably easy to find, and generally affordable.

Links and sources
Dorian Williams: Master of One, an Autobiography, Dent, 1978.


The Wendy Series
Wendy Wins a Pony
Wendy Wins Her Spurs
Wendy at Wembley

Bibliography (pony books only)

Wendy Wins a Pony

Burke, 1961, illus Mary Gernat

“When Wendy enters her picture in the newspaper painting competition she has no idea that it is going to be the key to so much happiness. She wins the competition and is presented with the first prize: Smiley, a pony of her very own. Smiley himself is enough to give her endless pleasure, but owning him leads to something much more exciting. Wendy gets her first job, makes firm friends, is introduced to the thrills of a point-to-point and to the joy of watching a new-born foal find its feet. She lives through some of the happiest moments in her life surrounded by her friends and the horses and ponies she loves so dearly. She learns, too, the sadness of parting with one pony which is only dimmed by the prospect of riding another.”

Many thanks to Amanda Dolby for the picture.

Wendy Wins her Spurs

Burke, 1962, illus Sheila Rose

“To win a pony in a competition and to have it for one’s very own is often the dream of the young pony enthusiast and many would be more than satisfied with such happiness. But for Wendy winning Smiley was just the beginning of her real ambitions and of all her efforts at making a success of her job, to enjoy and profit by her spare-time riding and, above all, to train and school her pony well. In this sequel … Dorian Williams describes Wendy’s graduation from her pony to a horse whom she names Ebony but with whom she has little success. In spite of this, Wendy is destined to win her spurs and the excitement of the story mounts when she is suddenly faces with the challenge of riding Tinkerbell. This supreme test is made still more thrilling by the fact that it comes to Wendy during a day at the White City.”

Wendy at Wembley

Burke, 1963, illus Juliette Palmer

Wendy makes friends with a new pupil at Harcourt Hall, Robbie MaDonald, who has come to train for the Horse of the Year Show, but his sister Geraldine is a very different matter. She dislikes Wendy and her friend Deirdre, but even that can’t spoil their excitement when they take part in the Pony Club Jorrocks Display at Wembley.

Many thanks to Amanda Dolby for the picture.

Pancho, the Story of a Horse

Dent, 1967, illus Owen Ward
White Lion, 1976

Mr Garrard bought Pancho on the spot to replace his hunter, even though the horse had no background, no warranty and no name. The whole family fell under Pancho’s spell. He seemed excellent in all respects, so why then was he sold without a warranty?

Many thanks to Amanda Dolby for the picture.

Kingdom for a Horse

Dent, London, 1967.  Illus Val Biro

Dai has looked after the horse Christo all his life, but after Christo’s owner dies, Dai decides to use all his savings to buy the horse. Leaving his wife, he decides the only place Christo will be safe is Dai’s childhood home in Wales, so he and the horse set off to ride there. When Dai reaches Wales, nothing is as he remembered it, but an old hovel is still there, as in his childhood, and there the two seek sanctuary.

Many thanks to Amanda Dolby for the picture.

Short Stories

My Favourite Horse Stories
(Edited Dorian Williams)
Lutterworth Press, Guildford, 1968, hb
Beaver, London, pb, 1976, 158pp.

Monica Dickens – Horses and People (Cobbler’s Dream)
Con O Leary – The First Grand National (Grand National)
Shakespeare – Henry V, Act iii, Scene 7
Ivan Turgenev – Makle Adel (A Sportsman’s Notebook)
Susan Chitty – Our Gymkhana (My Life and Horses)
Richard Harris Barham – The Smuggler’s Leap (The Ingoldsby Legends)
Dick Francis – Anything Long and Sharp (Flying Finish)
John Hislop – A Ride at Sandown (Far From a Gentleman)
Roy Campbell – -The Zebras (Adamastor)
R C Lyle – The Old Firm (Brown Jack)
Leo Tolstoy – The Invasion (War and Peace)
G K Chesterton – The Donkey (The Wild Knight and Other Poems)
Dorian Williams – Point-to-Point (Pancho)
R S Surtees – Mr Jorrocks at Newmarket (Jorrocks’s Jaunts and Jollities)
R J Richardson – The Haunted Hunt (The Haunted Hunt)

Non fiction

Clear Round – the Story of Show jumping
and many other non-fiction titles