Brims, Bernagh

About the author

Bernagh Brims is another author who started writing pony stories when young: she was 15 when she wrote Runaway Riders, but the book was not published for another two years, during which time she had to learn to type in order to submit the book. When it was published, the Times Education Supplement said: ‘This book is delightfully written, and the frank style of the author reflects an alert and active mind… the story is told with vigour, dramatic tension and often a perceptive insight into human nature’ The book was read as a serial on the BBC, and was also serialised in the Children’s Newspaper in 1964. Steve Holland’s blog post herehas a facsimile of the first page.

Bermagh Brims herself became a studio manager for the BBC in Belfast. She worked in television and radio as a producer, and edited some short story collections featured in the programmes in the early 1990s. She produced the children’s TV series Hurley-Burley, and there is a picture of her in that role here. On the back cover of Runaway Riders, she said ‘In the future I would like to work with horses, write books, and play in an orchestra — but I have not yet discovered a career that will combine all three’ It looks like the world of broadcasting won out over all of them.

Her books are written with great verve: there aren’t many pony books that place their heroes right at the top of equine sport right from the word go, with the children taking part in Dublin and Wembley shows, but both stories are good wish fulfilment, if a little outside the average rider’s experience! The characters are determined and believable, and the pulling of the black horse from the final jump off in Red Rosette adds an element of believability.

Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for much of the information above, and for the pictures.

Links and sources
Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for much of the information above, and for the pictures.

Finding the books
Both titles are generally easy to find, and not usually expensive.

Bibliography (pony books only)

Runaway Riders

The World’s Work, Tadworth, 1963, illus Juliette Palmer
Bobbs Merrill 1963, cover art and illustrations by Reisie Lonette

Susan and David are being looked over by their aunt, with whom they do not see eye to eye. When she punishes them by forbidding them from riding at the Dublin Horse Show, they decide to make their own way to Dublin on their ponies, and taking their friends Clare and Martin with them, they do.

Red Rosette

The World’s Work, Tadworth, 1965
cover art and illustrations by Juliette Palmer
White Lion, hb, 1974

Susan, David, Clare and Martin are aiming for Wembley this time, and the Prince PhillipCup. Before they get there, they have to contend with an unpredictable black horse Susan has fallen in love with and has been given to ride, and an unexpected escapade in the fog.