Lucky Rider

Lucky Rider was a short-lived magazine that appeared in the 1970s. It was published by Beat Publications Ltd. Beat also produced The Beatles Monthly Book, The Monkees Monthly, and Ode to a Highflying Bird by Charlie Watts of The Rolling Stones. Sean O’Mahony, who founded Beat Publications, also published magazines on The Police and Starsky and Hutch during the 1970s. In the context of these, a magazine which combined contemporary heart throbs and ponies must have seemed like a sure-fire winner.

The magazine’s first issue was in March 1973, and it survived until 1977. It was edited by Jo Buckley, who wrote a monthly diary piece on her adventures with her horse, Nobby.

One of its readers described it as ‘like a cross between a pony mag and a teenage girl mag.’

Like Pony Magazine, there was plenty of classic equine magazine content. There was a serial, a rider of the month, a pony encyclopedia, a breed alphabet … much what you’d expect from Pony. Unlike Pony, there was some cross over from the world of teenage magazines. The August 1973 issue told its readers ‘blonde bombshell’ Roger Daltrey of The Who had now moved to the country and bought a horse. There was a picture of Paul Layton, from the New Seekers, as an eight-year-old at his first show.

The same issue had a long interview with Christian Rodska, one of the stars of the TV series Follyfoot, and a lot about The Adventures of Black Beauty. The magazine was, it said with some pride, ‘the only official Black Beauty supplement’, with Roderick Shaw writing a monthly letter for the early issues.

It had a poster in the middle of a star rider: the copies I have included Caroline Bradley, Stephen Garlick and Tony Maiden (from The Adventures of Black Beauty) and Christian Rodska (Follyfoot).

Author Jane Ayres wrote:

I don’t know whether the Black Beauty series was a key factor in the birth of glossy magazine Lucky Rider. Although it only lasted a year or so, I would reserve my copy at the newsagent and eagerly await each new issue.  Beautifully produced and glamorous, it gave an insight behind the scenes and into the lives of the stars and horses – a kind of celebrity horse magazine. And the stars from Black Beauty, both equine and human, featured heavily.

Jane Ayres on Books, Mud and Compost: guest post

Links and sources

Sean O’Mahony, founder of Beat Publications on Wikipedia
More information on Beat Publications at the Slade Story

The Magazines