Campbell, Joanna

About the author

Joanna Campbell (b.1946), who created the Thoroughbreds series, and who has also written under the pseudonym JoAnn Simon, was born in Connecticut. She owned a part Quarter Horse called Moe, and in her early twenties competed in point-to-points. She has also performed professionally as a pianist.

She started writing at nights after putting her children to bed, and wrote romantic teen novels for Francine Pascal’s series. Titles I have found include Caitlin, Love Lost and Forever and Always. What looks to be her first horse novel was another teen romance, part of the Sweet Dreams Romance series. Published by Bantam Books in 1981, it was called The Thoroughbred, whose heroine, Maura, had to compete against Kevin, the boy she loved. Joanna Campbell wrote at least two more horse books before embarking on the Thoroughbred series: A Horse of Her Own (1988) and The Wild Mustang (1989). The first Thoroughbred book was A Horse Called Wonder, published in 1991.

Ah, the Thoroughbred series. They do long series, the Americans, epic 50-book-plus efforts, putting our paltry British 20-book attempts in the shade. The big difference between most British series, and the very long American ones is that although they may have been started off by the author whose name is on the front of the book, they have rarely been carried on by them, and who can blame them? Once you have started a successful series, being wedded to it for upwards of a hundred books sounds more like a life sentence than a liberating and creative lifestyle, and publishers are of course loathe to give up their handy moneyspinner.

The answer is to carry on the series, but to farm it out to other authors. This is a lesson Britain has at last taken on board, with Ben Baglio, an American book packager, and Rod Ritchie, managing director of Hodder before it merged with Headline creating the long and multi-authored Lucy Daniels’ Animal Ark series.

Still, up there with the Saddle Club is the Thoroughbred series, with 72 titles in the Thoroughbred series proper, four special editions, a prequel spin off series of 15 titles, and the Ashleigh’s Thoroughbred series, which I believe are supposed to be horse books Ashleigh read.

Joanna Campbell wrote the first 14 books, and a few of the sequels, but the majority of the series was farmed out to other authors. Besides Joanna Campbell, the series has been written by: Karen Bentley, Alison Leonhardt (Alison Hart), Allison Estes, Karle Dickerson, Dale Blackwell Gasque, Lois Szymanski, Brook James, Mary Newhall Anderson, Jennifer Chu and “Brook James”.

The series’ focus has changed as it developed. Ashleigh, the original heroine, grows up during the series, marries and has a child, Christina. After book 23, the books move forward in time 10 years, and focus on Christina and her friends. The spin-off Ashleigh series deals with Ashleigh’s childhood before the start of the Thoroughbred books. The last book was published in 2005, but the series has maintained its popularity, with a blog devoted to reviewing every book in the series going strong. An unsubstantiated statistic in Wikipedia states that over 2 million titles have been printed.

I’m afraid the Saddle Club defeated me and I merely linked to other sites who put up the information on the books far better than I could do, and I am going to do exactly the same thing with Thoroughbreds. If you want to know about Thoroughbreds, you can do no better than follow the Whitebrookfarm blog. They have reviewed almost all the Thoroughbreds series, and most of the other books, and if you click the titles in the list below, Whitebrookfarm is where you will go.

Finding the books
It’s reasonably easy to find all the titles, both in the USA and the UK

Links and sources
Whitebrookfarm – the best stop for all things Thoroughbred. It hasn’t been updated for a while, but most of the info is still there.
Wikipedia on Joanna Campbell and the Thoroughbred series

Bibliography (horse books only)

Early books by Joanna Campbell

1. The Thoroughbred – Joanna Campbell
Bantam Books, 1981, Sweet Dreams Romance series

2.  A Horse of Her Own – Joanna Campbell (1988)

3.  The Wild Mustang – Joanna Campbell (1989)

The Thoroughbred Series

1.  A Horse Called Wonder – Joanna Campbell (1991)

2.  Wonder’s Promise – Joanna Campbell

3.  Wonder’s First Race – Joanna Campbell

4.  Wonder’s Victory – Joanna Campbell

5.  Ashleigh’s Dream – Joanna Campbell

6.  Wonder’s Yearling – Joanna Campbell

7. Samantha’s Price – Joanna Campbell

8.  Sierra’s Steeplechase –  Joanna Campbell

9.  Pride’s Challenge –  Joanna Campbell

10.  Pride’s Last Race – Joanna Campbell

11.  Wonder’s Sister – Joanna Campbell

12.  Shining’s Orphan – Joanna Campbell

13.  Cindy’s Runaway Colt – Joanna Campbell

14.  Cindy’s Glory – Joanna Campbell

15.  Glory’s Triumph – Karen Bentley

16.  Glory in Danger  – Karen Bentley

17.  Ashleigh’s Farewell – Karen Bentley

18.  Glory’s Rival – Karen Bentley

19.  Cindy’s Heartbreak – Karen Bentley

20.  Champion’s Spirit – Karen Bentley

21.  Wonder’s Champion – Karen Bentley

22.  Arabian Challenge – Karen Bentley

23.  Cindy’s Honor – Karen Bentley

24.  The Horse of Her Dreams – Allison Estes

25.  Melanie’s Treasure – Allison Estes

26.  Sterling’s Second Chance – Allison Estes

27.  Christina’s Courage – Alice Leonhardt

28.  Camp Saddlebrook – Dale Blackwell Gasque

28.  Melanie’s Last Ride – Alice Leonhardt

30.  Dylan’s Choice – Dale Blackwell Gasque

31.  A Home for Melanie – Alice Leonhardt

32.  Cassidy’s Secret – Allison Estes

33.  Racing Parker – Dale Blackwell Gasque

34.  On the Track – Lois Symanski

35.  Dead Heat – Alice Leonhardt

36.  Without Wonder – Brook James

37.  Star in Danger – Alice Leonhardt

38.  Down to the Wire – Mary Newhall Anderson

39.  Living Legend – Alice Leonhardt

40.  Ultimate Risk – Mary Newhall Anderson

41.  Close Call – Karle Dickerson

42.  The Bad Luck Filly – Alice Leonhardt

43.  Fallen Star – Mary Newhall Anderson

44.  Perfect Image – Alice Leonhardt

45.  Star’s Chance – Alice Leonhardt

46. Racing Image – Alice Leonhardt

47.  Cindy’s Desert Adventure – Mary Newhall Anderson

48.  Cindy’s Bold Start – Mary Newhall Anderson

49.  Rising Star –  Karle Dickerson

50.  Team Player – Alice Leonhardt

51.  Distance Runner – Jennifer Chu

52.  Perfect Challenge – Alice Leonhardt

53.  Derby Fever – Mary Newhall Anderson

54.  Cindy’s Last Hope –  Mary Newhall Anderson

55.  Great Expectations – Karle Dickerson

56.  Hoofprints in the Snow – Karle Dickerson

57.  Faith in a Long Shot – Alice Leonhardt

58.  Christina’s Shining Star – Mary Newhall Anderson

59.  Star’s Inspiration – Mary Newhall Anderson
60.  Taking the Reins – Jennifer Chu

61.  Parker’s Passion – Karle Dickerson

62.  Unbridled Fury – Karle Dickerson

63.  Starstruck – Mary Newhall Anderson

64.  The Price of Fame – Mary Newhall Anderson

65.  Bridal Dreams – Mary Newhall Anderson

66.  Samantha’s Irish Luck – Mary Newhall Anderson

67.  Breaking the Fall – Jennifer Chu

68.  Kaitlin’s Wild Ride – Karle Dickerson

69.  Melanie’s Double Jinx – Mary Newhall Anderson
70.  Allie’s Legacy – Mary Newhall Anderson

71.  Calamity Jinx – Mary Newhall Anderson

72.  Legacy’s Gift – Mary Newhall Anderson (2005)

Super Editions

Ashleigh’s Christmas Miracle – Joanna Campbell

Ashleigh’s Diary – Joanna Campbell

Ashleigh’s Hope – Karen Bentley

Samantha’s Journey – Karen Bentley

The Ashleigh Series

1.  Lightning’s Last Hope – Joanna Campbell (1998)

2.  A Horse for Christmas – Joanna Campbell

3.  Waiting for Stardust – Joanna Campbell and Mary Newhall Anderson

4.  Good-bye Midnight Wanderer – Olivia Coates

5.  The Forbidden Stallion – Chris Platt

6.  A Dangerous Ride – Mary  Newhall Anderson

7.  Derby Day – Chris Platt

8.  The Lost Foal – Chris Platt

9.  Holiday Homecoming – Chris Platt

10.  Derby Dreams – Chris Platt

11.  Ashleigh’s Promise – Chris Platt

12.  Winter Race Camp – Chris Platt

13.  The Prize – Chris Platt

14.  Ashleigh’s Western Challenge – Chris Platt

15.  Stardust’s Foal – Chris Platt (2003)

Ashleigh’s Thoroughbred Collection

1.  Star of Shadowbrook Farm – Joanna Campbell

2.  The Forgotten Filly – Karle Dickerson

3.  Battlecry Forever!  – Joanna Campbell