Raftery, Gerald

About the author

Gerald Raftery was an author, poet and journalist. He contributed to Harper’s Magazine, and is probably best known now for being the author of the poem Apartment House, which seems to be a stalwart on many poetry syllabuses. 

Gerald Raftery wrote two horse books that I have been able to find: Snow Cloud Stallion, and Twenty Dollar Horse. This last is unusual in that it tackles colour prejudice at a time when many American states still practised some degree of segregation. Snow Cloud Stallion is a more conventional story about the taming of a horse, although the theme of prejudice is common to both books; Snow Cloud is believed to be dangerous, and has to prove his worth.

Finding the books
Snow Cloud Stallion is very easy to find, both here and in the USA. Twenty Dollar Horse was not published in the UK, but is relatively easy to find in the USA, though generally as an ex-library copy.

Links and sources
Dust jacket of Snow Cloud Stallion

Bibliography (horse books only)

Snow Cloud Stallion

Bodley Head, London, 1953, illus Imré Hofbauer
Puffin (Penguin) 1960 – many pb reprints, cover design Barry Driscoll
Longmans, 1967, illus Victor Ambrus

The blurb:

“Ken, working on his uncle’s farm in Vermont, first sees Snow Cloud at sundown. It was no
ghost, but a horse which had been badly treated and now ran wild on the mountain. Slowly Ken begins to tame him, gradually coaxing him back from his unbroken wildness. Once known as a dangerous animal, Snow Cloud becomes a hero when he helps to bring home a sick man, found lying unconscious in the snow.”

Twenty Dollar Horse

Julian Messner, New York, 1955E M Hale & Company, 1967
Kirkus review

Jack and Teddy buy a carnival horse, but they can’t let Jack’s father know, so they hide the horse in the woods. Then the horse, Apache, gets away, and after he runs riot in the garden, Jack’s parents know all about the horse. Despite the fact Teddy and Jack can do marvellous things with the horse, the town they live in can’t ignore the fact that Jack and Teddy are different colours.