Pony Magazine was started in 1949 by David J Murphy and by Lieut-Col C E G Hope, who edited it. He continued to edit Pony, and the Annual, until his death in 1971, when Michael Williams took over.

The Pony Magazine Annual didn’t start immediately the magazine did: the earliest annual I have found connected to the magazine was Percy’s Pony Annual, published in 1953. That album has a Young Readers’ section, and it asks readers to get their contributions in early for the 1954 edition of Percy’s Pony Annual. As far as I know, this was never published. Why ever did it stop? It was a lovely piece of work: maybe the presence of Percy (a Prezwalski’s Horse) and his friends was a bit much. Percy and Allsorts carried on with their club in Pony Magazine well into the 1960s, but they had a mere third of a page. Still, for whatever reason, no more Percy annuals appeared.

Lieut-Col C E G Hope went on to edit various other annuals, like Horse and Pony Annual Illustrated and Horses and Ponies Pictorialbut no more Percy. Horses and Ponies Pictorial developed out of Horse and Pony Annual IllustratedThe first version of this I found was published in 1954, and it saw three publications, taking it up to 1956. The annual had a foreword by a famous equestrian (Dawn Palethorpe and Pat Smythe were two), a survey of the equestrian scene over the year just gone, and a large section of photographs – 80 pages’ worth in the 1956 edition. This annual was then incorporated into Horses and Ponies PictorialThe format was not that much different from its predecessor; it kept the foreword, survey of equestrian sport and picture section, but added the equestrian Who’s Who. It stopped publication in 1960. Both of them needed fair dedication to get through: the surveys are unrelieved by illustration, and although interesting historically, aren’t a riveting read.

Once Pony Magazine Annual started in 1962, it hit a successful formula at once, sold out and then carried on an unbroken run of publication until 1983. The format was similar to Percy’s Pony Annuala mix of stories, articles both serious and not, and, carrying on from its predecessors, photographs of equine events and personalities (though many fewer) and the Equestrian Who’s Who. There were also competitions: one stalwart was the Drawing and Painting Competition. There was one in Percy’s Pony Annualin which readers could win a money prize. Competitions were reintroduced in 1963, though this was one based on skill: you had to chose the six most important maxims from a list of twelve on preparing, setting out and going out for a ride. Competitions like this continued until 1967, when the drawing competition was reintroduced. This was so popular it became a regular feature, appearing in every Annual up until the last I have seen, 1982.

The Annual was edited by Lieut-Col C E G Hope until his death in 1971. Michael Williams then took over the editorship of both magazine and annual. The first major change was the death knell given to the Equestrian Who’s Who. As a young reader, I was glad, as at the time I found this incredibly tedious, but it is gold dust to me now as a researcher, so it just goes to show one should keep an open mind! The removal of Who’s Who freed up at least 20 pages, and over Michael William’s time, more and more of these pages were given over to stories. From a maximum of three, some editions had as many as ten.

The stories were many and varied, but the most notable are the three Caroline Akrill short stories which feature the characters from her Showing series. They are all very well worth reading (and can now be read now I have re-published the Showing series), and show Caroline was just as good at the short story format as she was at novels.

As far as I know, the Pony Magazine Annual stopped publication in 1983, but it has been resurrected this century, though I think can only be bought via PONY Magazine and not in shops.

The Annuals

This section lists each Pony Magazine Annual. I haven’t included Horses & Ponies Pictorialor Horse and Pony Annual, as these are a move away from what became the traditional annual format, which included short stories. 

Each annual is listed, with its editor, publisher and date of publication, and details of all the short stories included. The short stories are (or should be) included in each author’s own page, as long as they’ve written a pony book and therefore have a page.

Finding the annuals

Percy’s Pony Annual doesn’t turn up terribly often. You may be lucky and find a cheap one, but generally it is pricey, particularly with its dustjacket. The 1960s annuals are a little harder to find, but none of them are, at the moment, impossible. Prices vary: they’re not generally horribly expensive. The 1970s and 1980s copies are easier to find. Beware odd pricing on some databases. You should be able to find the annuals cheaply if you’re prepared to shop around a bit.

Percy’s Pony Annual

D J Murphy, 1952. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope, 1952

This is a lovely annual: the cover is just a delight. It’s by Janet Johnstone and Anne Grahame-Johnstone. Percy includes what became the traditional annual mix: short stories, articles of general horsy interest (Ride in the Rockies; First Lot, Second Lot), and on riding and pony care (Notes on Jumping; Looking After Your Pony.) Primrose Cumming contributed a poem (Contrasts) and Joan Wanklyn an article on drawing horses. There was also a competition, and a young reader’s section. This asks entrants to get their contributions in so that they can be published in Percy’s Pony Annual 1954, but alas I can find no evidence that this actually appeared.

The short stories are interesting: Toni Webber, whose age isn’t given though presumably she was under 16 as she’s in the Readers’ Section, went on to edit the Pony Club Annual, and to write many non fiction horse books.

Short stories

Celia Davies: The Price of a Pony – a tear-jerker about a girl who sacrifices her pony money to help her mother.

D Glyn-Forest: Seeing is Believing (in two parts, illus Cavesson). Althea,condemned in her school report for never taking the initiative, takes it.

Avril E Beet (aged 15): The Williams’ Pony

Glenda M Clegg (aged 15): Ranch and Rodeo

Beryl Horsfall (aged 15): One Good Turn

Toni Webber (no age given but is in the Young Readers’ section): White Horses

Pony Magazine Annual 1962

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1961. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

Carol Vaughan, who was to become a stalwart contributor to Pony Magazine, Pony Magazine Annual and the Pony Club Annual, makes her first short story appearance in an annual. Josephine Pullein-Thompson contributed an article on the difference between efficient and inefficient pony club rallies. Pat and Pickles, a picture strip story, also appears in this annual. Percy and Allsorts have alas been banished, though they were still very much present in Pony Magazine. This annual also took on the Who’s Who of the equine world, taking it over from Horses and Ponies Pictorial, which as far as I can see, was no longerpublished.

Short stories

Roger V Carr: The Wild Mountain Pony, illus John Board. Tony’s father, a brilliant Australian bushman, has been killed, and all the horses sold. Then Tony finds a wild mare.

J C Gent: Blizzard Hunt, illus Joan Wanklyn. Joe and Jennifer have a dramatic hunt on Dartmoor during a blizzard.

Carol Vaughan: Mountain Adventure, illus Joan Wanklyn. English Helen holidays on a ranch during a hunt for a kidnapped child.

Pony Magazine Annual 1963

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1962. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

The format was now settled: Who’s Who, short stories, Pat and Pickles, pictures of notable horses and ponies, plus information on famous riders. I did notice a poem about a girl, worryingly called Jane, who was so obsessed with ponies she turned into one… The illustrator “…still leads with the near fore when starting to run, but is otherwise quite normal and happily married!” So that’s all right then.

Short stories

Kathleen Mackenzie: Quarry Adventure, illus Anne Bullen. Gillian meets a tiger in a quarry.
Carol Vaughan: The Black Colt, illus Janet & Anne Grahame Johnstone. The Sultana’s favourite mare gives birth to an unexpected black colt, and Yusuf gets the blame.
Ruth Hanson: A Friend for Crosspatch Sue, illus Harold Beards. Sue doesn’t fit in with her cousins, but finds a cross horse who suits her.

Pony Magazine Annual 1964

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1963. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

This annual had five short stories, but otherwise the mix was as normal.

Short stories

Alan Smithers: Philip and the Pony Show, illus Harold Beards. Philip thinks he’s borrowing Polly, but actually has Poppet, a circus pony.
Kathleen Godding: Doctor Puss, illus Anne Bullen. Puss the pony helps Cat recover.
D Hamilton Ross: The Chariot Race, illus Janet & Anne Graham Johnstone. A chariot race set in Ancient Greece.
The Mole: The Runt, illus The Mole. The Runt, a 13.3 Thoroughbred, finds a girl owner and a future.
Lois Richardson: On Michaelmas Day, illus Joan Wanklyn. Nut runs away with his mare so she isn’t sold.

Pony Magazine Annual 1965

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1964. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

Pony had hit an established stride now, and the mixture continued as before, though there were only three stories in this edition.

Short stories

Carol Vaughan: Dude’s Downfall, illus Joan Wanklyn. English Lucy now lives on an American ranch. Rich boy Spike is a pain.
Susan Chitty: How I Became a Girl Groom, illus Sally Webb. Corona Carruthers’ first working experiences.
Nan Asquith: You Can Be Better Than You are. Illus Joan Wanklyn. Robert, crippled through polio, is inspired through riding.

Pony Magazine Annual 1966

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1965. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

Short stories

Christine Leslie: The Stop-Gap Pony, illus Harold Beards. Dulcie proves to be a much better pony than her replacement.
Carol Vaughan: Bucking Bronco, illus Joan Wanklyn. Jeff’s favourite sorrel stallion is sold to a rodeo.
Molly White: Kricha and the Ponies of Bangkok, illus Molly White. Set in the racing tables of Bangkok.
Patricia Grey: A Pony for Nothing, illus Helen Collins. Sarah finds Santo has some talents she didn’t expect.

Pony Magazine Annual 1967

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1966. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

Short stories

Carol Vaughan: Zig Zag, illus David Rook. Mary comes back from Canada, bringing her
Appaloosa with her. Her one problem is that Aunt Beatrice, with whom she lives, hates all animals not a solid colour.
M G Nicholas: Cat’s Meat, illus Helen Collins. Sweetness is now old and lame, but has a
surprise in store for Prue.
Rose-Mary Silvester: Thunder – Horse of the Storm, illus Joan Wanklyn. The girls find a
mysterious horse in a storm.

Pony Magazine Annual 1968

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1967. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

Short stories

Kathleen Gooding: Bobuk the Cossack. Illus Harold Beards. Olga and her Cossack pony Bobuk have an adventure.
J Waters: The Show. Illus Harold Beards. Shane and Wackett save the day.
Molly White: Misty Come Home. Illus Helen Collins. Misty is sold but keeps coming back.
Carol Vaughan: Pony Express Boy, illus Joan Wanklyn. Ben fulfils his dream of beinga Pony Express rider.

Pony Magazine Annual 1969

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1968. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

This was the first annual to have a colour cover.

Short stories
Carol Vaughan: Spanish Gold, illus Joan Wanklyn. Jenny finds she likes Spain after all.
Ruth Powell: The Girl Who Learned About Horses. Illus Helen Collins. Jane learns about horses.
Molly White: Te-e-eps for Mario, illus the author. A carriage drive in Capri.
Jean Waters: Country Adventure, illus Harold Beards. The lambs are vanishing on Shane’s farm.

Pony Magazine Annual 1970

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1969. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

The colour cover continued, this time with a rather alarming purple header. 

Short stories

Judith E Edgley: Ring out the Old, Ring in the New, illus Sally Webb. A forgotten pony finds a new owner.
Annette Maloney: Thanks to Tammy, illus Harold Beards. Tammy was old and outgrown, but a swap holds the answer to his owners’ problem.
Carol Vaughan: Rebel Raider, illus Joan Wanklyn. Set during the Civil War. Melanie saves some soldiers and their horses. 

Pony Magazine Annual 1971

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1970. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

Two of these stories were by junior readers: Lesley Rodgers and Marion Anstey.

Short stories

Vanessa Edwards: Chianti, illus Elizabeth E Bailey. Chianti shows spoilt Philippa a thing
or two.
Cerys Thomas: Different in Wales, illus Helen Collins. Wales is rather different to Chelsea.
Lesley Rodgers: A Horse of No Time, illus Christine Bousfield. A Civil War story.
Marion Anste: The Horse-King and the Merchant, illus Janet Johnstone. Posida the
merchant gets a reward.
Carol Vaughan: Oregon Outlaw, illus Ninetta Butterworth. About an outlaw Appaloosa
stallion in the Oregon.

Pony Magazine Annual 1972

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1970. Ed Lieut-Col C E G Hope

This is the last annual Lieut-Col C E G Hope e dited before he died. It had a new title style, but otherwise the mixture was as before.

Short stories

Jacqueline Dana Armstrong: The Pageant, illus Harold Beards. The Pony Club put on
a pageant.
Carol Vaughan: King Cole, illus Christine Bousfield. A Shire horse takes part in a
sea rescue.
Elisabeth Eastwood: The Challenge, illus Janet Johnstone. Sylph’s foal is born blind.

Pony Magazine Annual 1973

Purnell & Sons Ltd, London, 1972. Ed Michael Williams

This was the first annual edited by Michael Williams after Lieut-Col C E G Hope’s death.
The mixture was kept much as before, but the Equestrian Who’s Who went. At the time I
found this incredibly tedious so wasn’t sad, but it is a goldmine to me now! This annual is
also notable for a long article on Julip horses, and for the number of stories written by
readers: four out of five.

Short Stories

Elizabeth Rigbey (aged 14): Mystery, illus Lesley Bruce. Where has the mysterious mare
come from?
Louise Scott (aged 13): To Buy A Pony, illus Sally Webb. The ups and downs of buying
a pony.
Freda Warrington (aged 15): The Golden Fleece, illus Janet & Anne Graham Johnstone.
Will the Golden Mare bring Sandra luck?
Ann M Stephenson (aged 16): Coppersmith’s Chance, illus Harold Beards. Jilly-Anne rides despite her blindness.
Carol Vaughan: Elegant Eddy, illus Christine Bousfield. The girls get a surprise – a donkey.

Pony Magazine Annual 1974

Purnell & Sons Ltd, London, 1973. Ed Michael Williams

This annual saw the first contribution from Caroline Akrill: an article on a sopping wet
Hunt Club Show.

Short Stories

Lilian Jary: Candy’s Refusal , illus Lesley Bruce. Candy the pony sees a ghost.
Michael Hannon: Autumn Fire, illus Bobby Cubb. It’s the driest season Night Jar Forest has ever known.
Jacqueline Dana Armstrong: Pony Club Challenge, illus Ellen Gilbert. A duff part of the
Pony Club gets help.
Carolyn Gilbert: The Legend of Bucephalus, illus J & A Graham Johnstone. The story of Alexander’s horse.
Mona Jackson: Through the Hoop, illus Sybil Henley. A circus story.
Shirley A Bennet: Sultan of the Camargue, illus Merlyn Reid. Michel wants Sultan to remain free.
Delphine I Ratcliff: The Birthday Ride, illus Elizabeth Shallcross. An old man has plenty to teach the riding school.
Rosalind Norgate: The Christmas Meet, illus Sally Bell. A hunt told from the fox’s point of view.

Pony Magazine Annual 1975

Purnell & Sons Ltd, London, 1974. Ed Michael Williams

Pat and Pickles, the cartoon strip, bit the dust in this annual, but were replaced by Janet Slade’s cartoons. This edition has a showing story from Caroline Akrill, as well as a Josephine Pullein-Thompson tale.

Short stories

Nina Ananins: The Great Leap. Peter wants to ride like the other Cossacks.
Bess Leese: Home Run, illus Nicola Beckett. Penny finds she’s braver than she thought.
Anne English: Rainy Day Bargain, illus Heidi Best. The girls want to buy a Welsh pony from the sales.
Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Bound to Fail, illus Christine Bousfield. Will Pippa fail
C test yet again?
Elizabeth Hawthorne: Wild Cherry. Illus Ellen Gilbert. Wild Cherry is too expensive…
Mary Holmes: The Prince and the Donkey, illus Janet Johnstone. The Prince is too scared to ride until he meets a donkey.
Sally Dudle: What Was A Horse? Illus Nicola Palin. Set in the future, when horses are extinct.
Caroline Akrill: The Lamentable Leading Rein, illus Elaine Roberts. The family get a leading rein pony, but there is nobody to ride it.

Pony Magazine Annual 1976

Purnell & Sons Ltd, London, 1975. Ed Michael Williams

This annual saw the most short-lived title style: this quintessentially 1970s font lasted just one year. The physical size of the annual increased, to include more stories, illustrations and photographs. There were 10 in this edition, including a Caroline Akrill showing story. A younger  reader contributed: Pauline Harrison was 13.

Short stories

Michael Hannon: A Way Out, illus Nina Ananins. Mal Pringle’s gelding needs rescuing.
Tom McAndrew: The Princess and the Pony, illus Nicola Beckett. Princess Sheila is
pretty useless.
Pauline Harrison: The Fox, illus Sally Bell. A fox’s experience during a hunt.
Brian Giles: Danger in the Rain, illus Heidi Best. Rachel gets her first pony.
Pauline Rendall: All Because of Honey, illus Jacky Edwards. Can Mark get over his fear?
John Offord: Galloway Bless, illus Julia Harris. A story about the Battle of Bannockburn.
Melanie Peterson: A Gypsy Tour of Connemara, illus Sue O’Brian. A holiday in Connemara.
Jackie Banks: The Case of the Straw Hat… As told by Dallas the Donkey, illus Nicola Palin. A donkey defends himself in the equine court.
Caroline Akrill: An International Incident, illus Elaine Roberts. Mr Duffy finally has a good pony, and the family enter it in the Pairs.
Ruby Wilkinson: A Consolation Prize, illus Ruby Wilkinson. A Percheron foal experiences a show.

Pony Magazine Annual 1977

Purnell & Sons Ltd, London, 1976. Ed Michael Williams

The title style changed yet again, though this font continued into the 1980s.

Short stories

Jane Ettridge: Jan and the Gypsies, illus the author. Jan is kidnapped after spotting a stolen pony.
Caroline Akrill: The Difference, illus Elaine Roberts. Lesley goes to visit Annie in France.
Gillian Harland: Lucky Star, illus Ellen Gilbert. A Hallowe’en storm brings problems.
Barbara Cooper: Not Worth a Nickel, illus Nicola Palin. Can Jane save Nickel, the rogue mare?
Robin Tuke: A Bid for Freedom, illus Sally Bell. A prisoner on Dartmoor adventure.
Sue O’Brian: The Birthday Present. Laura gets a rocking horse.
B J Kapadi: The Challenge, illus Julia Harris. A new officer learns to treat his NCO better.

Pony Magazine Annual 1978

Purnell & Sons Ltd, London, 1977. Ed Michael Williams

One of the stories in this album, The Black Mustangs, was by 12-year-old Stephen North.
Janet Rising, future Pony editor and author, has an article in this magazine about her quest for a donkey.

Short stories

Rita Pogson: The Fantasy, illus Nicola Beckett. Mr Shaw’s socks keep disappearing.
Stephen North: The Black Mustangs. Illus Jane Ettridge. Are the gang fair or foul?
Marueen Francis: The Reluctant Bridesmaid, illus Ellen Gilbert. Sarah has to be
a bridesmaid instead of go to the Four Counties Show.
June M. Groves: Vision, illus Nichola Palin. Is the Arab pony a vision or reality?
Cynthia Castellan: Happiness in the Hills, illus Nicholas Pratt. Sue has had enough of her
competitive horsy family.
Caroline Akrill: The Churl Who Loved Horses, illus Elaine Roberts – an historical fantasy.

Pony Magazine Annual 1979

Purnell & Sons, London, 1978. Ed Michael Williams

The Caroline Akrill contribution here is a showing story – The Celebration.

Short stories:

Caroline Akrill: The Celebration, Elaine Roberts.  The refreshment lady at the show suffers…
Michael Hannon: The Turning Point, illus Christine Bousfield.  Tony’s precious Wildfire disappears.
Bess Leese: A Bottle from Baghdad, illus Jane Ettridge.  Kate and Toby get a genii as
a course builder.
Irene Jackson: Miss Prendergast’s Aids, illus Sally Bell.  Miss Prendergast is a challenging pupil.
Stanley Tolson: The Silver Horse of Sandford, illus Julia Harris.  A brumby story.
Sarah Gellner: Sarah Across the Showground, illus Ellen Gilbert.  A show pony and a “normal” pony find out just how different their lives are.

Pony Magazine Annual 1980

Purnell & Sons, London, 1979. Ed Michael Williams

This edition showed the results of the 1979 painting and drawing competition – Design a
Horsy Headscarf. Caroline Akrill contributed an article – “You Never Stop Learning”, and
there were seven short stories.

Short stories

Rowena Howard: The Golden Palomino, illus Jane Ettridge. Set on an Indian reservation.
Karen Bush: The Great Rosette Robbery, illus Sally Bell. The Ward family lose their rosette haul.
Theresa May: Saladin’s Cave, illus Ellen Gilbert. Sonnet and her owner travel back in time.
Yvonne Saar: Happy Appy, illus Julia Harris. The adventures of an Appaloosa.
Derek Taylor: Royal White Surrey, illus Janet Johnstone. The story of a battle horse.
Brian Lee: The Pony Who Saw the Sun, illus Sue O’Brian. A pit pony is retired.
B Fenton: Second Best, illus Elaine Roberts. Cas gets a donkey.

Pony Magazine Annual 1981

Purnell & Sons, London, 1980. Ed Michael Williams

This annual was the first to be issued with laminated boards and no dustjacket. One of the
most noticeable things about this annual is the use of a new illustrator: Leslie Branton. His (or her) illustrations are straight from girls’ magazines of the time: huge eyed and long lashed every one.

Short stories

Patricia Gardiner: Trotty & Milly’s Long Journey, illus Lynn Breeze. Younger readers’ story.
Caroline Akrill: Our Daisy’s Flag Day, illus Leslie Branton. Thumper the milkman’s horse is going to be redundant.
Jean Arnold: The Gymkhana, illus Lynn Breeze. A description of a gymkhana.
Karen Hope: The Smashing Little Rider, illus Leslie Branton. Miranda Lawson is a
“smashing little rider…”
Sheila Hosken: Can Horses Talk? Illus Lynn Breeze. A horse is interviewed.
Linda Knott: Memoirs of a Dartmoor Pony, illus Lynn Breeze. A pony tells his story.
Noelle Jamieson: The Finer Points of Hunting, illus Lynn Breeze. A fox tells his tale.

Pony Magazine Annual 1982

Purnell, London, 1981. Ed Michael Williams

This annual appeared with laminated boards. The mixture was otherwise as before, with the drawing and painting competition, historical and instructional articles, and of course short
stories. There’s an article by Caroline Akrill on western riding, polo and endurance.

Short Stories

Caroline Stickland: The Homecoming, illus Lynn Breeze. A gaucho tames a mare.

Beverley Oyitch: Misha and Tricks, illus Lynn Breeze. Misha finds an unexpected pony.

Veronica Riches: Mud and Understanding, illus Gordon King. John finds he can’t pigeonhole


Bernard Shough: The Musical Donkey, illus Lynn Breeze. The story of an Irish donkey.

Heather Gorst: Charlie and the Smuggling Man. Illus Gordon King. Charlie the horse has
an adventure with a smuggler.

Eileen Mary Chadwick: Wee Hamish the Shetland, illus Gordon King. Hamish is desperate to take part in treks.