Caroline Akrill: A Hoof in the Door

There isn’t a horse I can think of who could take his place …

Elaine has her event horse, Legend, and she’s still working at the Fanes’ stable, Havers Hall. The future of the stables seems as rocky as ever. When Elaine is given the chance to compete for an eventing scholarship, she knows this is the chance she has been waiting for. She can escape the Fanes. She can be an eventer.

Fate, though, has other ideas. You can’t compete if you don’t have a horse.

This is a reprint of the 1980s original, when hunting was legal.

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Caroline Akrill: Courses for Horses

Today, we were supposed to be discussing plans for the future of the stables. If there was a future to plan for. Personally, I doubted it.

There is trouble at Havers Hall. The house and stables have been refurbished, but now the money has run out. Lady Jennifer and Elaine’s father, Harold, are turning the refurbished house into an upmarket B&B. Elaine and the Fanes have been told, in no uncertain terms, that they must make the stables pay or the horses must go. Clearly, what little business they have will not keep the stables going so something must be done.

The Fanes think starting a riding school with some of the local dealer’s ponies will do the trick. Elaine has other ideas, but first she needs to make a momentous decision about her future with her beloved event horse, and then break it to the Fanes.

How will the eccentric Fane sisters react to Elaine’s life-changing plan? Only one thing is certain – there is more trouble ahead…

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Caroline Akrill: Eventer’s Dream

I planned to find myself a sponsor in the shape of a sympathetic employer …

Elaine is determined to make it on her own as an eventer. A wildly eccentric family whose relationship with equine welfare is sketchy, whose house and stables are about to fall down, and who have no financial sense whatsoever is not part of the plan. No one could possibly, not even in a dream, think that this would be the best way to start off an eventing career.

Could they?

This is a reprint of the 1980s original, when hunting was legal.

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Caroline Akrill: Ticket to Ride

“You do realise,” said the chief, “that eventing is a very expensive sport?”

Elaine has a place on an eventing course for the country’s most gifted young riders. She and Legend will, at last, leave the Fanes and the chaos of Havers Hall behind them.

Of course, when it comes to the Fanes, nothing is as simple as Elaine thinks, and the course throws up its own problems too. Try as she might, Elaine finds the siren call of Havers Hall and its eccentric occupants impossible to ignore.

This is a reprint of the 1980s original, when hunting was legal.

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Pony Club Challenge

The Woodbury Pony Club have been challenged to take part in a tetrathlon by the neighbouring Cranford Vale Pony Club. It’s going to mean a lot of training, fast. Their cross country is improving, but that’s not going to be enough, and they only have three weeks to improve their swimming, running and target shooting. They’re starting to get better, but then a disastrous attempt to practise threatens to ruin everything …

Originally published: 1984

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Pony Club Cup

No one likes the Woodbury Pony Club, not even its members. They’re so awful, they don’t think they’re up to entering the competition for second division pony clubs like them. And then they get a new District Commissioner – but what can an ex-jockey teach them and their terrible ponies? Quite a lot, it turns out, if you’re prepared to be open minded. Wild, whirling Jupiter and his hapless owner Hanif, and ewe-necked Saffron, grudgingly hired for Alice for the holidays by her aunt, can be improved. There is hope. They might even be able to enter for the cup …

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Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Pony Club Trek

The Woodbury Pony Club are going on a three-day trek over the Downs. Alice is delighted but Hanif is in despair – all he wants is a quiet time with his friends, but his super-competitive stepfather has other ideas. Even a trek can be turned into a competition. But the trek doesn’t go the way anyone expected, and the idea of competition fades when a pony’s life is at stake.

Originally published: 1985

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