It is the sumer holidays, and Ann has an idea – Jill should start a riding club. Why her?, thinks Jill, but as she herself says, if she won’t do it, no one else will. So, the Greenlee Riding Club has its first meeting, at which the usual suspects turn up, plus Jill’s bêtes noires: her cousin Cecilia, and Clarissa Dandleby. The Riding Club finds a field (only because its owner is the besotted aunt of Mercy Dulbottle, who met Jill in an earlier book). They have a shaky start. No one really appears to be in charge, and they are put through their paces by Major Hooley, who happens past. However, they pull themselves together and plan various rallies and games and a gymkhana.
A treasure hunt goes well, despite several people dipping stones in whitewash to make them white, and Major Hooley provides the club with a set of jumps. Jill teaches Stanley Trimble to ride and helps him find a pony. The Riding Club visit Captain Cholly-Sawcutt’s yard. They plan a gymkhana, and have a long ride, at which Jill manages to knock herself out on a branch. The Riding Club generally do well at the gymkhana, but then the holidays come to an end: ‘So the sordid shadows of school fall on the riding club,’ I said poetically. ‘But it was awfully good while it lasted.’
Abridgements and alterations
As far as I can tell, the Armada and Knight versions are not abridged. However, some illustrations have been cut from the Knight version, and Jill’s hairstyle has been altered so that she does not have plaits! The Hampton Press hardcover lacks the endpaper illustrations and has a portrait of Jill on the title page.
Printing history of Jill Enjoys Her Ponies
Hodder & Stoughton, London, 1956, illus Caney
Super Hampton Library, date uncertain, illus Caney
Armada, 1964, cover Mary Gernat, illus Caney
Knight, 1969, cover Bonar Dunlop, internal illustrations Caney
Knight, 1975, cover W D Underwood, internal illustrations Caney
Knight, 1982, cover David Cox Studios, internal illustrations Caney
Knight, later 1980s printing, uncertain date, internal illustrations Caney
Fidra Books, Edinburgh, 2014, illus Caney
Author: Ruby Ferguson