Riding Magazine Annuals


Riding and Driving Magazine first appeared in 1936, published by Country Life. The magazine was a sumptuous production, aimed at the same clientele who read Country Life Magazine. Most of its articles were on equestrianism and the world of the horse, although it did include topical content. The magazine was published throughout World War II (though because of the paper shortage issues were cut from 12 a year to four). The driving element of the magazine came much more to the fore as people wrestled with petrol rationing, and a series of articles appeared on using your stables for food production. Rabbits, pigs and mushrooms were just some of the topics on which lengthy articles appeared.

Although Riding Magazine could be bound by the publishers at the end of each year, there was no Annual as such until the 1960s. The first appeared in 1964, and was published by Country Life. This is what the publishers said about the annual:

Following repeated requests from readers, the proprietors of Riding Magazine have produced this Riding Annual for the year 1964, full of interest for readers of all ages.

Riding Magazine Annual no. 1

The annual was edited by Phyllis Hinton, a former editor of Riding. The content was principally non-fiction, ranging from Michael Bullen’s first-hand experiences of Badminton to Hector McLean on naming his family (and his horses). 

Riding Magazine itself had, from the outset, included a young rider’s section. Certainly in its earliest years and into the 1950s, this included a short story each month. Whether this pattern still held in the 1960s I do not know, having not yet obtained any magazines from the period. The first annual did, however, include a short story, A Show Waggon for Polka Pony by O M Salter. The annual only managed three publications in this format, and not having found them all, I am not sure if all included a short story. Publication of the Annual by Country Life stopped with Riding Annual IV in 1966.

Publication was resumed under the editorship of Elwyn Hartley Edwards, with the annual being published by Fleetway. This probably happened in 1972, when the editor admitted in the preface to that year’s edition that no annual had appeared “for some years”. There were occasional short stories in the Annuals that followed, but the content was mostly non-fiction. I can find no mention of any Annuals after 1981.

This page lists the Riding Annuals published between 1964 and 1981, and the short stories they contained. Not all the annuals contained short stories, and there doesn’t seem any rule I can find to govern when one was included and when not. Riding Magazine maintained its Young Riders’ page certainly into the 1970s, and I assume the short story included was as a nod to its younger readers.

Finding the annuals
The earlier annuals are the trickiest ones to find, and pricing is very variable. The later editions are easier to find, and generally cheap.

Links and sources
Many thanks to Pam Wakelam, who supplied nearly all the photographs and information for this section.

The first Riding annual

The annuals

Riding Annual 1964

Country Life, London, 1963. Editor Phyllis Hinton

Short story

O M Salter: A Show Wagon for Polka Pony

Anthony and his Shetland pony have an enormous stroke of luck and manage to
succeed in the show ring.

Riding ANnual 1965

Country Life, London, 1964. Editor Phyllis Hinton

I have no information on the contents of this annual.

Riding Annual III

Country Life, London, 1965. Editor Phyllis Hinton

Short stories

O M Salter: The Runaway – the “thrilling story of a Shetland pony trotting race”

Delphine Ratcliff: Danny and the Demon (possibly fact, possibly fiction)

Riding Annual IV

Country Life, London, 1966. Editor Phyllis Hinton

I have no information about this annual’s contents

Riding Annual 1973

Fleetway, London, 1972. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards

I have no information on the annual’s contents

Riding Annual 1974

Fleetway, London, 1973. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards

Riding Annual 1975

Fleetway, London, 1974. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards

Short story

Joyce Stranger: Star of the Desert, illus Christine Bousfield. A story about an Arab

riding Annual 1976

Fleetway, London, 1975. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards

Riding Annual 1977

Fleetway, London, 1975. Editor Elwyn Hartley Fleetway, London, 1976. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards

Riding Annual 1978

Fleetway, London, 1977. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards

Riding Annual 1979

Fleetway, London, 1978. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards

Short story (possibly)
Anthony Dent: Tom Brackenear’s Great Day (appears to be fiction)

Riding Annual 1980

Fleetway, London, 1979. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards

No information on the contents.

Riding Annual 1981

Fleetway, London, 1981. Editor Elwyn Hartley Edwards