The Pony Club Annual & Book

The Pony Club Annual was first published in 1950. In the preface to the first volume, the Pony Club Chairman, Guy Cubitt, said:

… The written word can help us to understand what it is we want to achieve in practice, what skills we must strive to master, what mistakes we must seek to avoid.’ Cubitt hoped readers would find the Annual ‘interesting, informative and enjoyable.’ As it survived in pretty much the same format until the 1980s and has been resurrected now, as part of the Pony Club’s celebrations of its 80th birthday in 2009, it would appear they did.

Guy Cubitt, Pony Club Annual no. 1

The Pony Club annuals divide themselves reasonably neatly into four sections: the smaller format available from 1950–63; the larger format available until 1983 and edited by Genevieve Murphy; the laminated format edited by Toni Webber and published by World International, which was available until 1985, and the Pony Club Book, which reappeared in the mid 1980s.

The Annuals 19501963

The first section of annuals, edited by Alan Delgado, were beautiful pieces of work, all illustrated by equine artists at the top of their game. The first annual alone contained original illustrations by Michael Lyne, Joan Wanklyn, Cecil G Trew, Sheila Rose, Peter Biegel, Maurice Tulloch and Marcia Lane Foster.

The content was a mixture. Readers were expected to take an intelligent interest in all aspects of the horse; historical; cultural; artistic and practical, as well as amuse themselves by reading stories. The early editors wanted you to learn. Richard L McCreery stressed the instructional nature of some of the articles in his preface to the second Pony Club Annual (1951), though he was also keen on the reader learning by example.

The first Pony Club annual

Stories were a central part of the annuals, though the number published wasn’t consistent, varying I would imagine according to what the other content was. One constant was the author Major C Davenport, part of the Pony Club Organisation Committee. He appeared in the first annual as the author of a piece on keeping a pony at grass, and was instrumental in developing the Pony Club film Horse Sense, with its characters Joan, Betty and Captain Hall, of the Downshire Branch of the Pony Club.

These characters lived again in what became known as the Captain Hall series, which was featured in the second Pony Club Annual, 1951, and ran at least until the end of the first section in 1963. It was illustrated by different illustrators each time until Pony Club Book 6,when Thelwell became the series’ regular illustrator.

Other notable stories were two contributed by Monica Edwards, possibly the first time slip pony story, in Stella Munro’s Moorland Magic (Pony Club Book 8) and several pieces by Naomi Mitchison, both fictional and non: her first piece (Pony Club Annual 6) was on her ‘two rather nasty ponies and one rather nice horse.’

The Pony Club Annual changed its title to The Pony Club Book in 1956. This was,apparently, because people might think the Annual just contained reprints of piece already published elsewhere, rather than all-new material. Ironically, the Pony Club Book did re-use at least illustrations that it had already used in earlier annuals: the cover for the Pony Club Book 8 is the frontispiece to the first Pony Club Annual.

The Annuals 196583

After the publication of Pony Club Book No 14 in 1963, there was something of a hiatus. The next Pony Club Annual for which I can find any details was published in 1965, and was called Pony Club Annual 1966. There was a new editor, Genevieve Murphy, then equestrian correspondent of The Observer, who remained as editor until 1983. The previous editor, Alan Delgado, had a short story published in the 1966 annual, but is otherwise not mentioned in this section of annuals.

The 1966 annual came in a new and larger format. It was more obviously aimed at children: the illustrations in particular saw a change. New illustrators like Sally Bell and Janet Grahame Johnstone were used. I am fond of both, but they have a definite and more stylised look aimed (in my opinion at any rate) at appealing to the younger child. John Board, an illustrator with a much more classic style, illustrated a short story, as did Sheila Rose, and Thelwell was still there. The general tenor of illustration was very different, however.

The Pony Club Annual 1969

The emphasis of the content changed too: virtually gone were the articles of general horsy interest: these were replaced by more on stars of the Pony Club, puzzles and competitions. The content, in short, was much closer to that of Pony Magazine Annual, and was now aimed at entertaining, with a dash of education, rather than solid education. The new annual was intended to be a more contributory affair: contributions were asked for the next year’s annual from Pony Club members and associates.

What palace revolution accompanied this change I do not know: The introduction on the flap of the 1966 Annual said Genevieve Murphy “had the full support of the British Horse Society and the Pony Club in preparing the Annual.” This may mean exactly what it says: worry not, you’re getting an approved production, or it might mean that the introduction of the changes caused ructions. I am still trying to find out what happened.

The new format was, however, successful, and remained virtually the same for theperiod it was published. The drive on having short stories written by members did not last: regular authors were soon established, with short story favourite Carol Vaughan, Josephine Pullein-Thompson and Primrose Cumming appearing in virtually every annual. Only one annual in this period appeared without a story by one of them.

Some features became fixtures: Riders of Renown, an illustrated guide to successful international riders appeared in every issue, as did In Many Moods, pages of black and white photographs. Chrstine Bousfield contributed a long running series on how to draw horses, running from 1975–83. There was plenty of branch news in each issue, and also photographs of winning teams from inter-branch competitions.

The last three annuals in this section appeared in laminated boards. The last annual, the 1983 edition, was noticeably shorter, with 60 pages compared to the 76 of the previous issue. Presumably this change was to cut costs because of falling sales: the next short section of annuals had a radical face lift and a new editor.

The Annuals 198485
Pony Club Annual 1984

Genevieve Murphy, after 18 years as editor, was now succeeded by Toni Webber. The format of the annual changed dramatically, and it was now published by World International Publishing Company Ltd. The annual had a complete re-design, with a new font, and multiple photographs instead of just one on the cover.

Inside, the change was even more radical: the album was now in full colour throughout, and the design was now more consciously modern. Most article illustrations were now photographs, generally in colour. What illustrations remained were sometimes in colour, and were expanded to take up much more of the page than previously.

Unfortunately, the quality of the illustrations that remained was generally very poor indeed. The contents weren’t changed too much: there were still stories, news of the Pony Club, and puzzles. Riders of Renown was jettisoned, and replaced by Stars of the Future. Readers contributed two pages of poems and pictures.

The annual came in at 62 pages, and another was published in the same format in 1985. A major cut in costs had obviously been made: these annuals are very poorly made, and in both my copies, the pages started to detach as soon as I started to read them. The quality of the illustrations took a further dive in 1985. An excellent article by Elwyn Hartley Edwards on Is Your Gadget Really Necessary? ends up looking like a filler in an annual of the cheapest and nastiest sort because of its truly terrible illustrations.

The Pony Club Book 19861995

The Pony Club presumably decided a change was necessary: the next annual published, in 1986, reverted to being a Pony Club Book. Whether Toni Webber was still editor I do not know: no editor is mentioned in either Pony Club Book 1 or 2. Pony Club Book 3 was edited by Barbara Cooper.

Not only did the title revert, the tone of the Annual did too, moving back to the more educational model of the 1950s. There were still articles about the Pony Club, but these were augmented by articles that could have been there in the earliest annuals: I particularly like the illustrated pictures on wildlife and plants you could spot whilst out on a ride. Joan Wanklyn and Kit Houghton contributed long articles on perspective and photography respectively; there were articles on the development of the saddle, and on horses in the King’s Troop as well as unusual breeds: Zebroids and the Iberian horse both featured.

The Pony Club Book number 2

The Annual’s format improved. It was still laminated, but the production quality was much better. It was still in full colour, and the quality of illustration took a considerable leap back upwards: the Pony Club Book number 3 included full colour reproductions of Frederic Remington’s works, as well as colour prints of carriages.

Although three Pony Club Books were published, they were not a yearly event. Pony Club Book 2 was published in 1988, and it was seven years before Pony Club Book 3 appeared in 1995. As far as I know, there were no other Pony Club Annuals or Books in the 1980s and 1990s, but I’m quite prepared for some to emerge from the woodwork.

I assume the Annual was, by the late 1990s, defunct, and that so it remained until the Pony Club’s 80th Anniversary in 2009, when a new annual was published.

The illustrations in this section are taken from the Pony Club Book no 1 (Joan Wanklyn) and The Pony Club Book Number 3 (Frederic Remmington).

The Pony Club Annual 2009

This annual was issued free to all Pony Club members, and is available on the Pony Club website. It was sponsored by the Animal Health Trust, and is liberally sprinkled with advertisements. The Pony Club presumably didn’t want to get its fingers burned again, and I assume had made very sure it will not lose money on this Annual.

It has an almost total shift of emphasis away from articles of general horsy interest and stories over to page after page of Pony Club doings, interspersed with a few slightly more general articles, such as Belinda Wilkins on the three generations of her family who have experienced the Pony Club. A better name for the publication would be The Pony Club Year Book.

Finding the annuals

The earlier annuals are the trickiest ones to find. The majority of early annuals are findable and generally reasonably priced. The exceptions are those that contain a Monica Edwards short story: nos 6 and No. 11. Monica fans know they exist, and so they tend to fetch higher prices. The 1970s and 1980s annuals are all pretty easy to find (with the exception of the 1984 edition). Beware adverts declaring these 1970s and 1980s annuals are rare: they aren’t.

Many thanks to Pam Wakelam for photos and information on the contents of the later sixties and early seventies run of annuals.

The annuals 1950–1963

The Pony Club Annual

The Naldrett Press, 1950, editor not stated

The earliest annuals were in a smaller format than became usual in the 1970s. This one is beautifully produced, with illustrations from the cream of pony book illustrators: Michael Lyne, Marcia Lane Foster, Joan Wanklyn, Sheila Rose and Peter Biegel. There was only one story, but plenty in the annual to amuse and instruct. I wonder if the latest version would include an illustrated version of John Cowper’s The Diverting History of John Gilpin, and an illustrated article on the development of riding dress. I suspect not. Tastes, or at least the attention span of its teenage audience, have changed.

Short story

Pamela WhitockThe Catsmeat Pony, illus Joan Wanklyn. Ron and Marty have come from a town and now live on Dartmoor. Marty befriends a Dartmoor pony, whom she calls Boney, because she is, and she is always on the outside of the herd. Marty finds out the ponies are going to be round up and sold, and she is convinced Boney will be sold for catsmeat unless she and Ron can catch her first.

The Pony Club Annual 2

The Naldrett Press, London, 1951. No editor stated.

The first annual did so well a successor was printed. There were more stories: three in this annual, though one featured a hound rather than a pony. Major C Davenport, of the Pony Club Organisation Committee, was instrumental in developing the Pony Club film Horse Sense, with its characters Joan, Betty and Captain Richard Hall. The first Captain Hall story appears in this volume; Captain Hall was to become a fixture in the Annual for the next ten years.

Short stories

Frances Pitt: Young Ranter, illus Lionel Edwards. This is the story of the hound pup Ranter, and how he learns to hunt. If hunting is not your thing, steer clear.

Major C Davenport: A Lesson in Restraint, illus Stanley Lloyd. The first Captain Hall story – how to restrain your pony!

Joan Wanklyn: Pony Sense, illus the author. Parsley, Sally’s much loved pony, doesn’t look much up against her friends’ ponies, but Parsley is a pony and has pony sense.

The Pony Club Annual No. 3

Naldrett & Co, London, 1952. No editor stated. Produced by Alan Delgado Ltd.

The stories were reined back to two in this edition. As in the previous two, the illustrations are wonderful. Geoffrey Whittam and Raymond Sheppard join the roster. Cecil G Trew wrote on the evolution of the saddle, having done articles in the two previous annuals on how to draw. Christine Black told you how to train your dog to accompany you riding.

Short stories

Pamela MacGregor Morris: Midnight Adventure, illus Harold Beards. Donald is going to Cornwall to spend the school holidays with his uncle – he learns to ride, and rescues hounds.

Major C Davenport: Ageing Without Tears, illus Peter Biegel (A Captain Hall Story). The District Commissioner tells Captain Hall he has to address the Pony Club on the subject of Ageing.

The Pony Club Annual No. 4

Naldrett & Co Ltd, London, 1953. Editor not stated. Produced by Alan Delgado Ltd.

The mixture continued as before, though now an equine star was on the cover – Pat Smythe. This edition upped the number of stories to four. Cecil G Trew contributed a beautifully illustrated article on Cowboy Gear. Another charmer is the one on decorated Farm Wagons.

Short stories

Major C Davenport: The “Won” Day Event, illus R P Kennedy. A Captain Hall Story. Joan and Betty, having been to the Pony Club One Day Event, put on their own version.

Judith M Berrisford: Topper, illus Charlotte Hough. Topper is Jeremy’s second pony, and he has major difficulties getting used to him.

Frances Pitt: Summer Ride, illus Raymond Sheppard. Jack and Joan go on a ride and nature spot. Beautiful illustrations.

Mary Patchett: Tam and the Bushfire, illus Geoffrey Whittam. Tam and Ajax are
involved in an Australian bushfire.

Pony Club Annual No. 5

Naldrett & Co, London, 1954. Editor: Alan Delgado Ltd

Another star on the cover: Lt-Col H M Llewellyn on Foxhunter. Cecil G Trew contributed another beautifully illustrated (as well as interesting) piece on the history of the bit.

Short stories
Pamela Whitlock: 
The Great Desire, illus George Bowe. Elizabeth wants her own pony.

Catherine Loftus: Winged Horse – the story of Pegasus.

Major C Davenport: The Good Doer, illus Geoffrey Whittam. A Captain Hall story. Joan has outgrown her pony, and Captain Hall finds another for her: Star, from Ireland. Star is a twin, and it turns out his brother has also been sold to England.

Pony Club Annual No. 6

Naldrett & Co, London/ The World’s Work (1913) Ltd, 1955. Editor: Alan Delgado

The successful mixture continued as before: this edition included a Monica Edwards story, and the first of the Captain Hall stories illustrated by Thelwell, who became the series’ main illustrator. Naomi Mitchison contributed a piece.

Short stories

Monica Edwards: Sure Magic, illus Raymond Sheppard. It’s sure magic, to wish where a foal has been born. Paul finds the place where Calluna’s foal has been born, and finds something very unexpected indeed.

Rex HazlewoodA Holiday Under the Sky, illus Harold Beards. Two girls and two boys go on a camping and riding holiday – and get things wrong. There is a nice long list of what they should have done!

Major C DavenportA Musical Ride, illus Thelwell. The Pony Club have been asked to do a musical ride.

Nicola Bryant (aged 15): A Brown Coat and Red Hair, illus Geoffrey Whittam. A boy fulfils his dream.

Pamela Macgregor Morris: Harkaway’s New Home, illus Harold Beards. Simon has trouble settling his pony into his new home.

Pony Club Book No. 7

Naldrett Press Ltd/The World’s Work (1913) Ltd, 1956. Editor: Alan Delgado

This was the first edition to change its name, as people might think the articles and stories had appeared elsewhere, when they were all specially commissioned. This edition had a
foreword by Prince Philip, President of the BHS. Anne Bullen contributed (and illustrated) an article on showing and competing in America.

Short stories

Frances Pitt: Rufus the Fox, illus Lionel Edwards: a short story about a fox.

Stella Munro: Micawber and the Moonlight Capture (no illustrations – spaces provided for the reader to supply their own!) The Albright’s pony, Micawber, decides to go off and have adventures.

Major C Davenport: The Order of the Bath, illus Thelwell. A Captain Hall story. The Downshire Branch go to camp.

Diana Pullein-Thompson: Looking After Jenny, illus William Stobbs. Even the best people make mistakes sometimes…

Naomi Mitchison: Ian Mor and the Water Horse, illus Peggy Fortnum.

The Pony Club Book No. 8

Naldrett Press Ltd/The World’s Work (1913) Ltd, 1957. Editor: Alan Delgado

Diana Pullein-Thompson contributed a piece on her long distance ride on Favorita. Marcia
Lane Foster did the cover illustration, though this was actually the recycled frontispiece of
the first annual.

Short stories

A Maple Leaf and Some Thistles: uncredited. Based in part on the film The Kid From Canada. When Andy from Canada visits the Mackinlays in Scotland, it doesn’t work out too well at first.

Major C DavenportPatricia’s Picture, illus Thelwell. A Captain Hall story. Captain Hall cannot take the Pony Club Camp ride as he has broken his leg playing polo. A mysterious benefactor pays for Patricia to go to camp, on the condition she writes to him about it.

Stella Munro: Moorland Magic, illus Geoffrey Whittam. Christopher and Jane acquire another pony in very strange circumstances.

The Pony Club Book No. 9

Naldrett Press Ltd/The World’s Work (1913) Ltd, 1958. Editor: Alan Delgado

Sheila Wilcox and High and Mighty were on the cover. The number of stories went back to two: Stella Munro was still writing about horses from history, and there was plenty about
hunting in this edition. Real life stories (Peter riding 150 miles to school on his pony Kim), and setting up Pony Club magazines featured.

Short stories

Major C Davenport: Cross Country, Speed and Endurance, illus Thelwell. A Captain Hall story. The Downshire Branch go to Badminton.

Naomi Mitchison: My Little Horse Gold, illus Joan Kiddell-Monroe. A story set in long ago Norway.

The Pony Club Book No. 10

Naldrett Press Ltd/The World’s Work (1913) Ltd, 1959. Editor: Alan Delgado

This was the first Pony Club annual with a cover by Thelwell. There was an article by Mrs
E H Parsons on round ups in the New Forest, as well as on a nurse on horseback in
Kentucky, and ponies in Kenya.

Short stories

Alan Delgado: The Cart Before the Horse, illus Monica Walker. A clash of cultures: Sid and his pony Beetle meet well off Angela in a story set in a London reliant on horse transport.
Christine Pullein-Thompson: 
The Vicious Circle, illus Helen Collins. Sunstar can jump at home, but it’s a totally different matter when he’s away.
Major C Davenport: 
The Gate Crasher, illus Thelwell. A Captain Hall story. Susan Carter joins the Pony Club.

The Pony Club Book No. 11

Naldrett Press Ltd/The World’s Work (1913) Ltd, 1960. Editor: Alan Delgado

Another varied list of contents: the Pithead Pony Club, done absolutely on a shoe string; the Pony Club in London (rather less so). Frances Pitt was still writing for the Annual, and here contributed an article on her new house and its surrounding wildlife.

Short stories

Monica Edwards: The Great Horse, illus William Stobbs. A rare historical story from Monica Edwards, telling the story of a horse during the Civil War.

Major C Davenport: A Place in the Team, illus Thelwell. A Captain Hall story. The Downshire Branch enter a team in the Prince Philip Cup.

The Pony Club Book 12

William Heinemann Ltd in assn with the Naldrett Press Ltd, 1961. Ed: Alan Delgado

The cover returned to a picture of a Pony Clubber and pony (though they’d never allow one without a hat now). Joan Wanklyn illustrated a four part article on training the young
pony, and Jill Chalcraft, a Pony Club member in the 1930s, wrote about being a Pony Club Mother in the 1960s.

Short stories

Pamela Whitlock: Rare Bridget, illus Margery Gill). Jane’s ambition is to race, so she is seriously miffed to be given slow Biddy to ride.

Major C Davenport: Without a Fault, illus Thelwell. A Captain Hall story. Iris Havknott does not have a pony, but then her parents buy a cottage and she joins the Pony Club.

Daphne Linnell: First Hunt, illus Anne Buckmaster. A group of children go on their first hunt.

The Pony Club Book 13

William Heinemann Ltd in assn with the Naldrett Press Ltd, 1962. Editor: Alan Delgado

The cover is by Thelwell. How to keep a pony in suburbia is given an airing, as well as a debate on whether the pony is clever or clueless.

Short stories

Major C Davenport: Hard Luck Story, illus Thelwell. A Captain Hall story. The Pony Club rally is going to be on Friday 13th…

Kathleen Mackenzie: Bogged Down, illus Helen Collins. Sally Brown feels herself a complete outsider at Pony Club

The Pony Club Book 14

William Heinemann Ltd, 1963. Editor: Alan Delgado

Haflingers, four centuries of horse traffic, Frances Pitt visits Canada (not one word about horses…) and a beautifully illustrated article on the Medieval knight and his horse.

Short stories

Joan Phipson: Pensioned Off, illus Margaret Horder. Alison Marriott’s adventures on the New South Wales sheep station where she lives.

Major C Davenport: Treasure Hunt, illus Thelwell. A Captain Hall story. The DC despises Treasure Hunts, but Captain Hall doesn’t agree.

Annuals 1965–1983

The Pony Club Annual 1966

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1965. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

This Annual was the first of the new format. It still contained short stories, but the tenor of the contents had changed. Education was still important, but entertaining the young reader now had much more emphasis. Two new features were added, which became fixtures: Riders of Renown (which did what it said on the tin), and In Many Moods, pages of photographs.

Short stories

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: The Failure, illus Sheila Rose. Philippa hates her sisters: they are successful and she is not.

Glenda Spooner: Our Trekking Holiday, illus Sally Webb. Gillian (heroine of The Silk Purse) persuades her parents to go on a trekking holiday.

Alan DelgadoUncle Torquil, illus Helen Collins. Uncle Torquil is determined to buy a horse, despite the many reasons it might be a bad idea.

Primrose Cumming: Operation Acorn, illus John Board. Nathan is determined to save Acorn from being sold at the Autumn Sale.

The Pony Club Annual 1967

Max Parrish & Co Ltd, London, 1966. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

Articles included USA Pony Clubs, Pamela Macgregor Morris on Keeping a Pony at Grass, and Thelwell contributed cartoons. There was a short story competition.

Short stories

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: The Mock Hunt, illus Joan Wanklyn

Carol Vaughan: A Pony Like Paladin, illus Sheila Rose

Alan Delgado: Uncle Torquil Again, illus Helen Collins

The Pony Club Annual 1968

Publisher: unknown, 1967. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

This annual contained much more by members of the Pony Club, with the prize winning entries from the previous Annual’s competition, and pictures from the painting contest.

Short stories

Patricia Jamieson (aged 12): No Pony Like Tango. The heroine rides again after a tragic accident.

Rosalie Copner (aged 13): Just Plain Wicked. Jane’s first pony, Holly, turns out to be a handful.

Primrose Cumming: A Matter of Background, illus Janet Johnstone. Veronica and Harriet are embarrassed by their non-horsy parents, but they turn out to have their strengths.

Carol Vaughan: A Rider for Rocket, illus David Rook. Spoiled Felicia meets Jane. And Rocket.

The Pony Club Annual 1969

Purnell, London, 1968. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

The annual had a (brief) change of cover format, and appeared in colour for the first time. It was now published by Purnell. Contents included the painting competition results, Pony Club Camp, polo and the New Zealand Pony Club.

Short stories

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: The Trek, illus Sally Webb

Selina Charlton: The Badger Brigade, illus Harold Beard

The Pony Club Annual 1970

Purnell, London, 1970. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

This anual had three short stories, but otherwise the mix was as normal. It saw another change of over format, which stayed for the remainder of the anual’s time.

Short stories

Selina Charlton: Adventure at the Flying Horse, illus Sally Webb. Susan and her family move to a pub from their idyllic farm.

Carol Vaughan: Pony Club Point-to-Pointer, illus Harold Beards. A family get a point-to-pointer to exercise for a month.

Primrose Cumming: Bridle Path or War Path, illus Janet Johnstone. The Pony Club have to report on all the local bridle paths.

The Pony Club Annual 1971

Purnell, London, 1970. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

This edition contained cartoons by Sally Webb, and an article on hunting by Pamela Macgregor-Morris.

Short stories
Josephine Pullein-Thompson: 
A Horrible Horsy Daughter, illus Janet Johnstone

Selina Charlton: The Summer Film, illus Harold Beard

Elizabeth Rigbey: Tally Ho Quarry, illus Sally Webb

The Pony Club Annual 1972

Purnell, London, 1971. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

This was the first Pony Club Annual I had, and I just about knew it off by heart. It contained plenty of articles on the Pony Club, as well as the usual competitions.

Short stories

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: The Scavenger Hunt, illus Janet Johnstone. Clare is in a foul mood when she starts off for the Scavenger Hunt.

Primrose Cumming: Firefly’s Foal, illus Sally Webb. Firefly’s foal has a chequered career.

Elizabeth Rigbey: (aged 13) The Noble Cause: a family rescue a pony.

Carol Vaughan: Flight of Fancy, illus Elizabeth E Bailey. Fancy’s circus skills come in very useful.

The Pony Club Annual 1973

Purnell, London, 1972. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

The mixture continued as before: poems, Pony Club news and contributions by Pony Club members.

Short stories

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: The Birdwatcher of Beacon Hill, illus Sian Williams. The Datchett family move to the country.

Jennifer Wharton: (aged 15) Doctor’s Orders. Frances’ pony is sold after she has a terrible fall.

Selina Charlton: Christopher’s Boots, illus Carolyn Dinan. Sheila is trying to find a cheap pair of riding boots.

Elizabeth Rigbey (aged 14) Bob’s “Switch”, illus Sally Webb. The Pony Club play switch.

The Pony Club Annual 1974

Purnell, London, 1973. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

This edition didn’t have a short story by a Pony Club member, but continued with stories from its most frequently used authors: Josephine Pullein Thompson, Primrose Cumming and Carol Vaughan.

Short stories

Primrose Cumming: A Pony Shared, illus Lesley Bruce. Geraldine and Jane share a pony.

Carol Vaughan: Understanding Ulysse, illus Christine Bousfield. Ulysse is a Camargue horse, and he does things differently.

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Chop and Change, illus Sally Webb. A pony’s eye view of a Pony Club rally.

The Pony Club Annual 1975

Purnell, London, 1974. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

Primrose Cumming and Carol Vaughan featured again: illustrator Christine Bousfield also contributed an article on how to draw horses. Readers contributed a crossword and a puzzle.

Short stories

Selina Charlton: Night Visitors, illus Carolyn Dinan. Laura and Polly find it can be difficult growing up.

Primrose Cumming: The Fermoy Affair, illus Ellen Gilbert. The Appletons move house.

Pauline Gerrard: A Polo Conversation,illus Sian Williams. Leo is not quite the usual polo pony.

Carol Vaughan: Double Trouble, illus Sally Webb. Melissa and Martin are riding as Indians in the County Show’s Western Ride.

The Pony Club Annual 1976

Purnell, London, 1975. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

In this edition, you could find out about the Pony Club in Jamaica and mounted games in Amsterdam.

Short stories

Carol Vaughan: Lucky Star, illus Lesley Bruce. Emma and her aunt buy her first pony, but make every mistake in the book.

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: Bone of Contention, illus Sally Bell. A local footpath becomes an issue.

Cdr H Falcon-Steward: Jennifer’s Pony, illus Sian Fletcher. Jennifer has to sell her pony, but she is saved.

The Pony Club Annual 1977

Purnell, London, 1976. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

Domini Lawrence asked “Who hates dressage?” Barbara Joan Parker wrote on the diary of a team trainer, and Christine Bousfield carried on teaching the Pony Club member how to draw. The illustrations for the short stories deteriorated: they are uncredited and would look more at home in Bunty.

Short stories

Veronica Riches: A Promise to Dawn. Nicky is going to start instructing the Pony Club.

Primrose Cumming: One Eventful Day. The Pony Club has to field a team for the Dereham Trials, even if it means including Badger.

Carol Vaughan: Foreigners are Different, illus Janet Johnstone. The Brownlows need to earn money, but are horrified when their mother arranged for two Italian children to stay and ride their ponies.

The Pony Club Annual 1978

Purnell, London, 1977. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

More from Christine Bousfield on how to draw: an alphabetical guide to the Pony Club, and the usual competitions and puzzles.

Short stories

C W Knight: A Matter of Confidence, illus Elaine Roberts. Phil has never had the confidence to try for his Horseman’s Badge.

J R Williams: Injustice at Long-Heath Farm, illus Carolyn Dinan. Linda makes the decision to ride Lightning at the stables, but is he too much for her?

Susan Frances Crees (aged 13): Phantom Horse. Jane sees a ghost.

Carol Vaughan: Ambling Anna, illus Sally Bell. Anna and Carabella both go on a diet.

The Pony Club Annual 1979

Purnell, London, 1978. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

More on how to draw from Christine Bousfield; Primrose Cumming was back in the short story fold, and Sarah Mackenzie wrote about her pony club summer.

Short stories

Primrose Cumming: A Man’s World, illus Carolyn Dinan. A story you would think would press the idea of girls being as good as boys, but I’m not quite sure that’s what it does.

Caroline Brown: The Hunter Trials, illus Elaine Roberts. Danny goes lame, so Cathy rides Bristle instead.

Elizabeth Rigbey: It Takes a Thief, illus Sally Bell. A family discover their old pony might be put down.

The Pony Club Annual 1980

Purnell, London, 1979. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

Domini Lawrence contributed an article on dressage, readers contributed poems, and Anna Buxton wrote about Novice One Day Events. This was the last annual published with a dustjacket.

Short stories

Carol Vaughan: Crystal Clear, illus Sally Bell. Selsdon Glory isn’t perhaps the right pony for a first timer.

Deborah Ghate: Fair Exchange, illus Carolyn Dinan. Helen has outgrown Brambleberry.

Denise Amos: Fergus, illus Elaine Roberts. Fergus the pony is very unimpressed with the idea of the Pony Club rally.

The Pony Club Annual 1981

Purnell, London, 1980. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

This annual had laminated pictorial boards. Christine Bousfield was still teaching you how to draw, and readers contributed poems and limericks. A very young Nick Skelton and Robert Smith appeared in Riders of Renown.

Short stories

Jane EttridgeThe Rustlers, illus Elaine Roberts. Anna hopes to earn the reward on offer for the missing show pony, and buy a pony of her own.

Caroline Brown: Christmas Incident, illus Carol Way. Susan finds a neglected pony.

Carol Vaughan: Trials and Tribulations, illus Ellen Gilbert. Janie schools horses for her mother who are then sold, and alas, it is her beloved Gorgeous’s turn to go.

The Pony Club Annual 1982

Purnell, London, 1981. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

There was an interesting article on teaching your pony to drive in this edition. Michael Whitaker made it into Riders of Renown, as did Ginny Holgate (Elliot)

Short stories

Carol Vaughan: Rockabye Renegade, illus Sally Bell. Aunt Janetta buys Patsy a pony. Mr Marston has his work cut out to sort them both out.

Hannah Halstead: The Miracle Pony, illus Christine Bousfield. Jo, who is blind, learns to ride.

Elizabeth Farmery: Surprise, illus Elaine Roberts. Beth buys her first pony, and it’s a bit of a battle.

The Pony Club Annual 1983

Purnell, London, 1982. Editor: Genevieve Murphy

This I think was the last annual edited by Genevieve Murphy. Josephine Pullein-Thompson returned to the fold with a short story, and Carol Vaughan carried on being the most stalwart short story writer. There’s a short feature on Cusop Heiress, one of Caroline Akrill’s show ponies. There were just two stories in this annual, and the number of pages was cut from 76 in 1982 to 60.

Short stories

Josephine Pullein-Thompson: “Oh, Cobweb, How Could You!”, illus Christine Bousfield. Cobweb stops jumping, but it turns out there is a valid reason!

Carol Vaughan: Highwayman’s Copse, illus Elaine Roberts. Vanessa longs to join in with Pony Club events, but doesn’t have a pony.

The Pony Club Book 1986–1995

The Pony Club Annual 1984

World International Publishing Limited, 1983. Editor: Toni Webber

A new editor, format and publisher came in 1984. Stories weren’t thrown out: the annual maintained its shorter format as just over 60 pages, but all pages were now in full colour.
The illustrations took a turn for the worse, but otherwise the actual content was not hugely different from Genevieve Murphy’s day.

Short stories

Caroline Akrill: The Saturday Hirelings, illus Elaine Roberts. Krisia and Charlotte decide to do some proper riding, so Charlotte hires two horses so they can go hunting.

Caroline Strickland: The Reapers, illus Ray Hutchins. A short story about a breed which almost never features in literature – the Dales.

The Pony Club Annual 1985

World International Publishing Limited, 1984. Editor: Toni Webber

The second annual under Toni Webber’s editorship was still the mixture as before, though with the addition of some craft makes. The quality of illustration was noticeably poor.

Short stories

Clare Bruton: Special Talent. Polly’s new pony was bound to be a good jumper, and wasn’t that what she always wanted?

Jay Swallow: A Pony to Remember. Penny is in a wheelchair after a riding accident. She has forgotten her old pony as a result of her injury, but Tim has a plan to remind her.

The Pony Club Book again

The Pony Club Book Number 1

Threshold Books Ltd, 1985. Editor: not specified. Editorial Assistant: Suzannah Staley

Yet another new format saw the light of day. Certainly as far as content went, it was a return to the 1950s, with articles of general horsy interest, such as The King’s Troop Royal Horse Artillery and Horses as Actors. Joan Wanklyn returned to the fold with an article on perspective. There were short stories too: both written by authors much better known for other things! Elisabeth Beresford wrote the Wombles series, and Kate Robertson the Dilbert the aeroplane books.

Short stories

Elisabeth Beresford: The Island Pony. Caroline moves from London to a small island. Island life seems grim until she meets Ilona, who is pony-mad.

The Rag and Bone Pony: Two farm children go to stay with their uncle, who is a Bishop in a South London diocese. They find a rag and bone pony who must be sold because his owner is retiring.

The Pony Club Book Number 2

Threshold Books Ltd, 1988. Editor: not specified.

It took three years before another annual was published, but when it appeared, it followed the same format as Pony Club Book 1. Reflecting changing times, this annual had an article from Kit Houghton on photographing horses. Sylvia Loch wrote
on The Warrior Breed, and Kate Robertson contributed another story.

Short stories

Louise Johnson: Lord of the Horses (illus the author). A fantasy, in which Galaxos, Lord of the Ice Horses, is threatened by a war lord’s desire to catch him.

Playing Hard to Get: a fictionalised diary on catching a pony who doesn’t want to be caught!

Kate Robertson: To Catch a Thief. Saddle rustlers threaten the Pony Club’s plans to compete.

The Pony Club Book Number 3

The Pony Club, 1995. Editor: Barbara Cooper

There was an even longer gap in publication between this annual and its predecessor: seven years. The mixture remained as before, with a mix of factual articles, stories and pictures. There was a lovely article on the artist and sculptor Frederic Remington, as well as, on the lighter side, Cooking for Your Pony.

Short stories

Louise E Johnson: The Horse from the Sea. A girl meets a horse from the sea, and goes for a ride that at first seems wonderful.

Elisabeth Beresford: The Girl Who Didn’t Like Ponies. Bibi moves from London to the country. She is horrified to meet horsy people, and even more horrified to be bought a pony.

The Pony Club Annual 2009

Publisher: the Pony Club, 2009. Editor: none stated

There are no short stories at all in this new Annual. It’s really a photographic record of the Pony Club year.