Wednesday, 31 October 2007

What a muddle? Please help!!

Still not finished Trebizon, but will have by tomorrow as reading Fifth Year Friendships and haven't managed to get hold of other two, so can't update on Pony Club Camp yet.

But I do have another plea for help...on putting away my new purchses that arrived yesterday....after only two + weeks in transit!!!...I found one was a dreaded 'B'. Now before you get totally the wrong idea I only keep my books in alphabetical order so i can easily check if I have it or not when I spot nice ones on ebay etc. Honest!!! Needless to say the rest of the house is not quite so neat and orderly. I was avoiding the dreaded cleaning by putting them away in the first place. The theory being my other half may think I did some if table is less cluttered? Worth a try anyhow!

Back to dreaded 'B'. Well that is the section where Judith Berrisford falls and is the cause of endless misery. No her books arn't that bad, I rather like them but what is the correct order for the Jackie series....does anyone know? Does anyone know JMB? Does she know herself?

Mine are currently in published order but this itself has flaws. As you can see from the pic my own collection houses several different 'runs' and duplicates of a few titles add to this so I have pictured a selection. I have taken the published date from my first editions wherever possible but I don't have them all so have had to take first published date for some from reprints, so there is a possibility of inaccuracy. Mine are ordered

1 Jackie Won A Pony - 1958- (simple)

2 Ten Ponies And Jackie - 1959 -(getting harder as two published this year but based on fact Babs had no pony)

3 Jackie's Show Jumping Surprise - 1959 - (now the real problems start - Babs owns Patch and Aunt Di marries Steve Rowland....her 'adopted' son Lenny turns up needing help as his father has let out of prison probs yet but read on)

4 Jackie's Pony Patrol - 1961 - (Now Aunt Di lives alone and Patch is her pony and she gives him Babs, we learn the story of Lenny and his father and he goes to live with Di and his father goes to prison)

5 Jackie and the Pony Trekkers - 1963 -(this was badged no 2 when republished by Hodder in the 90's...I don't think full series was published)

6 Jackie's Pony Camp Summer - 1968 -

7 Jackie and the Pony Boys - 1970 -

8 Jackie and The Misfit Pony - 1975 - (Armada badged this as no 3 in the 80's reprints....I think the whole series to date was printed )

9 Jackie On Pony Island -1977 - (Hodder badged this 5 in 90's)

10 Jackie And the Ponby Thieves - 1978 -

11 Jackie And The Phantom Ponies - 1979

12 Jackie and the Moonlight Pony - 1980 - (actually badged 12 by Armada too...from this point they fall into place as Armada's are badged according to date order published and Jackie finally gets a little older.)

13 Jackie and the Pony Rivals -1981 -

14 Jackie and the Missing Show Jumper - 1982-

15 - Change Ponies Jackie - 1983 -

16 Jackie's Steeple Chase Adventure -1984 -

Please, please anyone know the order and or got any more numbered editions to throw into the confusion?

Maybe not as polished or an as likeable character as say Jill but I do think these books deserve recognition amongst the best pony books. They are very wholesome and different from a lot of pony books in that in the early titles there is often a mystery to solve or a baddie involved while still firmly being a pony book. The last few titles are much better, in my opinion, the writing style is slightly different and the mystery element tended to be replaced by a more 'horsey' theme.
The other thing I think it's hard to get your 'adult' head round is how many summers Jackie managed to have while keeping the youthful age of 13 to 15ish? As a child I never thought about it but as an adult you just wishe you knew her secret.

Sunday, 28 October 2007

It Finally Came.....

After waiting nearly 3 weeks for it to arrive and just about giving up any hope (Don't you just love Royal Mail) I have finally got (or at least think so) my final Pat Leitch title to complete my collection...unless of course she writes any more that is. I have been trying to find out a little about the author but apart from the short bibliographies in the front/back of a few books...mainly Jinny's and American editions of Kestrels series (they call them horseshoes and changed some titles....which i only found out after spending a fortune on a set from states). The only other info I could find was from a vegetarian society site.....she is a vegan and big on animal rights...themes which are strong in many of her books in particular the Jinny series...I wonder if Ken was based on herself maybe? Celtic/Arabic/Buddhist mythology and philosophy are also often referred to. I also found out that the horse on the front of most of the 80's covers (as in the top pic) is Coombe Farm Arabians stallion 'The Prince Of Orange', which they have confirmed.

The most interesting thing for me is as to whether Pat Leitch is her real name or not...I assume so.....and why she wrote her first 4 books under the (assumed) pseudonym Jane Eliot? Most people assume the Collins pony lib editions of Jacky Jumps to The top, Afraid to Ride and First Pony are first editions but they were all released in the late 60's under the pseudonym as paperbacks by Spitfire books. There was also the extremely rare title Pony club Camp, which is the one I have just managed to acquire. As far as I am aware no others were wrote under this name and Pony Club Camp was never released under Pat Leitch, unlike the others. I have not read it yet so am hoping it hasn't had a name change. More on that next time........I am having a break from pony books and reading Trebizon at minute but need to get my hands on unforgettable fifth and secret letters, if any one can help.

Sunday, 14 October 2007

Sheila Chapman...Continued!

I have just finished Pony from Fire, still not worked out the strange title though, and took a while as I kept putting it off!!! Not exactly as I had predicted but I was pretty close. Firecat arrived a wild and dangerous pony who had killed a man. Yoland, still very nervous, ends up saving him from a fire - Is this why it is titled Pony from Fire? - and of course from that moment on she and she alone can manage the beastie! Her, quite frankly, awful dealer of a father keeps blackmailing her (as if the poor girl hasn't been through enough all ready) and at first it's if she doesn't ride Firecat he will be destroyed then because she won't compete him he is sold........along the way just like Carmen she has to make a desperate ride to fetch a vet, during which she falls, bangs her head, voila - memory begins to return. As can only happen in a pony book the pony no one but her can handle turns up a show and she is asked to ride him (who was originally riding him is anyones guess as when her brother tried him he went 'loopy'). But anyhow she does because she thinks it will stop him being destroyed, but is it too late? (Thankfully) she didn't win the class but did enough so as on her return home she finds Firecat is grazing in their field. Cue happy ending.

Better than I thought it was going to be and a definite improvement on The Mystery Pony but did leave me a little disappointed as these titles are so hyped up.

I still cannot find an author who is a patch on Josephine Pullein Thompson and Caroline Akrill but the search will continue. ( NB I have not included Elyne Mitchell in this as her books are so different from the average pony story.)

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

Poo Picking and Sheila Chapman

Back to poo picking in the dark already.....or i am the only person out there stupid enough to do this? Last week it was sort of light, yesterday was pitch black and only just coming light when I had to get off to work. Peeing it down too this morning...oh the joys of having horses!

On the other hand the funny little things they do never fail to raise a Harry gets on his knees (but never when I brandish the camera) to eat grass under the electric fence and how as soon as it's off he tries to lift out the fence posts with his teeth (grr...just love them don't ya) or simply leans over it. How today Murphy meandered down to have a drink in a 'dozen looped serpentine' sort of fashion, then promptly galloped back up he top like his bottom was on fire.

Sheila Chapman, by the way I was not likening her books to poo picking, is a very little known author but very collectable too! Her books, in all honesty, I do not think are the best but they are rare and command good prices and I guess when you consider her first was written and ready to be published by the time she was 15 you can forgive the 'immaturity' of the writer and her plots. As far as I am aware there are 4 books of which I own 3. A Pony and his Partner is probably the best of the three. It Introduces us to Carmen (an orphan - dead parents seem to feature highly in her books, as do badly injured lame ponies) who goes to live with her cousins. Carmen is a very talented horsewoman (naturally) and by and by acquires a nervous and difficult pony Oberon who she works miracles with and wins at HOYS! Along the way it's actually an okay (if not predictable - but very young girls dream) kind of story. It isn't all plain sailing for Carmen and at several points we are told how she 'masters' Oberon, which rather spoil it for me but I guess that was how it was (and by most folk still is perceived the way to treat a horse unfortunately). It also has the, what seems to be obligatory in my reading at the min, N**** reference. this time in the way of an unpolitically correct joke. Having been reading Kathleen Mackenzie recently too, it would seem quite vogue of this period to include some kind of reference. The book ends happily with the win at HOYS and Carmen being adopted by famous show jumper Joe Trent. I was rather confused as to whether he was her uncle or not, I am not sure if the Author knew, or maybe it was dead clear but I missed it? The sequel The Mystery pony, was disappointing to be frank. Oberon is lamed by her cousin, Carmen doesn't want another pony until she spots the mystery horse. She catches him without much fuss but he is difficult and rather a mystery as well bred and highly schooled. The book drags a bit in the middle then there is a flood and he escapes with the mares while Carmen is saving the day by fetching the vet. A rather boring search is performed and of course the horses owner turns up. During the search the horse meets his doom too, nobody seems bothered that much, happily ever after........ Pretty pointless story really but never mind. It is easy enough to read and looks good in the collection! I have just started Pony From Fire and this is a little predictable too. Yoland, again super young rider, loses her memory in crashing fall, which lames pony permanently. When she comes round she is too scared to ride. Oh and her mum dies too if she had not been through enough already. By and by she does ride and I have just got to the bit where she comes face to face with the pony she fell from Tremor.

I am guessing at memory now returns, re trains a difficult pony and wins a big competition? I will have to wait and see........

Friday, 5 October 2007

Setting a bad example?

Sorry but a bit of a rant today. After a generally lovely day at HOYS yesterday, a little incident left rather a bad taste in my mouth. Ellen Whitaker, such an inspiration to young riders, fantastic rider on the crest of a wave, but setting a thoroughly bad example at the same time. Yesterday on entering the ring she, as many competitors before her had, she showed her horse a difficult fence, almost a stile in width and on a tricky angle to boot. Fair enough, I have not worked out where the line between showing a horse a fence and 'not' is drawn but that is not the issue. Why on showing the fellow the fence did she feel the need, for no reason what so ever I can think off and only visible to my area of the arena, to give him a good smack behind her leg too???? What purpose did this serve???? I was both amazed and angry at the shocking example she is setting to youngsters aspiring to be like her. I'm glad to report, although she cleared the fence in question, she did not jump a clear. Although it left me wondering what may happen to the poor 'os' once outside the ring. It certainly didn't receive a pat/thank you for trying on the way out. What harm would a little acknowledgement of his efforts have done to her????

Good job I'm not a horse she would have been flat on her face with a hoof (or two) in her back!!!