Ponies, ponies, ponies


British Pony Books Home

Dorian Williams

Wendy Wins a Pony
Burke, 1961, illus Mary Gernat

Many thanks to Amanda Dolby for the picture.

“When Wendy enters her picture in the newspaper painting competition she has no idea that it is going to be the
key to so much happiness.  She wins the competition and is presented with the first prize: Smiley, a pony of her
very own. Smiley himself is enough to give her endless pleasure, but owning him leads to something much more
exciting.  Wendy gets her first job, makes firm friends, is introduces to the thrills of a point-to-point and to the joy
of watching a new-born foal findi its feet. She lives through some of the happiest moments in her life surrounded
by her friends and the horses and ponies she loves so dearly. She learns, too, the sadness of parting with one
pony which is only dimmed by the prospect of riding another.”

Wendy Wins her Spurs
Burke, 1962, illus Sheila Rose

“To win a pony in a competition and to have it for one’s very own is often the dream of the young pony enthusiast
and many would be more than satisfied with such happiness.  But for Wendy winning Smiley was just the beginning
of her real ambitions and of all her efforts at making a success of her job, to enjoy and profit by her spare-time
riding and, above all, to train and school her pony well.  In this sequel ... Dorian Williams describes Wendy's
graduation from her pony to a horse whom she names Ebony but with whom she has little success.  In spite of
this, Wendy is destined to win her spurs and the excitement of the story mounts when she is suddenly faces
with the challenge of riding Tinkerbell. This supreme test is made still more thrilling by the fact that it comes
to Wendy during a day at the White City.”

Wendy at Wembley
Burke, 1963, illus Juliette Palmer

Many thanks to Amanda Dolby for the picture.

Wendy makes friends with a new pupil at Harcourt Hall, Robbie MaDonald, who has come to train for the
Horse of the Year Show, but his sister Geraldine is a very different matter.  She dislikes Wendy and her
friend Deirdre, but even that can’t spoil their excitement when they take part in the Pony Club Jorrocks
Display at Wembley.

Dorian Williams (1914-1985) is, to those of us of a certain age, the voice of show jumping.  He commentated in the glory days of horses on television, when the Horse of the Year Show and the Royal International Horse Show were on television every evening while the shows were on.  

Educated at Harrow, he had an immensely full life: besides commentating, he was Chairman of the British Horse Society, and instrumental in setting up the National Equestrian Centre at Stoneleigh.  He was also Master of the Whaddon Chase.  A keen amateur actor, he set up the Pendley Shakespeare Festival, and set up a Centre of Adult Education at Pendley, his family home.

As well as all this, he found time to write, and besides many non-fiction titles, wrote a series or children: the Wendy series, as well as two books, Pancho and Kingdom for a Horse,aimed at adults rather than children.  The Wendy series is a solid one:  all the titles are reasonably easy to find.  One of my reference books lists a fourth title in the series:  Wendy Goes Abroad, but I can find no reference in the copyright libraries to it, or any copy for sale.  So, a mystery.  If you know whether or not the book exists, please let me know!

Finding the books:  all the books are reasonably easy to find, and generally affordable.

Sources and links
Master of One, an Autobiography, Dent, 1978.

Dorian William’s life at prepschool, and a picture of him as a young boy.

The Wendy Series

Wendy Wins a Pony

Wendy Wins Her Spurs

Wendy at Wembley

Wendy Goes Abroad?

Pancho, the Story of a Horse
Dent, 1967, illus Owen Ward
White Lion, 1976

Many thanks to Amanda Dolby for the picture.

Mr Garrard bought Pancho on the spot to replace his hunter, even though the horse
had no background, no warranty and no name.  The whole family fell under Pancho’s
spell.  He seemed excellent in all respects, so why then was he sold without a

Kingdom for a Horse

Dent, London, 1967.  Illus Val Biro

Many thanks to Amanda Dolby for the picture.

Dai has looked after the horse Christo all his life, but after Christo’s owner dies, Dai decides to use all his
savings to buy the horse.  Leaving his wife, he decides the only place Christo will be safe is Dai’s childhood
home in Wales, so he and the horse set off to ride there.  When Dai reaches Wales, nothing is as he
remembered it, but an old hovel is still there, as in his childhood, and there the two seek sanctuary.


Clear Round - the Story of Show jumping

and many other non-fiction titles

Short Stories

My Favourite Horse Stories (Edited Dorian Williams)

Lutterworth Press, Guildford, 1968, hb

Beaver, London, pb, 1976, 158pp.


Monica Dickens - Horses and People (Cobbler’s Dream)

Con O Leary - The First Grand National (Grand National)

Shakespeare - Henry V, Act iii, Scene 7

Ivan Turgenev - Makle Adel (A Sportsman’s Notebook)

Susan Chitty - Our Gymkhana (My Life and Horses)

Richard Harris Barham - The Smuggler’s Leap (The Ingoldsby Legends)

Dick Francis - Anything Long and Sharp (Flying Finish)

John Hislop - A Ride at Sandown (Far From a Gentleman)

Roy Campbell - -The Zebras (Adamastor)

R C Lyle - The Old Firm (Brown Jack)

Leo Tolstoy - The Invasion (War and Peace)

G K Chesterton - The Donkey (The Wild Knight and Other Poems)

Dorian Williams - Point-to-Point (Pancho)

R S Surtees - Mr Jorrocks at Newmarket (Jorrocks’s Jaunts and Jollities)

R J Richardson - The Haunted Hunt (The Haunted Hunt)

Bibliography - pony books only