Amy Brown got her first pony unexpectedly. Her father was bitten by the horse bug
and bought himself a horse, Poncho. When he started to compete, he needed a horse
box. When he found one, the seller offered him a pony to go with it, so Amy, at the
age of five, got Twinks. She carried on riding, and competed in regional and national
showjumping events. She was a keen devotee of the English pony story, particularly
Ruby Ferguson’s Jill, and when she gave up riding and took up writing, pony books
were what she decided to write. She described Jill’s Gymkhana as “the book that changed
her life,” as she read it so often, and based her own books on it. She loved “its
sense of humour, weird 1950s references to Bing Crosby, and brilliant line drawings.”
Her series Jade is about a girl who starts off her life as a rider in difficult circumstances,
but manages to overcome them and become a successful rider.
Finding the books: in print, but not easily available in the UK. Expensive large
print editions are available on Amazon, but other than that, the only option is importing
them, and that is not cheap.
Jade has moved to Flaxton to live with her grandfather. Her mother is dead, and her
father is in prison. Jade escapes her miseries by thinking about ponies, and then
one turns up in the pound. Jade knows she has to save the stray.
Jade at the Champs HarperCollins Publishers, Auckland, New Zealand, 2011
Jade has her own pony; her Dad’s out of prison and has a job in Flaxton and life
looks good. She’s made the junior team, and her coach is Olympic gold medallist, Michaela
Lewis. But then her pony, Pip, goes down with laminitis, and so Jade has to ride Dorian,
who is beautiful but temperamental. And all this while Jade is worrying about whether Pip
will ever recover.
Bibliography - Pony Books Only
Jade and the Hunters HarperCollins Publishers, Auckland, New Zealand, 2011
When Jade offered to take the worst behaved pony at the Championships home, it seemed
a brave decision. Now that the pony’s back home, Jade is too nervous even to get on
the five year old monster, Taniwha. Perhaps Zoe is right when she suggests that
hunting is just what the pony needs. Jade goes to spend the winter holidays on the
Deaths’ sheep station, hoping it’s what she needs to get her confidence back.
Jade’s Summer of Horses HarperCollins Publishers, Auckland, New Zealand, 2012, 256
Jade needs to find a new home for Pip, and school difficult Taniwha. Good news comes
when she hears Becca’s Aunt is looking for a bombproof beginner’s pony for her oceanside
riding school. She asks Jade to come and spend the summer there helping out and learning
about endurance riding. It seems like heaven. Unfortunately, that’s exactly what
a property developer thinks. Jade is determined to save the land for the ponies.