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Peter Grey

Peter Grey wrote the 12 book Kit Hunter series. He was born in London in 1918, and worked as a journalist and editor before becoming fiction editor of Girl  in the early 1950s. He contributed several stories to Girl before writing the Kit Hunter series. He was an editor for Hurlton Press and Features Director of Buckingham Press Ltd as well as editing Readers’ Review.

The Kit Hunter books were written over a relatively short period:  1959 - 1961, with the first two being reprinted in Girl, illustrated by Harry Lindfield. The series has lovely illustrated boards (see below), though the rather lurid dustjackets aren’t to everyone’s taste. The original dustjackets have an interesting mistake:  you’re told to travel the world with Kit Hunter and coal-black Dixie, but in the first book we are told Dixie was the name of the pony Colonel Hampden bought for a young Kit, who had died prior to the start of these stories.

The series is not a hard one to find, or expensive. If you want to collect a pony series quickly and cheaply this is probably one of the best bets.  

Some titles (I’m not sure if all) were republished in the early 1970s as part of the Redwing library with pictorial boards. They were republished in paperback in the early 1980s, and some have been re-published with laminated pictorial boards in the 1980s as with two stories per volume.  

Finding the books: all are relatively easy to find.


Sources:

Many thanks to Hannah Fleetwood for information on the series. Thank you to Dawn Harrison, Konstanze Allsopp, and Helen Millar for photographs.

Steve Holland’s article on Peter Grey

Summaries of the books


Right:  an example of the illustrated boards all first editions have.

Kit Hunter: The Wild One

World Distributors, Manchester, 1959


After her mother dies, Kit goes to live with Colonel Hampden,
whom she used to visit when younger.  However, nothing is as
she remembered it:  the Colonel is dominated by his rude
secretary, and he has lost all his money in a horse breeding
experiment.  Kit is determined to find the one horse left, who
is loose on the moors, and prove the Colonel is right and thus
restore his fortunes.


Kit Hunter
The Wild One
South American Mission
Rival Riders
Bush Adventure
The Mystery of the Mine
Moor Grange Mystery
Fiesta for Wild One
The Phantom Horse
Little Outlaw
The Last Hurdle
Royal Command
The Homing Trail



Kit Hunter: South American Mission

World Distributors, Manchester, 1959, 184 pp.



After a riding accident puts the Colonel in hospital, Kit has to go
to South America on her own to buy some horses. However,

she isn’t the only one after the horses.

Kit Hunter: Moor Grange Mystery

World Distributors, Manchester, 1960


Kit is now back in Devon, and she and Mary are training the Colonel’s horses. There is
a prowler in Moor Grange, and Kit has to take on old and new rivals.

Kit Hunter: The Mystery of the Mine

World Distributors, Manchester, 1960


Kit is on her way home from Australia and stops in Singapore, where she
meets an Australian whom she hopes she can interest in the Colonel’s horses.
So, she returns to Australia, but they find themselves at the centre of a mystery
at the mine.

Kit Hunter: Bush Adventure

World Distributors, Manchester, 1959


Kit, Mary and the Colonel go to Australia so she can compete in the Sydney Show. As they arrive
a few days before, they accept an invitation to visit a huge sheep station in the outback. After a bush
fire breaks out, Kit has to try and warn a local town on a borrowed horse before returning to compete
at Sydney.

Kit Hunter: Rival Riders

World Distributors, Manchester, 1959

Kit is now a champion show jumper, and she is planning a
tour of Europe with her friend Mary Trent. Whilst competing
she meets Francoise Dubois, a ruthless French rival. Another
young rider, Pierre, helps them, and the two girls decide to
help him with his scheme to attract a big horse show to his
local town. Francois, however, wants it to take place in her
town.

Kit Hunter: The Last Hurdle

World Distributors, Manchester, 1961


Pierre Latour has invited Kit back to France to take part in a show. Kit is worried because Francoise
Dubois will be there, but it seems that she is a changed character, full of charm. However, before too
long her true colours emerge.

Kit Hunter: Little Outlaw

World Distributors, Manchester, 1961


This story sees Kit back in Devon, where local nuisance Mrs Hawker is trying to make an old
tinker’s life miserable. Kit defends him, but finds Mrs Hawker won’t hesitate to destroy a
fellow human being who is in the way of her social advancement.

Kit Hunter: The Phantom Horse

World Distributors, Manchester, 1960

As The Phantom Horse, White Lion, hb, 1977


Kit and Mary are now in Ireland, and find that there is a local horse:  the Phantom Horse, which the
locals are determined to keep them from.

Kit Hunter: Fiesta for Wild One

World Distributors, Manchester, 1960


Kit and Mary are now off to Spain. Here they manage to lose themselves, and get
involved in a boy’s fight to save his horse. This causes them even more problems, as
they have a deadline: they must get back in time for Kit to compete in a large show

and uphold the reputation of the stables.

Kit Hunter: The Homing Trail

World Distributors, Manchester, 1961


Kit and Mary are in Southern California, promoting British Livestock. Kit’s achievements inspire a local
American boy to try for a career as an international rider, and this doesn’t go down at all well with
her hostess.

Compilations

Pony Stories Featuring Kit Hunter
(The Wild One and Fiesta for Wild One)
Cliveden, hb, 1989, 250pp.


Pony Stories Featuring Kit Hunter
South Amerian Rider and Rival Riders
Cliveden


Kit Hunter: Royal Command

World Distributors, Manchester, 1961


Kit is asked to train a Princess from a tiny mid European state. The Princess has
problems, however, and does not welcome Kit.  Kit manages to overcome her hostility.

Bibliography - pony books only