Jane Badger Books

Penny’s Worth

Dutton, New York, 1952, illus Jeanne Mellin, 120 pp.



“The old bay riding school pony Penny wants more than anything to be privately owned, and her dream comes
true when the Dawsons buy her for their young son to learn to ride on.”

Nancy Caffrey wrote several pony books, including a series about a brother and sister and their ponies.  She started riding at the age of 5, and by 15 was teaching riding at the Hunt Club.  She rode professionally, and specialised in riding difficult horses. As a reporter, she covered shows for the Middleburg Chronicle, the Virginia horse weekly.
Somebody’s Pony was her first book, and was illustrated by her childhood friend Jeanne Mellin.  The two girls had a childhood pact to write and illustrate a horse book.  Both author and artist were members of Margaret Cabell Self’’s famous New Canaan Mounted Troupe, Junior Cavalry of America, and Jeanne Mellin later wrote on the Morgan horse breed.  
The book most widely regarded as Caffrey’s best is the fantasy-tinged Mig o’ the Moor, illustrated by Jeanne Mellin, where a mystic Irish stallion helps a boy overcome his fear of race riding.
Many thanks to Susan Bourgeau for providing all the information in this section.
Finding the books:  not a cheap author to collect, alas. Horse Haven, Mig o’ The Moor, Show Pony are very expensive, Somebody’s Pony, Hanover’s Wishing Star, Penny’s Worth, and Pony Duet are expensive, Lost Pony (the paperback version of Somebody’s Pony) is not necessarily cheap for a paperback, but there are plenty of them around.  The Uk version of Pony Duet is usually easy to find, and not expensive.
Sources and links:
Dustjacket of
Somebody’s Pony
Nancy Caffrey








Mig o’ the Moor

Dutton, New York, 1953, illus Jeanne Mellin, 158 pp.



A mystical stallion helps Danny overcome his fear of racing. Set, I think, in Ireland.



Somebody’s Pony

E P Dutton, New York, 1951, illus Jeanne Mellin, 72 pp.
Scholastic, New York, 1966, 64 pp as  
Lost Pony (with, I’m
told, appalling cover art!)

Far Right: first edition dj

Right: internal illustrations


Jan and Jay find a lost pony and they school it for an
upcoming horse show in an attempt to find its owner.”




Picture of Nancy Caffrey and her illustrator Jeanne Mellin.  They were childhood friends.  The picture is taken from Somebody’s Pony.








Non fiction:

Scene from the Saddle
E P Dutton & Co, New York, 1958, photos by A L “Budd” Waintrob, 89 pp.


“ A boy enters his horse in a local horse show, and the book follows the preparation and the
show itself, starting with filling out the entries, cleaning tack, preparing horse and rider, the show,
and an exciting article in the newspaper afterwards.”


Show Pony

Dutton, New York, 1954, illus Paul Brown, 88 pp.

Right: first edition dj

Far right: internal illustration



“Jan and Jay buy a green and neglected three-year old pony and try to train her
to be as good a show pony as their pony Top Honor.

Horse Haven

Dutton, New York, 1955, illus Paul Brown, 93 pp.

Right: first edition dj

Far right: internal illustration



“Jan and Jay ignore their show ponies when a neglected
old horse is brought to their farm to recover from an abusive
owner, and after they begin to ride the horse, they find out
that he’ll jump a natural fence but refuses show ring fences.”

Hanover’s Wishing Star
Dutton, New York, 1956, 124 pp.


Hanover’s Wishing Star is essentially a non-fiction story of a girl getting a horse, illustrated with photos.
“Karen Ann McGuire wants a horse badly, and when she learns that the racehorse Nashua and his
stablemates are to be auctioned off, she writes to the bank in charge explaining that if there is any
horse that no one else wants to buy, she would like to bid $24.03 on it.!

Pony Duet

Dutton, New York, 1957, illus Ronnie Mutch, 91 pp.
UK:  J M Dent & Sons, 1959, illus Ronnie Mutch, 91 pp.

Reprinted J M Dent,1960


“Right when Cathy is thinking about giving up riding completely her Aunt Myla
Lee sends her a skewbald pony  named Duet, and riding this calm little mare
helps restore Cathy’s confidence.!



The Jan & Jay Series

Somebody’s Pony

Show Pony

Horse Haven