Ponies, ponies, ponies


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Pat Johnson & Barbara van Tuyl

I don’t think I can do better with this series than quote Susan Bourgeau, who provided the information and pictures for this section:

“ The Bonnie series is one of the series best loved by serious horse book readers in the US. The first book, The Sweet Running Filly, I'd classify as the best Young Adult horse mystery ever written (and I'm not given to hyperbole!). There's a superb Dick-Francis-like mystery, great characters, horse rescue, girl and horse bonding, and a touch of romance! “


The series was printed firstly in paperback, by Signet. The first two books had dual authorship: Pat Johnson (who also wrote riding instruction manuals) and Barbara van Tuyl. The last three in the series were written by Barbara van Tuyl alone. The books were issued individually, and later as a slipcased set with the picture from Bonnie and the Haunted Farm on the sleeve.

Finding the books: none of the books were published in the UK, but the series has now (2010) been reprinted in its entirety by Poppet Press, with some of the profit going to support Thoroughbred charities in the US. Sadly, as of 2014, Poppet Press no longer seem to exist.

Links and sources

Thank you to Susan Bourgeau for all her help with this section.

The Bonnie Series

The Sweet Running Filly

A Horse Called Bonnie

Sunbonnet: Filly of the Year

Bonnie and the Haunted Farm

The Betrayal of Bonnie

A Special Kind of Courage

The Sweet Running Filly ( Pat Johnson and Barbara van Tuyl)

Signet 1971

Poppet Press, 2010, pb.

Julie buys a Thoroughbred mare in very poor condition. When she tries to find out
where the mare comes from, she finds out her lip tattoo is the same as a filly sold
for a record breaking price earlier, who is now running poorly.

A Horse Called Bonnie ( Pat Johnson and Barbara van Tuyl)
Signet 1971
Poppet Press, 2010

Julie manages to get her filly reinstated with the Jockey Club, but then gambles
by entering Sunbonnet in a claiming race. She needs the money desperately to
pay for her father’s medical care.

Sunbonnet: Filly of the Year  (Barbara van Tuyl)
Signet 1973

Poppet Press, 2010

A vicious jockey and a tragic accident may threaten Bonnie's career.

Bibliography - horse books only

The Betrayal of Bonnie (Barbara van Tuyl)
Signet, 1975
Poppet Press, 2010

“No one had ever thought that trainer Monty Everett and owner Julie Jefferson would
break the rules. Yet Sunbonnet had achieved a dramatic comeback win only to test
positive for drugs. What good is winning when you are accused of cheating... Barred
from racing, Julie and Monty face their biggest challenge.”

Bonnie and the Haunted Farm (Barbara van Tuyl)

Signet 1974

Poppet Press, 2010

“With Sunbonnet, Julie Jefferson's beloved Bonnie retired from racing and
expecting a foal, Julie is excited over her new jumper prospect "Cache" and her
new neighbors Dirk and Alexis. Then, the accidents started and they were too
often to be accidental.”

A Special Kind of Courage (Barbara van Tuyl)
CreateSpace, 2013

“When Thoroughbred trainer Monty Everett suddenly needed a pony boy who might double as an
extra rider, Dame Fortune smiles on him with the appearance of MacLean Cardy. But when asked
if he would gallop race horses as well, the boy tells Monty in no uncertain terms… never! Julie
Jefferson, Monty’s fiance’ and owner of the champion mare, Sunbonnet, likes Mac immediately but
believes that she has seen him somewhere before. Proving to be exceptionally competent with the
horses, Mac unknowingly slides into the role of mentor to young, Brad Russell, an aspiring jockey.
Watching Mac coach Brad reinforced Julie’s belief that he could be or had been a rider, making
her even more determined to find out why he so adamantly refused to ride.

With Sunbonnet's regular rider injured in an accident, Julie’s relentless pursuit of Mac’s identity brings her to confront Mac and ask him for the impossible.