Jane Badger Books
Patsey Gray
Patsey Gray rode as a child; showed hunters and jumpers and rode in races and rodeos.  She won some 500 events, and continued riding after she married Dr Gerald Gray, a plastic surgeon.  They lived on a ranch in California, on which they bred Appaloosas.  Patsey Gray began writing when she was bedridden after a series of riding accidents.  She said:
“Naturally I write about children and horses, since they are all I know anything about.  My characters and scenes are always available.  When I found I could sell my stories I took some night courses at the University of California.  My writing habits consist of scribbling away longhand, whenever and wherever I find time, usually for a couple of hours after I’m through riding in the morning.”
Patsey Gray wrote about English and Western disciplines.  Her books were mostly illustrated by Sam Savitt:  Challenger and Diving Horse are particularly lovely.   Her one series is the Star series:  Horse Trap is nominally the first of the series, though not essential to it, as Star is born at the end of the book.  Patsey Gray’s books cover other disciplines beside Western Pleasure:  she features showjumping and racing, and even diving horses.
Patsey Gray wrote one book under the name Virginia Clark, The Mysterious Buckskin.
Many, many thanks to Susan Bourgeau, who supplied all the information, and virtually all the cover shots.

Finding the Books
Challenger was the only title issued in the UK:  it can be picked up cheaply if you’re lucky, but can also be extremely expensive.  
Horse Trap is another which is expensive.  Finding any of the titles as non-library editions is difficult.  
Links and sources:
Horsepower - biographical note

Heads Up

Coward-McCann, 1956, illus Leonard Shortall
Scholastic pb reprint 1961, and 1965, illus Leonard Shortall


“Peggy rides Mr McGrugeon’s jumpers during the fair season, and at one fair she becomes
friends with the trick riding Tucker family and wishes that she lived with such a friendly
family instead of her own foster family.”

The Doggone Roan

Coward-McCann, New York, 1957, illus Paul Frame


“Babe helps her dad take care of their racing Quarter Horse Strawberry, but when her dad breaks his arm and
then Strawberry is injured, Babe is afraid they’ll have to get out of racing.”

4-H Filly

Coward-McCann, 1958, illus Leonard Shortall



Sandy thinks she might have to sell her filly Dove, as the ranch is in trouble financially.  She works her hardest
while her parents are away, trying to make the ranch self-sufficient, and then an earthquake strikes.

Galloping Gold

Coward-McCann, 1958, illus Leonard Shortall



Sue had to sell her colt Pal two years ago, and has been saving ever since so she can buy him back.  She
goes to the big palomino horse show, hoping she can buy him, but finds out that he has become a very
valuable animal.


Coward-McCann, New York, 1959, illus Sam Savitt (far right)
UK: Dent, London, 1960 (right)


Ellie thinks she knows her horse, Challenger, really well, but training her friend Pam to ride him
well is a real challenge.



Horse in her Heart
Coward-McCann, 1960, illus Sam Savitt



Carol has managed to spoil her horse Skipper, but won’t let Jim help her to retrain him.  Then she goes
to France, and learns that horses and people both need discipline.

Diving Horse
Coward-McCann, New York, 1960, illus Sam Savitt


Annie has managed to train her horse Spotty do do a diving act, but before their first ever performance,
she gets stage fright and finds her nerves have been communicated to her horse.

Loco, the Bronc

Edward McCann, New York, 1961, Illus Sam Savitt


The bucking horse Loco was left behind by the rodeo as he was sick.  Lynn helps the caretaker care for
him, and when she forms a relationship with the sick horse, tries to talk the owner of the rodeo into selling
her the horse.


The Horse Trap
Coward-McCann, 1962, illus Leonard Shortall



Deborah Lee Bell has two problems:  one, that she doesn’t own a horse, and two, that she doesn’t tend to
think before she acts.


The Mysterious Buckskin

Patsey Gray writing as Virginia Clark

Macmillan 1960

Cover art by Charles W. Walker


Ann and Ken are leading a group of three on a long trail ride.  Ann thinks the buckskin horse one of them is
riding looks like her horse Frosty, who was stolen.



Star Bright

Norton, New York, 1964, right
Young Readers’ Press, NY, 1968 pb, far right



Debbie has a horse:  Star Bright, but he will have to earn his living be being useful on the
farm, or he will have to go.

Star Lost

Norton, New York, 1965, right
Young Readers’ Press, NY, 1966, pb, far right



Debbie and Maureen go on a camping trip with their horses, but because Debbie
won’t listen to what she’s told, both horses escape and are lost.


Norton, New York,1966, illus Sam Savitt,170 pp. right

Young Readers’ Press, New York, 1969, far right






Jumping Jack

Norton, 1965, illus Sam Savitt, right
Young Reader Press, 1965, far right


Miss Van leaves the club stables for two months, and Jill finds her replacement, Captain
Clark, difficult to get on with.  He’s conceited, and seems to want to spoil her success
in showing Jack.


Show Ring Rogue
Coward-McCann, 1963, illus Leonard Shortall



Sheila has a brace on her leg after an illness, and doesn’t want anyone to see her riding with it.  She meets
the horse Rogue, who refuses to go into the show ring, and together they solve each other’s problems.



The Star Series

The Horse Trap

Star Bright

Star Lost

Lucky Star

Star the Seahorse