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