Ponies, ponies, ponies
Blanche Chenery Perrin
Blanche Chenery Perrin wrote three horse books, and one book for early readers. Hundred Horse Farm is a sequel to Born to Race; Thudding Hooves is a standalone book. Blanche Chenery Perrin is probably best known as the mother of Noel Perrin, essayist and Professor at Dartmouth College. Both she and her husband, Edwin O Perrin, worked in advertising. Edwin O Perrin was a copywriter at the J Walter Thompson Agency, and Blanche was the first woman the Agency hired to copywrite. Their son, Noel Perrin, became an essayist and writer.
All Blanche Chenery Perrin’s horse books for older readers are set in the world of racing. She was well placed to get source material, as her brother, Christopher Chenery owned several racehorses, of whom one of the best known was First Landing, an American Champion Two Year colt, born of a blind mare. Christopher Chenery’s daughter, Penny Chenery, bred and owned Secretariat, winner of the Triple Crown.
Finding the books: of her books, Born to Race is very easy to find in the US if you don’t mind a paperback. Hardbacks aren’t impossible, and are reasonably priced, and it’s reasonably easy to find in the UK. The Little Golden Book Horses is also easy, though under its UK title The New Pony it’s a bit pricier. Thudding Hooves is again reasonably easy, though as it didn’t have a paperback printing that I’ve been able to find, is a little more pricey than Born to Race. The UK edition of Thudding Hooves is very hard to find. Hundred Horse Farm is findable, though not in the UK. Search for it under that title though, as most dealers don’t seem to be consistent in how they list the author’s name.
An article by Noel Perrin which mentions his mother
A review of Born to Race
Many thanks to Elisabeth Perrin, Susan Bourgeau and Lisa Catz for all their help with bibliographical details, summaries and pictures.
Born to Race
St Martin’s Press, New York, 1959, illus Sam Savitt, 178pp,
Scholastic Book Services, 1959, 1965, 1975
Macmillan & Co, London, 1961, illus Sam Savitt
Suzy Taylor is the daughter of a Virginia horse breeder. When Whickery is born,
Suzy and the foal are inseperable as she prepares him for the Kentucky Derby.
When she gets to the raceground, however, she finds she’s barred because of
her age, until her friend the Governor intercedes, and she is able to watch
Whickery run an historic race.
St Martin’s Press, New York, 1951, illus Sam Savitt, 190pp.
Macmillan & Co, London, 1962, illus Sam Savitt
Dirck Stanton gets to use the palomino Sampson as his own, and might be able to act as one of
the lead ponies when the racehorses are exercised. His father thinks he needs to learn to be a
better rider and a more patient teacher. He sets to, and teaches his sisters, but then disaster
comes when Sampson is so ill he must be isolated from everybody, even Dirck.
Hundred Horse Farm
St Martin’s Press, New York, 1973, illus Sam Savitt, 215 pp.
Horses (Little Golden Book 459)
Golden Pleasure Books, New York, 1962, illus Dagmar Wilson
As The New Pony
Golden Pleasure Books, London, 1962, illus Dagmar Wilson