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Anabel Dean is one of those authors about whom biographical information is difficult to find. She wrote a number of children’s books, amongst which were a picture book which I think was horsey (I can’t find a picture to check), and a six book series which followed the fortunes of Mary Majors. Mary longed for a horse of her own, and to have a horsey career. Each book is centred around a different equestrian discipline, and contains a section at the end with information on the title subject, illustrated with photographs.


Finding the books: the Mary books are reasonably easy to find, and not generally expensive. Willie is a bit harder to find.


Links and sources

Thanks to Lisa Catz for the summaries and pictures, and for the information about the series.

Bibliography - horse books only

Willie Can Ride
T S Denison, Minneapolis, 1970, 36 pp, illus Nancy Lee Fuller



Harness Race

Benefic Press, Westchester, Illinois, 1975, 71 pp, illus Peg Sindelar



Mary’s love of horses leads to a job at a harness racing stable. Miss Snow’s stable is having
financial problems, and they need every win they can get. Mary travels the circuit, and gets to
drive in an important race. She finds there are more ways of winning a race than just having
the fastest horse.


High Jumper

Benefic Press, Westchester, Illinois, 1975, 71 pp, illus Peg Sindelar



Mary discovers that Duke’s talent is jumping. With the help of her friend, Tim, she gets him
ready for a horse show where she will ride with the Country Club Riders. A rival club has won
the jumping trophy for the last five years, but the Country Club Riders are determined to win
this time. A fall from Duke while jumping causes Mary to lose her nerve, and Tim and Judy do
their best to get it back before the show.


Junior Rodeo

Benefic Press, Westchester, Illinois, 1975, 71 pp, illus Peg Sindelar


Mary wants to earn money to help her mother to buy a car. She decides on entering the Junior
Rodeo with the hope of winning some prize money. But as she practises with Duke, she is
forced to realize that Duke is not cut out for the rodeo events. She finds a horse to use, but
then the horse hurts herself shortly before the rodeo. After nursing her, Mary takes her to the
rodeo, and hopes that the leg has healed well enough to compete.

Ride the Winner

Benefic Press, Westchester, Illinois, 1975, 71 pp, illus Peg Sindelar


Mary is home after her first year at veterinary school. She takes a job working with thoroughbreds
at Long’s Racing Stable. When Sharky, one of the jockeys, disappears, Mary has a chance to
ride the horses. She is preparing to ride Gray Dawn, a famous racehorse, in an important race,
when the mystery of Sharky surfaces again when he reappears, and then Gray Dawn suddenly
becomes ill. 


Saddle Up

Benefic Press, Westchester, Illinois, 1975, 71 pp, illus Peg Sindelar


Mary falls in love with a horse named Duke at her friend’s stable. Duke has a hurt foot, and
Mary becomes devoted to taking care of him. Her joy turns to sorrow when she learns that
Duke is to be sold, and she may not have enough time to come up with the money needed
to buy him for herself.




Steeplechase

Benefic Press, Westchester, Illinois, 1975, 71 pp, illus Peg Sindelar


Mary graduates from high school, but is left without a job or money to go to college. It looks
like the end of her dream to become a veterinarian. Then she finds out about a steeplechase
where first prize is $5,000. Mary and Tim work hard all summer training Duke, and Mary’s
chances of winning look good, until Duke goes missing two days before the race.



Anabel Dean


Mary

Saddle Up

Junior Rodeo

High Jumper

Harness Race

Steeplechase

Ride the Winner