Book name: Pony Club Cup
Author: Josephine Pullein-Thompson
Format: Print, ebook
Genre: Pony books, vintage children’s fiction
Publication Date: 1983
Star Rating: 5/5
Pony Club Cup is the first book in the Woodbury Pony Club series.
This series is one of Josephine Pullein-Thompson’s later works, Pony Club Cup being published almost forty years since her first pony book.
The Woodbury Pony Club is in pretty poor shape and their confidence is further dented by the excellence of their neighbouring club.
Alice and Hanif are new. Alice’s parents have recently been killed in an air crash and she has come to live with her aunt.
Alice’s aunt arranges to hire Saffron, a dun pony who is thin and out of condition. Saffron has a habit of sticking his head up in the air and hollowing his back.
Hanif has a new stepfather, who is determined that Hanif will excel in showjumping and buys him a pony that is far too big for him.
The other club members also need plenty of help too. They seldom school their ponies.
David Lumley is a former jockey recovering from a serious fall. He takes over the Woodbury Pony Club and immediately sets about explaining why regular schooling makes a difference.
In fact, the key message of Pony Club Cup is the extent to which regular schooling engenders discipline and improved performance for both horse and rider.
The general atmosphere of industry and determination goes into over drive when David has a cross-country course built.
A crisis develops when the club secretary reveals that she secretly entered the club for a dressage and cross-country event in the summer.
This throws the club members at first, but then they rise to the challenge.
The tone of Pony Club Cup was quite serious, with a lot of emphasis on the techniques of schooling. Some pony books focus more on character and plot, others gravitate more towards the technical side.
I like both styles of writing so I really enjoyed Pony Club Cup, even though it was a more serious read than some other pony books.
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